This feature, "Migraine Pearls or Onions?," highlights both the Migraine Pearls I come across online and the stinky Migraine Onions.
So, first up...today's Migraine Pearl... the National Headache Foundation (NHF). The NHF's mission, as stated on their web site, is "to enhance the healthcare of headache sufferers. It is a source of help to sufferers' families, physicians who treat headache sufferers, allied healthcare professionals and to the public. The NHF accomplishes its mission by providing educational and informational resources, supporting headache research and advocating for the understanding of headache as a legitimate neurobiological disease." (Yes, I know that I've been telling you for 10+ years that Migraines aren't headaches, but please overlook the fact that then NHF often uses the term "headache" to mean headache and / or Migraine. Migraine is classified as a headache disorder, and referring to Migraines as "headaches" is a hard habit to break.)
This year, the NHF is making a huge effort to bring Migraine and headache education to both patients and medical professionals by holding regional conferences themed around "Bridging the Gap Between Patient and Physician." There are four of these regional conferences scheduled for the first half of 2011. You can find the schedule and more information in NHF Schedules Regional Migraine and Headache Conferences. You can learn more about the NHF on their web site, www.headaches.org. A big "Bravo!" to the NHF.
Now, on to today's Migraine Onion. This one isn't online, but it's directly related to the need for better public awareness about Migraine. I've been fuming about this for a few weeks, so I'd better just award this guy a Migraine Onion and get it out of my system.
A few weeks ago, I stopped at the pharmacy to pick up a few things. I was in the pain reliever aisle getting some acetaminophen and noticed a woman who really looked unwell. She was holding a bottle of OTC meds in each hand and looking back and forth between them, seeming pretty confused. She dropped one of the bottles, and I picked it up and handed it back to her. She thanked me and went on to say that she was having a Migraine that was making it hard to read the labels on the bottles.
Before either of us could say anything else, a man standing close to us interrupted, saying, "You hens and your headaches. If you'd quit your bitchin' about 'em and get to work on something, they'd go away." Well! As you can imagine, I was ticked. The poor woman stood there with a bottle of OTC pain relievers in each hand and started crying.
Fortunately, I'm seldom at a loss for words and always have both business cards and educational materials about Migraine in my bag. I whipped out a letter that explains that Migraine is a disease and handed it to him. Then I told him that since his parents had obviously never taught him not to judge other people and not to talk from ignorance, I'd be glad to pick up the slack. He started to say something, but I quite rudely interrupted him and suggested that he think very carefully before saying anything more. He wandered away, shaking his head. A woman joined him a short distance away, and I observed a rather animated conversation between them that included the man gesturing and pointing at me. The woman, whom I guessing might well have been his wife laughed, looked at me, and flashed me a thumbs-up.
So, the jerk at the pharmacy gets today's Migraine Onion, and his wife gets my sympathy.
If you'd like to make a suggestion for a
Migraine Pearl or a Migraine Onion,
please leave me a comment!
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© Teri Robert, 2011
Last updated February 15, 2011