Enter the Frames of Mind Migraine Art Contest

Frames-of-MindThe American Migraine Foundation and Allergan are collaborating on an exciting new campaign that gives people with Migraine an outlet for their creativity that will be used to raise awareness about Migraine disease.

Frames of Mind is an interactive campaign to promote awareness of the impact that Migraine can have on patients' everyday lives. People living with this often debilitating condition are encouraged to submit original artwork depicting how the symptoms of migraine personally affect them.

Dr. David Dodick, Chairman of the American Migraine Foundation said,

"We are excited to collaborate with Allergan on this eye-opening campaign that we hope will unify the migraine community. While the symptoms of Migraine can occur in a myriad of unique ways, we hope to underscore the common needs of this community and empower patients to better manage their condition, advocate for access to care and appropriate treatment options, and inspire funding for research into the causes and better treatments for Migraine."

People living with Migraine are encouraged to create art submissions that visually depict how the various symptoms of Migraine affect them — both physically and emotionally. Digital, high resolution versions of the original works of art should then be submitted via email to FramesOfMind@toniclc.com, noting the artist's name, location, and contact information.

Select submissions chosen by notable migraine experts will be displayed at the 59th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Headache Society from June 8 – June 11, 2017 at the Westin Boston Waterfront in Boston and other Migraine-related events throughout the remainder of 2017. Additionally, art submissions will be displayed on the My Chronic Migraine Facebook Page.

David Nicholson, Chief R&D Officer at Allergan, commented:

"Allergan is dedicated to supporting the millions of Americans living with the debilitating effects of Migraine and educating the public about this condition in order to encourage proper diagnosis and treatment. In addition to our focus on advancing research and treatment options, we are committed to offering education and support that will make a true difference in the lives of this patient community."

The timing of this campaign is perfect since the works of art will begin being displayed during Migraine and Headache Awareness Month.

Where does your artistic talent lie? Painting, sketching, sculpting, photography? Whatever talent you have, now's the time to use it to help promote Migraine awareness. Get your submissions in now to FramesOfMind@toniclc.com.

FramesofMind_callforEntries

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 because a migraine is NOT "just a headache"
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Sunday Thoughts on Living with Migraine - Driving

HappySundayBlossomsGood morning, and happy Sunday to my extended Migraine and Headache family!

This week, I want to share an email I received and my thoughts about it. Here's part of the email:

"I read something you wrote on Facebook saying that nobody should drive with a migraine. Just who the hell died and left you in charge? I don't get an aura with my migraines so I'm just fine to drive thank you very much. I have a migraine 20 or more days a month. I have to drive to pick up my kids, get groceries, go to the pharmacy. If your migraines were as often and bad as mine, you'd sing a different tune..."

 

EmojiSinging-200So, for those of you who don't know, I've had periods of chronic Migraine during which I've had up to 30 days of Migraine in a month. I couldn't work, take care of our home, or do anything for my family. This isn't a contest, but I feel I should address that part of the email. And, I don't need to change my tune. It's just fine as it is.

The question of whether it's safe for us to drive when we have a Migraine is quite simple. No, it is not safe. It doesn't matter if we have visual aura symptoms. It doesn't matter if we're extremely sensitive to light. The quite simple fact is that a Migraine attack slows our reaction times, making it unsafe for us to drive. Period.

If we drive when we have a Migraine, endanger ourselves AND others. Some people may say that we have the right to take risks. That's debatable. Even if we say we have the right to take risks for ourselves, we do NOT have the right to risk the safety and very lives of others.

Maybe this needs to be put in very practical terms. A fellow Migraine patient shared her story about driving with a Migraine with me. She doesn't mind my sharing the story, but she does wish to remain anonymous. One day, she decided she just had to drive to the grocery store instead of waiting for her husband to get home. On the way back, she wasn't able to stop the car in time and hit another car. The car carried a man, a woman, and their daughter. The woman with the Migraine walked away from the crash. The people in the other car sustained injuries. Fortunately, they weren't very severe, and they were all discharged from the hospital in just a few days. The police cited the woman for the wreck. She paid a large fine and spent a few months in jail. Her problems were just starting. The family from the other car filed a civil suit for damages, and the jury awarded them a huge settlement. She and her husband lost everything, including their home. Her husband filed for divorce.

