Sunday Thoughts on Living with Migraine: After Awareness Month

TulipThoughtsGood afternoon, and happy Sunday to my extended Migraine and Headache Family!

Migraine and Headache Awareness Month (MHAM) was in June, but the need to raise awareness never ends. Lack of awareness in the general public results in:

  • the perpetuation of myths and misconceptions about Migraine, Cluster Headaches, and other Headache disorders
  • the continuation of the social stigma associated with Headache disorders
  • discomfort and reduced quality of life for people who have Headache disorders

Advocacy-All-Year-300So it's important that we strive to raise awareness all the time, not just during Migraine and Headache Awareness Month.

Since you're reading this, it's a given that you spend some time online. Social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter are magnificent ways to share information and raise awareness! They're easy to use, and quite a bit can be accomplished with minimal effort. That makes them great tools for those of us whose time and energy are limited by chronic Headache disorders.

One easy way to keep track of awareness and advocacy opportunities is to keep an eye on my Facebook page. I'm constantly posting links to educational articles about Migraine and other Headache disorders, Migraine and Headache treatments, and events such as Headache on the Hill and Migraine and Headache Awareness Month. Simply sharing these links on your Facebook page is a quick and simple way to help raise awareness.

If you're looking for the most recent information about Migraine and other Headache disorders and their treatments as well as support and advocacy and awareness info, check out our HealthCentral Migraine Management group on Facebook.

A don't-miss source of information and support is the American Migraine Foundation's Move Against Migraine campaign. You can check it out on the American Migraine Foundation web site or through the widget below.

There are many ways to raise awareness year-round. I've barely scratched the surface here. If you have ways to raise awareness that you'd like to share, please leave a comment, and tell us about them. 

Live well,

 because a migraine is NOT "just a headache"
Visit MigraineDisease.com

 

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 drawing on our inner Ninja to live a full life
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Sunday Thoughts on Living with Migraine: I Need Your Advice

SundayThoughtsGood afternoon, and happy Sunday to my extended Migraine and Headache family!

June will soon be upon us, and it's Migraine and Headache Awareness Month. As I've been making plans for Awareness Month, I've been thinking about what we did in previous years, and find myself a bit stumped. So, today, I'm turning to you for some advice.

Every year, several organizations and individual advocates devise Awareness Month activities hoping to engage as many Migraine and Headache patients as possible. The purpose of these activities is to raise awareness of Headache disorders in the general public and reduce the social stigma associated with them. These activities include:

  • printing an awareness sign, taking a picture of yourself with it, and posting it to social media
  • the sale of awareness month shirts and other items
  • daily prompts for writing blogs and posting to social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter.

The problem is the low rate of participation in these activities, and this is where I turn to you for advice. Would you pretty please, with a cherry on top, either post a comment below or use the email button in the right column of this blog to share your thoughts with me? I'd love to hear your thoughts on why Awareness Month participation is low. Do we need different or additional activities? If so, what might they be? Do you have ideas about why participation is low?

I'd be remiss if I didn't take this opportunity to thank everyone who has participated in Awareness Month activities in previous years, so thank you! Together, maybe we can find ways to get more people involved this year and in the future.

Live well,

 because a migraine is NOT "just a headache"
Visit MigraineDisease.com

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 drawing on our inner Ninja to live a full life
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Raising Migraine and Headache Awareness All Year - MHAY

Advocacy-All-Year-300Yesterday was the last day of Migraine and Headache Awareness Month (MHAM). It's been a wonderful month full of learning, sharing, and raising awareness about the Headache disorders that disrupt so many lives.

The only bad thing about MHAM is that once it's over, we tend to let up on the learning, sharing, and awareness until MHAM rolls around next year. Many of us take an 11-month break. The problem with that is that our Migraines and Headaches do NOT take a break. We don't get an 11-month break from the pain and other symptoms. Nor do we get a break from the varying levels of disability these disorders cause OR the social stigma associated with them.

It may sound a bit odd, but I propose that every YEAR be Migraine and Headache Awareness Year (MHAY). We can use Awareness Month as a time of coming together, getting new information — new ammunition, if you will, sharing awareness ideas, and charging our batteries for MHAY.

