I am a 37 yr old Familial Hemiplegic Migraine sufferer from the UK. My whole family suffers from the disease which has been passed on through 5 generations that we know about so far. Suffice to say we can be a pretty miserable bunch at times. Family reunions are usually comprised of tales of migraine woe with the odd game of HM top trumps after dinner. I always win because I am the only one who suffers coma and has had to be hospitalised on many occasions. However, there are a few stories which always make us giggle helplessly in the telling which I would like to share with you.
My sister had to get a taxi home from school during an attack because her projectile vomiting was upsetting the school nurse. We lived at 2 Church Cottages at the time but when she gave her address to the taxi driver her tongue was paralysed and she told him she lived at 2 Church Snausages. "Snausages"? The driver repeated, is that some sort of pork rearing farm?
Another tale we enjoy is about the time my colleague and friend thought I had been murdered by a man I had been Internet dating. I met my date for the 1st time at my friend and colleagues birthday dinner. We had a lovely night but I mistakenly ordered Chinese lemon chicken and the MSG put me into a 5 day coma. When I didn't turn up for work my friend was convinced I had been done away with by that nice man from the Internet. When I eventually awoke it was to the police trying to break down my front door accompanied by my friend. In a stupor I tried to hurriedly dress and managed to get my trousers almost all the way up as they bust into my bedroom. I was so proud of myself, after 5 days without food or water and having been unconscious and vomiting over myself and everything in sight I had managed to put on my trousers! What a hero! It was as I turned around that my friend noticed that I had only pulled them up at the front and my bare bottom was hanging out at the back. "Good Lord, he exclaimed, you look like a zombie baboon!"
From an outside perspective my family and I must look like a load of whingers speaking another language when we describe our symptoms and emotions about our rare condition, but somehow we manage to laugh about it too and it helps us to cope with our feelings and recognize what survivors we are.
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