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Please do not call your migraine "just headache"



The night before the wedding the symptoms began to sneak: a dull throbbing behind my eyes turned into a piercing pain in the temple and slowly began to move to the other side of my head. I've been worried for months that one of my frequent migraines will appear on a special day – and that fear is slowly turning into reality. at night they returned worse than before. The next morning I woke up with one of the worst migraines I've ever had, feeling my head was crushed on both sides. It was accompanied by dizziness, nausea and vomiting. I was grateful that the migraine stayed away for most of the ceremony and reception, but I had to miss the wedding lunch the next morning and not say good-bye to the guests outside the city.

Not only was I in tears because of the intense pain, but I was worried about what everyone was thinking. What if I come out invaluable or rough? What will happen if everyone thinks I'm dramatic about having missed this because of the awkward pain in my head? The Wexner Medical Center, Ohio University, told me.

Migraines are debilitating; they are not just a little headache. But people often do not understand this and accept that migraine is not a big deal. This could not be further than the truth.

"It's hard to know what a migraine really is, without having one." Medical Center

About 1

2 percent of the American population is experiencing migraine (18 percent of women and 6 percent of men), according to the Migraine Research Foundation . And more than 90% of sufferers can not function normally when they have an attack.

Migraine is the subject of the same prejudices that all sick patients experience. It's hard for people to understand why you're not able to perform your regular daily activities when they see nothing physically wrong with you, "says Meredith Barad, clinical assistant professor of anesthesia and neurology at the Stanford Hospital and Clinic. Migraine is usually longer and heavier than other headaches. It may last between four and 72 hours and may include sensitivity to light and sound; nausea; or vomiting, according to Barad. There may be neck pain, cognitive impairment and sensitivity to the smell.

The first time I had a migraine was in college, and I had no idea what I was experiencing. I was so painful that my mom came to visit me and took me to a doctor. The doctor gave me medications for pain and I slept for two days straight until I disappeared. Although I had a lot of headaches afterwards, I did not start migraine until a few years ago – and they were heavier than the first, and they became commonplace. Webber says that migraines are most common in women during their early years and in men from late childhood to the 1950s. Both genetic and environmental factors can determine when someone starts to receive a migraine and how often it gets them. For me, genetics plays the biggest factor. My grandfather had a migraine and my cousin started experiencing them at the same time as I did.

Migraines are often triggered by lifestyle-related triggers. from stress to alcohol to an inadequate sleep.

"Many patients have different triggers," says Weber in an email. "The most common I hear are changes in weather conditions (barometric pressure change, dehydration, lack of food, lack of sleep, stress, smells (perfumes, automobile money, etc.) processed foods, old cheeses, caffeine or lack of caffeine), sounds and lights. "

After dealing with frequent migraines for several years, I changed my everyday habits and behavior. If I leave early or cancel plans, it's probably because I have a migraine. If I refuse to drink, that's because I do not want to induce disabling pain. I always carry a bottle of water and snacks in my purse. I sleep a lot (usually 9-10 hours per night). I do not wear perfume or I use air fresheners in the house. If I look particularly tired or out of it, it is probably because my brain is mistreated by migraine or by the medicine used to treat it. I do not cry often, but when I do it, it's usually because I have a painful migraine.

My husband has seen me suffer from enough migraines that he can say when I start to receive He will warm up his eye mask for me, turn off the lights, give me a massage on his head and do whatever he can, to help because she knows how paralyzing they can be. These are these little things and the understanding of relatives who helped me overcome them. For people who suffer from migraines or those who want to understand them more, Barad offers to seek resources from the American Migraine Foundation and the National Headache Foundation.

And if you have a loved one who is experiencing a migraine, "ask them what they are experiencing and experiencing with an open mind," Weber said. "It's not just a headache."

"Life with" is a guide to navigation conditions that affect your mind and body. Each month HuffPost Life will deal with many real issues people live with, offering different stories, tips and ways to connect with other people who understand what it is. In April we cover migraines and headaches. Do you have experience you want to share? Email us at wellness@huffpost.com.


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