MHAY might sound like a lot of work, but it really isn't. When done on a regular basis, raising awareness becomes automatic. If you stop and think about it for a minute, you may find that you're already doing it to some extent. Here are some things that can be done easily and quickly to help raise awareness:

  • When you see good Migraine and Headache information online, share it. This can be accomplished with Facebook, Twitter, or by emailing a link.
  • Incorporate more purple in your wardrobe. People will notice, and when they do, you can explain that it's our awareness color.
  • Don't hide your Migraines or Headaches. They're true biological diseases and disorders, and they're nothing to be ashamed of. Stigma has caused some of us to try to hide them, but that only perpetuates the stigma.

Increased public awareness can make live better and easier for all of us, but if we sit back and leave raising awareness to others, progress will be very slow and limited.

I hope you'll join me in celebrating Migraine and Headache Awareness Year — this year and every year!

Live well,

PurpleRibbonTiny Teri1

 

 because a migraine is NOT "just a headache"

Visit MigraineDisease.com

 

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Under the Hat for Migraine and Headache Awareness

Under-the-Hat-AHMAAs a part of Migraine and Headache Awareness Month, the American Headache and Migraine Association (AHMA) is participating in the European Headache Alliance's "What's Under the Hat?" initiative to raise public awareness of Headache Disorders. AHMA has selected today - Saturday, June 25th - to be our "Under the Hat" day.

Do you live with a headache disorder? Share your story!

Share your story, along with a photo of yourself wearing a hat, to Facebook or Twitter OR create a video story and post it to YouTube, including the hashtags ‪#‎underthehat‬ ‪#‎MHAM‬ and Twitter handle @AHMAOrg

You can find helpful tips on participating here: http://www.europeanheadachealliance.org/under-the-hat/

Please include the logo shown here.

Spread the word to your friends and family so they can join in the fun!

 

Live well,

PurpleRibbonTiny Teri1

 

 because a migraine is NOT "just a headache"

Visit MigraineDisease.com

 

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Migraine Can and Does Kill Through Stroke and Suicide

MHAM16SMC350Today is day #5 of the 2016 Migraine and Headache Awareness Month Social Media Challenge. Today's prompt is:

#Migraine can and does kill through stroke and suicide. #MHAM

It's one of the things about Migraine that nobody wants to talk about. Migraine can kill. No, you'll probably never see it listed as a cause of death, but Migraine can and does kill. This is one reason I truly detest seeing someone say, "This Migraine is killing me." Whenever I see someone Tweet that or say it elsewhere online, I think to myself, "If it were, you wouldn't be at your computer or on your phone or tablet."

                         

One way Migraine can kill is by causing a stroke that proves fatal. Thankfully, this isn't very common, but it does happen. This accentuates how vitally important it is for us to contact our doctors or seek emergency care if we experience new Migraine symptoms that are frightening or especially severe. So many of the symptoms we can experience during a Migraine attack can also be stroke symptoms. My Migraine specialist, Dr. David Watson, was asked how we can tell if some of these symptoms are stroke or Migraine. His reply was that there are times when we truly can't tell by ourselves, and if there's ever a question, we should seek immediate care. Better a false alarm than a stroke that doesn't get timely treatment.

 

Sorrowfully, the pain, other debilitating symptoms, isolation, fear, and social stigma that go with Migraine disease has led far too many people to lose all hope and take their own lives. It's heart-wrenching when this happens to ANYONE, and it's especially so when it happens to younger people with so much of their lives ahead of them. I've known this to happen with Migraineurs as young as 14-years-old, and it's beyond tragic.

 

Some people contend that it's not Migraine, but stroke and suicide that takes these lives. Although they may have a technical point, it's time they wake up and get a clue. That's almost like saying that drunk divers don't kill - it's the injuries from the car wrecks that kill. Anyone with an ounce of compassion doesn't argue the point. They accept that both drunk drivers and Migraine kill.

 

As we strive to raise awareness and improve the lives of everyone with Migraine and other Headache disorders, one of the most valuable tools we have is knowledge. To us it properly, we have to admit even the painful facts to ourselves and share them with others. We have to bring facts out into the light rather than leaving them in the shadows to fester and cause harm.

 

Please Join Us In This Year's
Migraine and Headache Awareness Month Activities!

 

Live well,

PurpleRibbonTiny Teri1

 

 because a migraine is NOT "just a headache"

Visit MigraineDisease.com

 

Follow me on    or 
 

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Migraine and Headache Awareness Month Activities, Images, and More

NMAHM2016JoinUsDo you have Migraine, Cluster Headache, or another Headache disorder - or care about someone who does? Almost everyone knows someone with a Headache disorder. Whether one or more of these disorders impacts you directly or through people you know, I hope you'll join us this month - Migraine and Headache Awareness Month (MHAM) - in our efforts to raise awareness and improve lives.