She said something to me that is so horrifically sad. She said, "I simply didn't believe what you said about not driving with a Migraine. I believed I was fine. It took losing everything — our home, our boat, our fancy cars, and my marriage to the love of my life — to make me listen. And now it's too late. My life might as well be over. The only thing I can be thankful for is that nobody died."

So, there you have it. Migraine specialists and researchers have told me that our response times are slowed. If that's not enough to convince you, please consider what happened to the woman who shared her experience. We absolutely should not drive when we have a Migraine.

Live well,

PurpleRibbonTiny Teri1

 

 because a migraine is NOT "just a headache"
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Sunday Thoughts on Living with Migraine - Context

HappySundayCloudGood morning, and happy Sunday to my extended Migraine and Headache family!

Migraine is one of the hottest topics online, especially in social media. There are myriad Facebook pages and groups about Migraine, and #Migraine is the #1 disease hashtag on Twitter.

Unfortunately, many people who use Facebook and Twitter to find Migraine information and support are missing out. They're missing out because they read only the headline, and don't click through to the information provided.

There's only so much that can be conveyed in a title, headline, or a Tweet, so there's often not much context. Therein lies the problem. If we read only the title, and don't click the link to read the actual content, we may:

  • miss the point entirely,
  • totally misinterpret what the piece is about,
  • ask questions that were answered in the piece.

It's not unusual for me to see a link on Facebook or Twitter and think I know what the piece is about, only to find I'm totally off-target when I click the link. Especially on my Facebook page, I notice other people falling into the same little trap. Quite often, when I post a link to an article I've written, some of the comments show that people are commenting only from reading the title. It's obvious for any number of reasons:

  • The person may be upset with me because they totally misunderstood what I was saying because they only read the title.
  • The comments may be roughly on a relevant issue, but not really related at all to the article.
  • The comments contain questions that were answered in the article.

 

WinkyLashes-500I don't know how many times I've leaned back in my chair and said, "Well, duh!" because I clicked a Facebook or Twitter link, and once I got to the piece of content felt silly because the topic was so obvious AFTER I clicked the link.

Does this happen to you too? Some days, I choose to blame it on "Migraine brain." Other days, I blame in on age. Still other days, I just chalk it up to a blond moment. I really think part of my problem is that, like many other people today, I've become accustomed to instant gratification - having information instantly available. Perhaps it's that and a bit of laziness that have brought me to make incorrect assumptions about content because I read only the title.

In any case, I've put a sticky note on my monitor. On that sticky note, I wrote, "Click the link!"

Live well,

PurpleRibbonTiny Teri1

 

 because a migraine is NOT "just a headache"
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Sunday Thoughts on Living with Migraine - Desperate and Vulnerable

HappySundayCloudHappy Sunday to my extended Migraine and Headache family!

Anyone who has lived with Migraine disease very long knows what I mean when I say that we can become desperate for relief and effective treatments. I've been there myself, and may well find myself back in that situation, so I know how it feels.

Many issues can crop up as a result of feeling so desperate. Perhaps one of the most potentially threatening is that feeling desperate can render us vulnerable. We can become oh so vulnerable to every quick fix, instant remedy, and cure pitch that comes at us.

We're living with Migraine — a genetic neurological disease for which, at this time, there is no cure. It's not that we haven't heard about the cure. There simply isn't one yet. Trust in this — If and when a cure is found, we'll all hear about it very quickly. Conspiracy theorists would have us believe that there is a cure, but it's being hidden by the pharmaceutical companies because they don't want their profits to drop. If someone had indeed found a cure, any journalist would jump at reporting about it and any conspiracies to hide it because it would be Pulitzer Prize material.

The same applies to all the claims or quick fixes and instant remedies. If they were legitimate, we'd have heard about them because major media would be reporting about them.

Then there are all the eBooks that so many spammers are trying to sell us. These spammers promise that their eBook holds THE secret to ridding ourselves of Migraine permanently, or managing our Migraines with breathing exercises, and so on. Once again, if that were true, the book would be a best-seller, and it would be in the news — big time!

What really matters here is not letting ourselves fall victim to these false claims. When someone approaches me with quick fix or cure claim, I have responses that I fall back on:

  • Show me the science!
  • Show me the peer-reviewed journal articles with the results of your double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials!

