Do you sometimes find yourself frustrated that there aren't better treatments for Migraine and other headache disorders? Frustrated at the lack of understanding of these conditions by the general public? Hurt by the stigma still associated with Migraine disease?
As you may know, the Alliance for Headache Disorders Advocacy (AHDA) has been working for several years now toward increased NIH funding for Migraine and headache research. Some progress had been made, but it's been slow.
There are NO medications available that were originally developed for Migraine and headache prevention. Not a single one. The Migraine abortive medications available, the triptans and ergotamines, all carry warnings that they shouldn't be used by people with a history of or risk factors for stroke, heart attack, or other cardio- and cerebrovascular issues. A huge percentage of the public still see Migraines as simply "bad headaches." The stigma surrounding Migraine and other headache disorders persists, adding to the burden of living with them.
So, what do we do next? Historically, Congressional meetings devoted to diseases have been very productive in bringing about better public understanding, reducing stigma, and leading to better treatments. Parkinson's disease is a good example of the value and power of these congressional hearings. Since the Congressional hearing during which Michael J. Fox testified about the impact of Parkinson's, great progress has been made.
The AHDA is currently working toward Congressional hearings dedicated to Migraine and other headache disorders. But, we need your help. These hearings don't just happen. Members of Congress need to know that their constituents want them to happen. A petition to Congress urging hearings on the impact of Migraine and other headache disorders has been set up by the AHDA. "Signing" it is so easy that it can be accomplished, literally, in less than two minutes. Simply follow the link below and enter your first name, last name, email address, and zip code. There's a box for additional comments, if you want to add any. Once you click the "Sign the Petition" button, a page comes up that helps you share the petition via email, Facebook, and Twitter. So...
Please... SIGN THE PETITION.
Now, I'm going to take a bit of a chance here. As you read on, you'll know if what I'm going to say applies to you or not. If I offend anyone, I'm sorry, but I feel very strongly that this needs to be said...
Migraineurs -- you need to get off your butts, sign this petition, and encourage other people to sign it. For nearly 12 years now, I've been working to help people with Migraine and other headache disorders with information, support, and advocacy. Migraines have, at times, left me debilitated to the point of feeling I had no life at all, so I understand what y'all go through. I feel very privileged to work in this field and be able to help some people. I must share with you, however, that there have been times over the last few years when I've wanted to shake people. Each time the AHDA has asked people to send an email to members of Congress about the dire need for increased NIH research funding, I've emailed about 25,000 people with the link to "take action." But, do you know what the outcome has been? Fewer than two percent of the Migrianeurs I contact are willing to take the few minutes to send an email. It's always set up so that it's easy and takes just a few minutes to send, but fewer than two percent? What's the problem, folks?
Of course, I've continued to help people whenever I can, regardless of whether they've responded to the AHDA action alerts, but I have to admit that I sometimes want to ask, "How can you ask other people to help you when you won't take a few minutes to help yourself and all Migraineurs everywhere?" I realize you may not feel like surfing the Internet. You need to find the information you want quickly and not spend a great deal of time online because you don't feel well. Still, a few minutes to appeal to Congress for help is something that everyone reading this is capable of doing.
So... I'm going to ask again...
Give me just two minutes!
Please... SIGN THE PETITION?
Get the latest Migraine and headache news, informational articles, tips for living well, and more in my free weekly newsletter. To subscribe, CLICK HERE.
© Teri Robert, 2011
Last updated December 5, 2011.