Managing migraines begins with honesty
Self confidence

Have you ever felt uncomfortable or like you are a burden to other people when it comes to your migraines?

I’ve had my share of moments where I’ve consciously decided to tread lightly when deciding whether or not to share my migraine story with those who have never experienced them. Whether it’s at a friend’s barbeque, traveling with a special someone, or work… it can be tricky. 

Work presents its own challenges. Being treated for migraines can mean doctor appointments, procedure therapies, and more.  Some bosses are not understanding, others are. It generally seems to depend on what they have experienced in their own lives or with their loved ones.

I would say that most of us can’t afford to lose our job and do want to continue to be invited to get-togethers with friends.  

Here’s a question for you: Say you’re dating and you’ve got a long list of medical appointments coming up. When is it too early in a relationship to share all that information or is it ever too early? I’d love to know your insight on that.

The unknowns of when a migraine could strike or how a person that’s with you at the time may react if you need to go lie down, instead of catching a show, can be stressful. It has taken time, confidence, and truly putting my health and wellness first that allows me to now be upfront about my restrictions, my triggers, and my priorities. 

For me, while I know my family and nearest and dearest friends stand by my side, not everyone else is willing or even expected to put me first. I have learned that I have to put myself first. I hope you do too. Only you know how vital that medical consultation appointment is or the sleep study related to your migraine. 

Alcohol consumption is probably one of the toughest areas for societal management when you have migraines. Being an individual who began having migraines in my 20s and now into my 30s, it’s amazing how many social gatherings seem to revolve around alcohol consumption. I personally haven’t experienced alcohol as being a migraine trigger, but my intake is pretty minimal. My reaction is more the lack of wellness feeling afterward.

So, more often than not, I turn down social gatherings that I know alcohol is the “main event.” Some people understand this; some don’t, or don’t want to. I’ve had people try to pressure me into drinking, saying things like “it’ll be good for you.”

Why would someone else be in the position to tell me what’s good for me? If we are reasonably intelligent people, we know what’s good for us and what’s not. And that choice is up to each individual. I may have water, tonic water, a glass of wine, or a vodka/soda with lime. I like waking up and feeling 100 percent. It’s as simple as that. If I can start the day feeling well, I am closer to winning the battle against migraines.

I love friendship, family, and purity in all those senses – I’d rather spend quality one-on-one time with someone over a meal than being packed into a house for a New Year’s Eve alcohol-fueled party. I also enjoy savoring the moments and memories with friends and family. I don’t want to put myself at a health disadvantage. Waking up early and allowing my body to feel free of restrictions I’ve placed on it makes me happy and makes me feel my best. Mornings are my favorite time. I love getting up and around and putting my best foot forward. 

Coming next:  Finally understanding the 1 to 10 pain scale