The 2020 Online Migraine World Summit Announced

I am excited to share the following information about the 2020 Migraine World Summit. Educating myself about the impact of migraine disease on my life is crucial to my continued improvement and management of this chronic condition. If this interests you and you’d like to learn more, please read the information below and sign-up for this free patient education event.

The largest patient event in the world for migraine and headache disorders returns this March 18-26.

The 5th annual Migraine World Summit brings together 32 experts, including doctors and specialists, to share new treatments, research, and strategies to help you improve your migraine and chronic headache.

The event is held online which means you can watch it from the privacy and comfort of your own home.

WHY WATCH?

  1. World-Leading Experts: At the Migraine World Summit, you’ll learn first-hand from 32 of the world’s top migraine and headache experts from leading institutions including Stanford University School of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, and the Jefferson Headache Center.
  2. Full Access: Many of these world-leading experts have long waiting lists and fees that are beyond what the average insurance policy would cover. Skip the waiting period and get straight into the room with these experts.
  3. Free: The event is free to watch from March 18-26. Each day four new interviews are available for 24 hours, after which they are replaced by the next day’s interviews. After March 26, transcripts and interview copies are available to purchase.

Register here for your FREE access

Join more than 100,000 new and returning attendees and tune to 32 NEW interviews to find the answers you need to help better manage migraine and chronic headache. Questions answered include:

  • How does migraine affect memory and cognitive abilities over time?
  • What is the best diet for migraine?
  • How can chronic migraine be managed?
  • What is the relationship between migraine and autoimmune or inflammatory diseases?
  • What new treatments are available or coming soon?
  • What new non-medicinal alternatives are now available?
  • is CBD a proven migraine treatment?
  • What advice do experienced patient advocates have to share?
  • How did someone win Olympic Gold while battling migraine?
  • Is migraine a genetic disorder?
  • How does trauma (physical or emotional) affect migraine?
  • Which celebrities also have migraine?
  • Is there a proven surgery for migraine?
  • What is mindfulness-based stress reduction?
  • Which supplements can help reduce migraine?

The virtual Migraine World Summit is free from March 18-26, 2020. Get complimentary access when you register today.

Register here for your FREE access

See you at the Migraine World Summit!

2020 Migraine World Summit

Save the date! The 9-day online Migraine World Summit will premiere from March 18 – 26, 2020.  Get your free ticket now!

2020 Migraine World Summit

Migraine Quicksand

So many things are upsetting about migraine disease including the pain, stigma, and disability. I’ve started noticing how often I lose chunks of time when I’m struggling. It feels as though I’m walking down a dirt road, complete with bumps, holes, and smooth spots, but during a migraine attack I find myself stuck in the loam. The same holds true for when my daughter struggles. Everything stops, and migraine sucks us into the quicksand at the side of the road. Unable to move forward we stop toiling until it lets up and we can crawl out to recover.

Once on solid ground we realize how much we’ve missed. Time with family, school and work commitments, and daily chores are all lost in time. Catching up and making up are just out of reach, somewhere in the fog that follows us through this part of our lives. The road is unstable, exhausting, and painful but is our road to walk. We keep trudging forward, enjoying the smooth spots along the way, and hoping for a more peaceful road. We have no other choice.

"Who is that girl?"

trilobite fossils
picture   
   child with sparkling eyes
   caught in time like trilobites
   motionless and glorified

   picture   
     child with sparkling eyes
     beneath the surface, she fights
     desperate and horrified

     picture   
      child with sparkling eyes
      caught in time like trilobites

DNA in the Migraine

There is DNA in the migraine story of my family. My mom called them “sick headaches,” and sometimes I’d find her on the couch when I came home from school. These were the only times I ever saw my mom lay down during the day, and even with a “sick headache” she’d get up and start dinner as soon as dad’s truck pulled in the driveway after work. She never showed him her pain – it was embarrassing and a sign of weakness – but I saw how she suffered.

Around the time I turned 13, the head pain and nausea I’d been experiencing throughout my childhood was finally referred to by my parents as “sick headaches.” The stigma of these “sick headaches” (migraine attacks) was also attached, and I knew they were something I had to hide from others. I hid them for decades until I couldn’t hide them anymore. Even with regular medical care and a slew of migraine medications, I lost my job of over 20 years, because of chronic migraine attacks and comorbid conditions.

I don’t know if it was the fog of my own struggle with chronic illnesses or the learned embarrassment and fear of appearing weak from my childhood “sick headache” experiences – but I failed to recognize the symptoms of migraine in my child. She often complained of stomach aches in elementary school and had been sick in the car several times. When she started middle school, the head pain started and eventually became a daily occurrence. It wasn’t until her pediatrician referred her to a neurologist that she was diagnosed with migraine.

Even with regular medical care and a slew of migraine medications, she is still experiencing daily migraine attacks. She has the typical comorbid conditions (anxiety and depression), which make the migraine attacks worse. Treating her anxiety and depression is, in turn, hampered by the migraine attacks. Also, the trauma she suffered as a younger child likely contributed to the attacks. She’s stuck in this cycle that is not her fault, and I’ve been unable to break her free.

