Living With Chronic Migraines

Living With Chronic Migraines

Please stop telling me that you "get headaches, too."

When I was five years old I developed abdominal migraines. Yes, you read that correctly, abdominal. An abdominal migraine is a variant of a migraine but it occurs (you guessed it) in the abdominal area. For years, I suffered from inexplicable stomach pains that would keep me up at night for hours on end vomiting and crying, clueless as to what was wrong with me. Only two percent of children will experience abdominal migraines and unfortunately enough, I landed in that two percent. I had no diagnosis until my migraines came back in a different form almost five years later in the form of chronic migraines.

For those of you who don't know much about migraines or what makes mine chronic, I want to explain the severity and reality of them to you (without boring you with the science).

A migraine is not just a headache. A migraine is a persistent, throbbing pain that is accompanied by nausea, blurry vision, sensitivity to light, sensitivity to sound, and sensitivity to smell. It is a neurological condition. Yet again, I got the lucky trait and I fall into the smaller percent of migraine sufferers who have been diagnosed with chronic migraines.

Chronic means we suffer from migraines more than 15 days out of the month and each one lasts at least four hours (or 72 hours straight, if we're lucky). Each of the symptoms that accompany our migraines are heightened as well. Chronic migraines have changed my life.

I miss class. I cancel plans with friends, family, and loved ones. I sleep in late and stay up all night in pain. Some days I struggle to even get out of bed because the pain seems unbearable. Because of this, those of us who suffer from chronic migraines constantly feel like we are letting people down. It is very easy to feel like a disappointment because you can't follow through with your commitments as your migraines are so debilitating. Those of us who suffer from chronic migraines are more likely to develop depression, anxiety, chronic pain, asthma, chronic fatigue, hypertension, fibromyalgia, and a number of other conditions.

So please, stop trying to comfort us by saying "Oh, that's the worst. I get headaches, too." Stop advising us to stay away from certain foods/sounds/sunlight (we already know all of the things we should avoid) and please, for the love of God, stop telling us to go out and seize the day because "laying in bed won't help." We struggle enough as it is to stay sane while our migraines spike, and the last thing we need is a constant reminder that nothing makes us feel better. All we want is for you to understand.

It is not just a headache. We do not choose to be sick. We feel awful that sometimes we cannot perform in society the way the average person can. For those of you who suffer from migraines (chronic or not), you are not alone. Do not hide your pain. Spread awareness. And for those of you who want to know more, please stay informed.

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17 Empowering Bible Verses For Women

You go, girl.

We all have those days where we let the negative thoughts that we're "not good enough," "not pretty enough" or "not smart enough" invade our minds. It's easy to lose hope in these situations and to feel like it would be easier to just give up. However, the Bible reminds us that these things that we tell ourselves are not true and it gives us the affirmations that we need. Let these verses give you the power and motivation that you're lacking.

1. Proverbs 31:25

"She is clothed with strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future."

2. Psalm 46:5

"God is within her, she will not fall."

3. Luke 1:45

"Blessed is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her."

4. Proverbs 31:17

"She is energetic and strong, a hard worker."

5. Psalm 28:7

"The Lord is my strength and my shield."

6. Proverbs 11:16

"A gracious woman gains respect, but ruthless men gain only wealth."

7. Joshua 1:9

"Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

8. Proverbs 31:30

"Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised."

9. 1 Corinthians 15:10

"By the grace of God, I am what I am."

10. Proverbs 31:26

"When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness."

11. Psalm 139:14

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made."

12. 1 Peter 3:3-4

"Don't be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God."

13. Colossians 2:10

"And in Christ you have been brought to fullness."

14. 2 Timothy 1:7

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline."

15. Jeremiah 29:11

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord. 'They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'"

16. Exodus 14:14

"The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm."

17. Song of Songs 4:7

"You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way."

Next time you're feeling discouraged or weak, come back to these verses and use them to give you the strength and power that you need to conquer your battles.

Cover Image Credit: Julia Waterbury

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Poetry On Odyssey: Some Days

A poem that reminds you that you're not alone.


Some days,

You dread the sound of your alarm. You snooze and snooze and snooze and snooze.

When you finally pull yourself out of bed, pressed time forces you to throw on stained sweats

you find yourself chugging a cup of coffee.

You sit on the couch and contemplate calling out of work

You caught the stomach bug,

Or perhaps the flu,

Maybe you broke your collar bone

Or need a new phone

The endless list of excuses repeats through your head as you sit on the couch, wishing you were still in bed.

It takes every ounce

Every breath

Every fiber of your being to pull yourself off the couch

And into the car

And into the building where you work

Some days,

This is just how it goes

You are not alone.

Some days,

You awake to the beautiful sound of birds

Chirping outside your window

The sun sneaks its way into your room

A smile creeps across your face as you realize you are awake to see a new day

You make a good breakfast

You read a few pages of your favorite book

You get your mind ready for the things it will accomplish today

Before you know it you've worked an entire day

Your job is done

As you pull into your driveway,

you take a few breaths

Feeling grateful for another meaningful day.

Some days,

This is how it goes

You are not alone.

Every day is a gamble,

Every day is a gift

The key to getting more good days

Is believing that everyday is one.

You are not alone, this is just how it goes.

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