Spammers and scammers have no proof. "Testimonials" aren't to be trusted because they can be falsified all too easily.

The Internet is truly wonderful. It gives us access to more information than ever before. Unfortunately, it can be quite difficult to spot what's correct, and what isn't. We must not let spammers and scammers take advantage of how vulnerable we are when we're desperate for relief. Sadly, people must be falling for their claims, or they wouldn't continue to spam and scam. Remember the old axiom: If it sounds to good to be true, it probably is. When in doubt, we can always check with our doctors. In fact, we SHOULD check with our doctors before trying anything. Please, take care of yourselves, and give spammers and scammers the boot!

No-Cure-Cartoon-Bite-Me

Live well,

PurpleRibbonTiny Teri1

 

 because a migraine is NOT "just a headache"
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Sunday Thoughts on Living with Migraine - Human Barometers

Happy-Sunday-CapGood morning, and happy Sunday to my extended Migraine and Headache family!

How many of you think the weather is out to get us? The temperature got up to 79° here in West Virginia on Friday. In the wee hours of Saturday morning, we were hit with two to three hours of thunderstorms. Then, the temperature got up to only 40° yesterday. What kind of weather is that? It's the kind of weather that's the perfect recipe for a Migraine for those of us for whom changes in barometric pressure are a trigger!

I've been crossing my fingers and feeling extremely grateful that the Spring TMS device, used preventively, spared me from a weather triggered Migraine over the last couple of weeks. At the same time, I've felt so awful for all of you who have been hit hard with Migraine attacks triggered by this quickly changing weather. I know how difficult those Migraines can be, and I know I'm bound to get hit hard sooner or later.

Looking back at how changeable the weather has been and ahead at the weather forecasts, it doesn't appear that we're going to get a break from the weather changes any time soon, so I've been making sure I have what I need on hand so I'm not caught unprepared. So, I thought some of you might find it helpful if I share my preparations so we can compare notes.

Here's what I've done to prepare:

  • made sure my Migraine attack pack is stoked with:
    • my favorite little pillow
    • my favorite cuddly blanket
    • tissues
    • peppermint Migraine smelling salts
    • peppermint Migraine roll-on
    • my iPod and its charging cable
    • my bluetooth speaker to use with the iPod (I love the music, but the allodynia that accompanies my Migraines makes earbuds or headphones very uncomfortable.)
    • an extra pair of warm socks because Migraines make my feet colder
  • set several natural peppermint tea K-cups beside our Keurig machine
  • set several Irish Breakfast Tea K-cups beside the Keurig for quick doses of caffeine
  • made sure there's Diet Dr. Pepper in the fridge
  • made sure there are crackers, canned soup, and comfort foods in the Migraine section of our kitchen pantry
  • charged my Spring device
  • put my Migraine abortive and rescue meds on the kitchen table where my husband and I can both grab them quickly
  • warned my husband that the weather from hell is continuing

Of course, I'm still hoping not to get smacked down with a Migraine from the barometric pressure changes, but it doesn't hurt to be prepared. Do you have suggestions to share? If so, please post a comment below!

Live well,

PurpleRibbonTiny Teri1

 

 because a migraine is NOT "just a headache"

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Migraine, Spammers, and Twitter - Time to Act

Smiley-thumbs-downI follow the Twitter hashtag for Migraine — #Migraine — so I can keep up with news about Migraine disease, read interesting articles and blog posts, and offer my support to people that Tweet when they have a Migraine. Unfortunately, those of us who follow that hashtag are seeing more and more spam Tweets. The most annoying are those that Tweet links for a Migraine "cure." 

Some of these spammers only Tweet to try to sell us on their "cure." Others think they're being clever. They'll Tweet a few times to share facts about Migraine, then Tweet their "cure" Tweet.

Let's be very clear here. Migraine is a genetic neurological disease for which, at this time, there is NO CURE. Spammers and charlatans are Tweeting to get us to pay for eBooks, supplements, instructions for breathing exercises, and more. And here's a truly sad point — Some people are so very desperate for relief that they'll pay to try these so-called "cures." If these spammers weren't profiting from their Tweets, they'd stop.