All of this is in her DNA, passed on from her family going further back than I am even aware. It’s not just the genetic predisposition for migraine but the family history of trauma, also likely going back further than I know. It’s like a glitch in the DNA, turned on by chance at birth, and compounded by negative life experiences – a family glitch we no longer hide.

Related post The Passage of Pain.

After the Migraine Attack

The migraine is over, and I’m ready to take on the day — or am I?

The first thing I notice, upon waking, is that the pain is gone, and I feel elated like the pain from yesterday has caused a rebirth in me! I move to get out of bed and sense the soreness that tightens and ripples through my body. I stand up, determined to ignore the aching, but my head reels and swirls causing me to steady myself for a minute. Then, adrenalin cascades through my veins as I contemplate the tasks ahead of me today.

Once dressed, I open the curtains and then immediately close them because the daylight feels too intense and is burning into the pupils of my eyes. A hat, dark sunglasses, and lots of squinting facilitate the morning drive to the kid’s school. Soon, I find myself sitting at my desk, staring at the computer screen and thinking, “What was it that I needed to do today?” I read the to-do list and decide to do it tomorrow and feel comforted by the fact that I actually made a decision..

I decide to write a post about migraine postdrome, also known as migraine hangover, in hopes that it may be helpful to others. For so many years, I was unaware of this final stage of a migraine attack and understanding it has helped me learn to cope better. The worst part of migraine postdrome for me used to be accompanying depression because when I realized that I was unable to perform at a “normal” level of activity after a migraine, I felt weak, lazy, and useless.

Now, I take a step back and remind myself that I can be productive as long as I modify my activity. Simple and mundane tasks are now on the to-do list for today so that when I am feeling better, I’ll have more time to focus on more ones. It is still a struggle for me to quiet the negative self-talk, but I’m very much a work in progress.

Migraine postdrome is real and can last for up to 2 days. With all the focus on treating the migraine attack, we must not lose sight of the final stage of migraine and how to recover in a way that works best for us.

For more information about migraine and migraine postdrome, visit the American Migraine Foundation.

Surreal Torment

Migraine
From danathepania.tumblr.com

No More Waiting

Yellow and orange paint dripping on black background.

Throwback to Waiting

https://undeniablysara.com/2016/06/26/waiting/

Trepidation

A winding road with trees and fog

His Shadow

I woke up this morning, and like many of us, the first thing I did was check my phone.  As I moved through the notifications, I came across something that stopped me in my tracks.  More than three years after a messy breakup, and absolutely no contact, an ex-boyfriend was attempting to message me. I decided to wait until I was a little more awake to look at the notification again to make sure I understood what I was seeing.

It was definitely him, but he wasn’t using his real name or alias from when we were together.  You see, the only reason I know it is him is that my children discovered him on social media over a year ago and told me what name he was going by now.  As far as I know, he does not realize I know his current alias. This realization gives me the creeps, to say the least.

He was the first and only boyfriend since my divorce, and he isn’t much of an improvement.  I repeated many of the same mistakes I made with my former husband and told myself that at least he isn’t as bad.  In many ways, he isn’t, but that didn’t make him right for me either.

He is another narcissist. He exhibits the classic symptoms, including a general lack of empathy for others, a grandiose sense of self-importance, and a sense of entitlement among many others.  I allowed him to be a part of my life for far too long, and I am still paying for that decision.  Once I removed him from my life, there hasn’t been one second that I ever considered taking him back, and up until now, I haven’t heard from him.

So why is he trying to contact me now, and why does it feel so sneaky? Why is he using an alias he doesn’t know I recognize? I can’t be sure why, but I realize the social platform he is using to try to message me is one I am new to and just started posting to last month.  He is blocked from all of the other social platforms I use, but I failed to consider this one, and that’s my fault.  Yes, I feel stupid, but I’m not likely to let this happen again.

Of the three posts on this new site, two of them are about a guy I met a couple of weeks ago.  No, we are not dating or anything like that, but this guy had the most captivating eyes I’ve ever seen, and they still haunt me.  What’s more, is that I didn’t even notice his eyes at first.  I tend to avoid eye contact with men, particularly those I don’t know, as much as possible.  The first thing that struck me about this guy is how kind he was and how gently he spoke to me.  Then I looked up and saw his eyes and about fell over.

Is my ex trying to contact me because I posted about another man?   Does he want something from me?  Is so, what?  Maybe he simply wants to taunt me. After all, he always made fun of my blog and said it was stupid.  But why now?  It could be that I just messed up and forgot to block him on this new platform, but how did he find me?  Has he been looking for me? Why?

If I sound paranoid, it’s because I am.  I see no good reason for the two of us to talk again.  I certainly have nothing to say to him and have no desire to hear anything he has to say to me.  I can only guess there is some unsavory reason for his interest, and I base this on personal experience. Trust me when I say that I will not willingly have any contact with him.

By the way, I blocked him on the new site and then checked all the other sites I’m on and made sure he’s still blocked there.  I know he can come up with another alias and attempt to contact me again, but I’m not going to stop what I’m doing because of him.  My blog is a lifeline, where I connect with others who have similar experiences.  I’m not going to let fear get the best of me here.