Migraine? Is That What I Have?
I have never been fond of going to doctors, but have recently decided to urge my Primary Care Physician to schedule me to see a neurologist. My migraines have been occurring more frequently and lasting for far longer spans - several days to several weeks. My migraine doesn't make me throw up or put me in the hospital. My migraine is a constant pain throughout my head which sometimes is so severe that the pain extends through my neck. The only time my head throbs because of the pain is when I lower then raise my head or get up from a stooping or low position. I have had mild blackouts lasting only seconds. Mostly I have light & noise sensitivity, some nausea, and interrupted sleep. I go to bed exhausted with migraine and wake up already having migraine.
My story did not seem important, but as over the years I have daily watched my daughter's health decline and her struggle with doctors with regard to her migraine illness I realize that there is this population of individuals riddled with invisible disabilities that have been overlooked and dismissed as nothing for uncountable decades. For me, my migraines started getting worse in my 40s. But for my daughter, she has had migraines since childhood which then became severe in her teenage years. Her migraines have become one never-ending intractable migraine. She has struggled to find doctors who believe in her disabling handicap. This is why I recently decided to seek help for myself. I want there to be more awareness of the disease that plagues my daughter and I and I want her doctors to see that she is not 'making up' her illness because I also am plagued with migraines.
Reality of invisible illness
As I have been attending doctor appointments for my daughter concerning her migraine disease, I have become aware of peoples' and doctors' misinformation concerning migraine disease and their unwillingness to believe the individual sufferer. It has been my perception that for the general public, doctors, and even doctors dealing with migraineurs it is difficult for them to believe in an illness they cannot see, and even with all the technology, it is difficult at best to diagnose migraine disease because it is neurological.
Not just a headache
It is commonplace for individuals who have never experienced a migraine to dismiss it as a headache. I have heard these individuals say, "Oh it's nothing," "You'll get over it," "Just take Motrin/Tylenol/Benadryl Migraine," or other similar insensitive statements. Of course, these individuals believe that they are being encouraging, but little do they realize that they are not being considerate of the migraineur(s)' as well as not knowledgeable or properly educated about migraine and migraine disease.
In my plight to get diagnosed with migraine disease, I hope to join the migraineur community in bringing awareness to the same individuals my daughter has dealt with for her attempts at a migraine disease diagnosis as well as to the oh-so-many other individuals who are misguided, misunderstanding, and misinformed about migraine and migraine disease. It is also my hope that migraine disease and the many other invisible disabilities will be included under their own titles in the list of disabilities under the law so that individuals with an invisible disability will be able to get disability compensation just as easily as individuals with visible disabilities.
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