“Just a headache”

My biggest pet peeve is when people say migraine is just a headache. The only thing that bothers me more is when someone says they have a migraine when they only have a headache.

I get it. I get it. I really do get it. Some people can’t stand a headache. If you’ve never had a migraine or cared for someone with one, you can’t understand. To them, it’s the worst pain they can get. I understand that, but I think I still deserve the right to be offended when you have just a headache and you complain about “woe is me” when you are only slightly inconvenienced.

I also understand that if you’ve never had a migraine or cared for someone with one, you really think the headache is the only symptom. You think, “If I can work while in pain, then so can they.” But it still upsets me.

Yes, the pain is unbearable, worse than any headache I’ve had (I also get headaches pretty bad too). However, if that was the only symptom, I might at least be able to pretend as if nothing was happening. The key word there is might.

But it’s not just a headache, so I’ll never know. It’s the sensitivity to light that makes me recoil from light like a vampire and wear my sunglasses indoors like a d-bag. It’s the sensitivity to sound that makes the smallest rustle sound like the loudest thunderstorm. It’s the vomiting. Literal vomiting where I can’t hold down food (or my medication) for days on end. It’s the dizziness, the bruises from when I’ve fallen or run into something because I can’t even walk straight. It’s the mood swings. Everything makes me cry. It’s being freezing cold in 100 degree weather or sweating in 60 degrees. It’s the forgetting words or names. It’s the unable to finish sentences. It’s the huge gaps in my memory from my migraines. Yes, there’s days I literally can’t remember anything. It’s being tired, all of the time. I’m just exhausted and weak. It’s the irregular appetite, I’ve put on wait because I crave foods with a migraine. It’s so many things where just one is enough to incapacitate a person, and I’m dealing with 20.

So yeah, I understand. You can’t stand your headache, or you’ve had to work through pain. I understand, but that doesn’t mean that I’m okay with your words or that I’ll just excuse them. Because my migraines are a literal disorder. They have made me miss important events in my life. They’ve costed me friendships. They’ve made people lose trust in me or think that I don’t want to hang around them. They’ve made people think I’m lazy, they’ve destroyed my GPA both in high school and college. So yeah, I get it, but i wont understand or forgive anyone that brushes them off for being any smaller than they are.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Migraine.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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