Even if these spammers were willing to spend the money to advertise, laws about truth in advertising would block their way. But, they can continue with their misleading and predatory Tweets because Twitter doesn't stop them. There's one particular Migraine cure spammer on Twitter whose Tweets I have reported hundreds of times, to no avail.

I'm infuriated that these spammers continue to prey on my extended Migraine and Headache family, so I've decided to take action. I've set up a petition on Change.org addressed to Jack Dorsey (@jack), the CEO of Twitter, and Anthony Noto (@anthonynoto), the COO of Twitter.

Today, I'm asking everyone who reads this two do two things, each of which takes just a few seconds of your time:

  1. Please sign the petition. There's a box below to do that.
  2. Please share the link to this post or the link to the petition with everyone you can think of.
       
 

I hope you'll join me. It's going to take many, many signatures on the petition to get the attention of Twitter executives, and I can't get them by myself. Please, please, join me?

Live well,

PurpleRibbonTiny Teri1

 

 because a migraine is NOT "just a headache"

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Sunday Thoughts on Living with Migraine - Your Valentine

Happy-Sunday-ChalkGood morning, and happy Sunday to my extended Migraine and Headache family!

Tuesday is Valentine's Day, and many of us have been making plans to show our appreciation for our Valentines. I want to take a few minutes to suggest that we each need to remember to also be our own Valentine. Yes, I realize that sounds a bit strange, but allow me to explain.

Valentine's Day is a holiday I always want to be very special for my husband. When we married, I promised myself that I'd never take him for granted or fail to let him know how much I love and appreciate him. Over the 31 years we've been married, he's been very supportive of my struggles with migraine disease and other health issues. He's never once complained or even seemed disappointed when I've had to cancel plans. He truly sees it as a gift when I'm feeling well, smiling, and feeling up to teasing him. He's told me that he'd rather have me feeling well than to receive a material gift or a special holiday celebration.

AirKiss-468899678So, one of the best Valentine's Day gifts I can give my husband is doing all I can to take care of myself and improve the odds that I'll be feeling well. In essence, I need to treat myself as my own Valentine. See what I mean?

Here are some things we can employ to work toward a happy Valentine's Day:

  • Plan ahead.
  • If food triggers are a problem, consider a celebratory dinner at home, where you can control what's served.
  • Remember if your Valentine is a good Valentine, he or she is more interested in you than in gifts, going out, etc.

We should do our best to take care of ourselves all the time. I've found that once self-care becomes a habit, it really can make a significant difference in our health. Please take a look at Recognizing and Meeting Migraine Self-Care Priorities.

Here's hoping that everyone has as great a
Valentine's Day as possible!

Live well,

PurpleRibbonTiny Teri1

 

 because a migraine is NOT "just a headache"

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Sunday Thoughts on Living with Migraine - Thank You

Happy-Sunday-ChalkGood afternoon, and happy Sunday to my extended Migraine and Headache family!

What I want to say today is pretty short and sweet... well, perhaps a bit bittersweet.

It's been a tough couple of weeks for me due to losing our sweet cat Ali. Ali was my dear, dear Migraine buddy. She had been slowing down, which at first, I didn't worry about too much because she was an elderly kitty. We don't know how old she was, only that she was an adult when we adopted her, and she was with us for 17 years. When it appeared that she might be in pain, we took her to the veterinarian, where we learned that she had arthritis and breast cancer, and was, indeed, in pain.

Ali131101-200Today, I want to thank everyone who has sent condolences and thank everyone for their love and kindness during this horribly difficult period. Your support means more to me than I know how to express. Undoubtedly, you've helped a great deal.

Do you have a special Migraine Buddy? When I told my editor at HealthCentral about Ali, she suggested that I write a about her for the HealthCentral Migraine site. Then, when I turned the piece in to be edited, she also suggested that I invite others to share the story of their Migraine Buddies. If you have a special Migraine Buddy (person or pet), and you'd like to share about them, please take a look at My Migraine Buddy Ali — Who's Yours? There's a link at the end of the piece to submit your story to be published on HealthCentral.

Again, thank you so much for your kindness and support!

Live well,

PurpleRibbonTiny Teri1

 

 because a migraine is NOT "just a headache"

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