If you have migraines, there's always a specific list of things you don't want to hear. There have been many times that I've been able to brush the regularly heard comments aside. People who I've just met ask me these more often than not, and they're the ones to try to offer that new solution they just read about on Facebook. It's easy to not let them get to you if you know how to handle it. Sometimes I can't help but laugh at it; they just don't know what they're talking about! Here's a few of the statements that I believe you shouldn't ask or say to a migraineur. In the end, we just have to laugh about it. It's not a laughing matter at all, but the way I see it, we might as well to get by. Gotta be positive, right?
"It isn't chronic if it isn't every day."
Chronic migraines means having 15 or more a month. But there's so much more to migraine than just the pain. There's the pre-drome, post-drome, and then the initial pain. Every person is different in how they experience a migraine. One could be fatigued every day for months on end. When becoming chronic, the migraine might not be every day, but more than three times a week can really take out a lot in someone.
"How do you function? How do you live a normal life?"
Good question. It's a hard thing to go through, but I do it. I can't give up. It doesn't describe my life, though. I haven't become a "migraine". It interrupts in my day-to-day life, but I don't let it rule over me. If I have to lay down for the rest of the day because it's too much, then I'll do it. That question is always something I chuckle at. I'm doing the best I can, as I imagine anyone with chronic migraines are doing so, too. Once we find the treatment that can work for us, we'll have a different "normal" life.
"Is it really that bad?"
Yes, it actually is this bad. I know you probably think I'm faking it so I can use it as an excuse to not do things, but really I'm not. I don't know how else to describe it other than it really hurts. I wouldn't wish this on anyone.
"Can't you just take some Advil?"
Back when the migraines weren't so bad to the point of taking Sumatriptan, yes, I could take Advil or even Excederin Migraine. Sadly we're past that stage, and all I can take isTreximet. OTC medications like Advil don't even tough the pain anymore. Pepto Bismal works well on nausea, thankfully. Migraines usually don't respond to OTC's for most people. Those stop working and they have to see a neurologist in order to get the right medication. Abortive treatments get trickier as you go through the process of finding the correct ones that work for you. I wish I could just take Advil; it'd probably be a lot better on my stomach lining than all of the other medications that I've been taking.
"It's just a headache, come on."
It's just a broken leg, come on. I could go on, but I'll just leave it there.
"I've had one before...after a night of drinking."
Well, don't drink then. That was probably a really bad headache, yes, but I don't really think they know what they're talking about. If I choose to drink, I'm always risking the freedom of my next day; I'm usually stuck in the bathroom, laying on the cool ground and hugging the cold toilet, who becomes my best friend for the next eight hours. When people tell me they've had a migraine due to drinking, I just like to shrug it off and say, "Ok. We've all been there".
"It can't be a migraine if..."
There are multiple if's when it comes to this statement. Some like to think they know what they're talking about when they say such things. Since they've had that one migraine, they did their research and suddenly became doctors about the subject. They have that ah-ha moment and can come to me and tell me that what I've been dealing with for the past 14 years isn't what a true migraine is. Oh, I should of known and listened to you. How silly of me.
"How are you even out of bed?"
Sometimes the pain isn't that bad. The pain scale that you see at hospitals is how I like to describe my pain, so on a good day it's around a level of 5. That's tolerable, but not something I still want to deal with, but it allows me to be able to go to school and get my work done. With chronic migraines, the good days have a pain level of 6. The bad days are usually a pain level of 8 and that's when all the lights are off and I'm incapacitated. We all have good and bad days; some of us have to push through the mediocre days even when we don't want to.