Friday, June 08, 2012

Migraine Awareness Month #7: "List Topper"

I missed yesterday's challenge post, so once again I am a day late, but perhaps not a dollar short:

There are plenty of myths around migraine disease, as with so many other diseases, and that makes it hard to choose a favorite:
"It's just a headache."
"It's just stress."
(Interesting how many of these begin with those same two wretched words. . . .)
"It's all psychosomatic."

I think, though, that the myth I have the hardest time with is, is the idea that there is a cure out there.

Which always comes with the accusation that I have not been doing enough to find it.

"The answer is out there," one well-meaning friend frequently repeats. Or, "Keep seeking the solution." I understand that these statements are supposed to remind me to keep looking for ways to make this better, and to keep up hope, so I try to take them in that spirit, rather than getting pissed off that they seem to be so mis-framed.

Still: I know I have tried a number of medications, and some do help a bit. But this years-long science experiment--O, the side effects!--has not led me to my silver bullet. What's more, I've heard and read stories from plenty of other migraineurs, all of which end, "so we'll see if this works and if not, keep trying."

The other side of this are the well-wishers who say that they hope this will go away, or that I'll get well soon. Again, I try to take these wishes in good spirits, even though they might as well be wishing me blond hair, or narrower hips, or blue eyes.

I wonder sometimes whether just taking these good wishes is the right approach. What if, instead of smiling sweetly, I gave them a little lecture about how "chronic" means it does not go away, how often the headache isn't even the worst part, and how genetic diseases just . . . are?

How tiresome would that make me, exactly?

I've considered printing up a little card, and each time someone says something wrong-headed about migraine--whether well intended or not--handing one to them.

National Migraine Awareness Month is initiated by the National Headache Foundation. The Blogger's Challenge is initiated by

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