One of the most important aspects of MHAM is getting accurate and compelling facts out in view of the general public to dispel myths and misconceptions and to reduce the social stigma associated with Cluster Headache, Migraine, Post-Traumatic Headache, and all other Headache disorders.

Many people are generating creative ways to observe MHAM, and there are some organized efforts that everyone can join.

In previous years, there's been a MHAM Blogging Challenge. It's been great. This year, to involve more people, the Blogging Challenge morphed into the Migraine and Headache Awareness Month Social Media Challenge. I provided a "prompt," which is a fact to be used for each day of the month, and a logo to go with them.

Here's how it works:

  • MHAM16SMC150To participate in the Social Media Challenge, you need to use the fact in your blog and /or on one or more other social media platform - Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc., using the hashtag #MHAM.
  • You don't have to manage to participate every day to accept the challenge. We know that some of us simply won't feel up to it every day, so participate as much as you can.
  • If you use an image, please use the Social Media Challenge logo (without changing it), which you can see here. I'll add it in a few different sizes at the end of this post so you can get it.

You can find all the prompts and more info in my post Migraine and Headache Awareness Month Social Media Challenge.

People are also having great fun changing their Facebook profile and cover images to Awareness Month images. I've created one of each that I'll add below. You're welcome to use them. If you do, please do not make any changes to them.

The month is off to a strong start with bloggers writing about it and people Tweeting and posting on Facebook about it. I hope you'll join us to reach more people and make it even stronger. There are images below for Facebook and for general use. If you have any problems with getting the images, or if you have any questions, please contact me through the email link at the top of the right column of this page.

Live well,

PurpleRibbonTiny Teri1

 

 because a migraine is NOT "just a headache"

Visit MigraineDisease.com

 

Follow me on    or 
 

Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape© Teri Robert, 2016.

 

All images ©Teri Robert, 2016. You're welcome to use them in conjunction with Migraine and Headache Awareness Month, but they must be used without any changes or additions.

Facebook profile image:
2016FBProfile

Facebook cover image:
MHAM16

 Awareness Month Logo:
   NMAHM2016B325
NMAHM2016B500
Awareness Month Social Media Challenge Logo:
MHAM16SMC250  MHAM16SMC350


NMAHM2016B500


Migraine and Headache Awareness Month Social Media Challenge

MHAM16SMC250June is Migraine and Headache Awareness Month, the month of the year when we put extra effort into raising awareness about Headache disorders including Migraine, Cluster Headaches, New Daily Persistent Headache, Post-Traumatic Headache, and literally hundreds of other Headache disorders.

For the last few years, we've had an Awareness Month Blogging Challenge during which we set topics or "prompts" for each day of Awareness Month, and participating bloggers each wrote their take on that topic. This year, to expand the Blogging Challenge to include more people, it has become the Migraine and Headache Awareness Month Social Media Challenge. For bloggers used to the Migraine and Headache Awareness Month Blogging Challenge, hopefully, you'll use these prompts as you have in previous years. This isn't meant to take away the blogging challenge. It's evolved to involve even more people.

Here's how it works:

  • Below, I'm going to post either a fact about a Headache disorder for each day of June.
  • To participate in the Social Media Challenge, you need to use the fact in your blog and /or on one or more other social media platform - Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc., using the hashtag #MHAM.
  • You don't have to manage to participate every day to accept the challenge. We know that some of us simply won't feel up to it every day, so participate as much as you can.
  • Wherever you can, please use the Social Media Challenge logo (without changing it), which you can see here. I'll add it in a few different sizes at the end of this post so you can get it.

