The strange weather of this past winter and this spring has been really tough on Migraineurs for whom weather changes are a Migraine trigger. Almost nobody has escaped unscathed. Since weather changes are one of those dastardly unavoidable triggers, I'm at a loss to offer many suggestions to help. One thing I can tell you is that truly effective preventive treatments, while they can't help us avoid every Migraine, can often help even with weather-triggered Migraines.
My own Migraines have gone back and forth between episodic and chronic, mostly because issues with other health conditions made it necessary to reduce the dosage amounts on some of my preventive medications. Thankfully, they're back to episodic thanks to not one, but two treatments that are effective for me. Botox treatments helped me go from 25 Migraine and Headache days a month down to six to eight days a month. Last summer, when the Spring TMS device became available, I started using it both to treat my Migraines when the occur and twice a day for prevention. Amazingly, it's been aborting most of my Migraines without medications. That's more than I had hoped for, but it got even better. With the Spring, I'm down to only one or two Migraines a month! Dr. Watson and I have been extending the period of time between Botox treatments to see what would happen, and it appears that the Spring is doing such a wonderful job of Migraine prevention that we may be able to discontinue the Botox. If you want to know more about the Spring, take a look at Spring TMS for Migraine - Progress and Insurance Update.
There's a lot going on in the Migraine community right now. Are you familiar with the American Headache and Migraine Association (AHMA)? AHMA is a nonprofit organization for patients with Migraine and other Headache disorders as well as their family members and friends. It was started for two main reasons:
- Patients who were looking for an organization where we can all come together - an organization run by patients, not staff or doctors.
- To address a valid question asked by a staff member of the National Institutes of Health. At a meeting of NIH personnel and Migraine and Headache researchers that I was invited to, an NIH staffer was talking about other diseases that get more NIH research funding and saying that a huge reason for that is that those diseases have patient organizations that work hard to raise awareness and also some research funding. The next thing she said to me was, "If your patients don't care, why should we?"
AHMA is still a fairly young organization, but it's growing. Right now, we're in the midst of election of officers, and our annual patient conference is coming up on June 12. Annual dues and conference registration are kept extremely low. Interested? Check out the AHMA web site.
We'll be having a social media challenge that's really easy to participate in via Facebook, Twitter, or a blog if you write one. I'll have more details for you on that soon.
Purple is our awareness color, so get out your purple, and wear it proudly.
If you have ideas for raising awareness, please share them. You can leave a comment on this post to share your ideas with the rest of us. Please remember that every little awareness effort counts. They all add up to something much bigger, and raising awareness reduces stigma.
because a migraine is NOT "just a headache"