I still remember the first time I had a migraine. I had never experienced anything like it and was sure that I was dying. I was sitting in my living room when I started seeing zig zags in my right eye. Right before that my vision had begun to get blurry but I didn't think anything of it. I completely lost vision in my right eye before my right thumb went numb. Eventually it was my entire hand but the numbness didn't stop there. It traveled up my right arm like swallowing a large piece of food. I was nauseous, and completely freaking out at this point. I picked up the phone and dialed my mom and then 911 following that. The paramedics arrived and all my vitals were fine, but I decided to take the trip to the emergency room anyway. I mean you can't just experience something like that and be comfortable with staying at home outside of medical care. When the doctor told me what I experienced was a migraine with aura I really didn't understand. What??!! You mean, that thing that I thought would take me out of here was only a migraine? A migraine!? I didn't understand at the time but I understand it now.
I learned over the next few years what my onset was and figured out how to stop it right away. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, but a cup of coffee and an Excedrin as soon as I feel my vision start to blur or my fingers getting numb has helped. The times that I didn't catch it fast enough, ensured an entire day in the bed with the lights out, under the covers. After the BlogHer More to Migraine session by Teva Pharmaceuticals, I realized that I'm not alone and that there are so many women, men and children suffering with migraines.
The ladies pictured above were some of the speakers that truly encouraged me with their stories and personal experience with migraines. Pictured from right to left, Jaime Sanders (The Migraine Diva), Shannon Albert (Battling Since 8), Susan Hutchinson (Headache Specialist) and Serene Branson (CBS2/KCAL9 LA reporter), Do you guys remember Serene? She was on live TV when she started experiencing blurred vision and speech impairment which turned out later to be her first migraine.
Or the Migraine Diva, who is completely encouraging, open and real about her life dealing with migraines. I listened to her speak and what I found in her words was a woman of incredible strength, perseverance and honesty. She shares more of her story below.
Each of the women on the panel suffered with migraines and the common theme amongst the women was their gratefulness to family and loved ones who understood. It's one of those sweet reminders of the beauty of life and connection.
Thank goodness my migraine experiences have been fewer in recent years, but they are still the biggest precaution I prepare for daily. If you suffer from migraines, don't let anyone downplay what you are experiencing. It's not just a headache, it can be completely debilitating.
Get rest, eat healthy, take care of yourself and most importantly know your body.