I'm going to post all of the daily prompts now so you'll have them in advance. Here they are, complete with hashtags:

  1. 75% of the world's adults had a #Headache or #Migraine in the last year. #MHAM
  2. The majority of people w/ #Headache and #Migraine are not diagnosed. #MHAM
  3. Accurate diagnosis of #clusterheadaches can take years. #MHAM
  4. @WHO says #Migraine is the 8th most disabling disease in the world. #MHAM
  5. #Migraine can and does kill through stroke and suicide. #MHAM
  6. Patients with #NDPH usually know the exact date their daily #headache started. #MHAM
  7. Social Stigma increases the burden of living with #Migraine. #MHAM
  8. #Migraine is a neurological disease caused by genetics and a hypersensitive brain. #MHAM
  9. #Headache Disorders cost the U.S. economy more than $31 billion each year. #MHAM
  10. #Migraine significantly increases risks for other serious diseases incl heart disease. #MHAM
  11. Pain of #clusterheadaches usually starts over one eye. #MHAM
  12. #Headache disorders are the most prevalent neurological disorders #MHAM
  13. #Migraine affects all ages from pre-verbal children to the elderly. #MHAM
  14. There is no cure for #clusterheadaches or #Migraine. #MHAM
  15. @WHO says severe #Migraine attack as debilitating as quadriplegia. #MHAM
  16. Most people see up to 5 doctors before an accurate #Migraine diagnosis. #MHAM
  17. Suicide attempts are 3 times more likely in people with #Migraine with aura. #MHAM
  18. Depression and suicide are common in patients with #clusterheadaches. #MHAM
  19. #Headache and #Migraine patients educated about their disorder have better outcomes. #MHAM
  20. #Migraine is no longer considered vascular; it's neurological. #MHAM
  21. There are NO treatments originally developed for #clusterheadaches. #MHAM
  22. Neurologists aren't always #Headache and #Migraine specialists and vice versa. #MHAM
  23. @WHO reports #Migraine responsible for at least 1% of total US medical disability. #MHAM
  24. Most med students get only 4 hours education on ALL #Headache disorders. #MHAM
  25. #Headache disorders are responsible for nine percent of all US lost labor productivity. #MHAM
  26. A #Migraine attack isn't a #headache. It can occur with NO headache at all. #MHAM
  27. #Clusterheadaches have earned the nickname suicide headaches. #MHAM
  28. There are no diagnostic tests to confirm #Migraine or most other #Headache disorders. #MHAM
  29. People with #ChonicMigraine have a #Migraine more often than not. #MHAM
  30. #Migraine causes Americans to miss 113 million work days per year. #MHAM

Here are some hashtags you may want to use. These have all been defined at www.tagdef.com.

  • #MHAM Migraine and Headache Awareness Month
  • #clusterheadaches Cluster Headaches
  • #migraine Migraine
  • #headache Headache
  • #chronicmigraine Chronic Migraine
  • #hemiplegicmigraine Hemiplegic Migraine

Thanks go to Tammy Rome for her help in putting together a prompt for each day. Thanks, Tammy!

If you have any questions, please email me by using the email link at the top of the right column of this page.

Live well,

PurpleRibbonTiny Teri1

 

 because a migraine is NOT "just a headache"

Visit MigraineDisease.com

 

Follow me on    or 
 

Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape© Teri Robert, 2016.

 

 

  MHAM16SMC250 MHAM16SMC350NMAHM2016B500

 

 

 

 


Great Migraine and Headache Awareness Month Blog Post

2013NMHAMBlogChallengeJune is Migraine and Headache Awareness Month, and one of the activities for raising awareness is a daily Blog Challenge.

I'm having great fun reading what everyone is writing this month. Every day brings new and wonderful posts from Migraine and Headache bloggers.

The challenge prompt for day 1 was: Phantom of the Opera - What do you hide behind your Migraine/Headache Disorders Mask? What do you let people see? Very fitting since the awareness month theme this year is Unmasking the Mystery of Chronic Headache Disorders.

Ellen Schnakenberg wrote an especially wonderful post for that day, and I want to share it with you. Ellen began:

What I originally had in mind for today’s prompt was very personal, but at the last minute, I decided to write about someone else who has impacted the lives of literally thousands of Migraine and headache patients – My specialist and my friend, Dr. Traci Purath in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  She is not a Migraineur herself, yet today she wears a mask that only allows her patients to see the loveliest parts of who she is as both a person and a Migraine specialist.  But this half-mask also hides the dark parts of her life right now.  That heavy mask covers deep emotion, tears and gut-wrenching concern, which patients rarely realize ever exist for these heroes who spend so much of their lives desperately trying to help us.

As advocates, we are blessed to begin to share relationships with specialists on a very personal level.   We witness doctors in a way most regular patients don’t..."

I hope you'll take a few minutes to read Ellen's entire post, Phantom of the Opera.

Live well,

PurpleRibbonTiny Teri1
 


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© Teri Robert, 2013
Last updated June 10, 2013.