Everyone gets headaches not everyone gets migraines! Migraines are often misunderstood as a bad headache but it is so much more than that. According to the Migraine Research Foundation, migraines are a neurological disorder that usually includes severe recurring pain on one side of the head. However, 1/3 of people who have migraines have reported that both sides of their head were affected. Living with chronic migraines can be frustrating so here are a few things that I wish people would understand about my migraines.
They are unpredictable- If I knew when I was going to get a really bad migraine it would be way easier to plan my life around it. But the fact of the matter is I don’t and some days I wake up and feel like I can conquer the world and other days I’m like why am I still here? Often times I find myself depressed because of the pain but reminding myself that pain is temporary helps with getting through these tough times!
Laughter causes pain- I can’t tell you how many times I have been told I don’t laugh as much as I used to. Yes, that is true I make it my mission not to and here is why: every time I laugh I get light-headed so although it may seem like I am depressed I am not, laughing just causes me pain. You aren’t doing me any favors by cracking jokes but are in fact making me more miserable because every time I laugh I get light-headed and a slight headache.
Noise sensitivity- I have always had sensitivity to loud noises but now because of chronic migraines I am more sensitive to them. Even something as simple as a few people debating a topic while raising their voices will cause me to leave the room because I know that could trigger a migraine. Migraines can last days or even weeks so don’t take it personally if I leave the room if you got too loud!
It’s a whole body experience- Migraines have a wide array of symptoms besides just head pain. Some of these symptoms may include dizziness, nausea, light sensitivity or loss of appetite. Everyone is different for instance when I am about to have a migraine attack I have more fatigue and muscle weakness than I do headaches. Yes, head pain is a factor when I have migraines but muscle pain is more of a problem. Never assume all migraines are the same because they’re not!
No, I am not exaggerating – When I have a migraine attack anything that I had planned for that day is put to a halt until the migraine passes. Sometimes they can be several days and in rare cases up to a week so no I am not exaggerating the pain is really as bad as I say it is!
There are many different types of headaches and migraines but the difference is migraines are more severe than headaches and migraines generally last longer. In some cases, migraines have to be treated by a qualified neurologist to help control the pain whereas a typical headache can be relieved by Tylenol. If you are battling headaches learning the difference between headaches and migraines will help you find the best treatment options. September is pain awareness month so if you have a chronic pain story that you would like to share with me please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org(I will be sharing them for the remainder of this month) If you have questions about what I wish people would understand about my migraines please leave them in the comments below!