Stopping by the blog today is Sarah from My Migraine Life. Sarah is a well-known face in the migraine community and uses her blog as not only a source of therapy, but as a way to help others. Her advocacy work helps people living with migraine and caretakers to find the best resources, treatments and products out in the market while sharing her story and building community. She’s doing her part in raising awareness and sharing her story on what it’s like living with chronic migraine.
Q: How long have you been suffering from migraine? Walk us through your journey.
A: My first memory was at age 5 experiencing a migraine attack. I grew up with migraine but was born into it because my mom and grandmas both lived with migraine. I was episodic until adulthood then turned chronic with daily headaches and have been there since. It’s been a lifelong journey that I continue to fight and advocate for.
Q: When you experience an attack, what are your worst symptoms?
A: Although migraine is more than a headache, the head pain is by far the worst symptom I experience. My head pain ranges from dull to stabbing, all over to one sided, burning to pounding and I never get used to the pain! The head pain is often so crashing I can’t speak, can’t walk and vomit. Along with the intense and persistent headache, I experience waves of nausea and sensitivity to light, sound, touch and smell along with dizziness, brain fog and fatigue.
Q: What is the hardest part of living with chronic migraine/an invisible illness?
A: The hardest part is that there are no answers. I’ve lived with migraine my whole life and although many medications and therapies have been proven to help, there is no cure. Migraine has such a bad stigma about it and finding the respect and help I have needed has been a barrier. There is a lack of funding, education, research and urgency to help the millions of us that are living with migraine.
Q: What made you decide to transition from migraine patient to a focus on awareness?
A: I was raised to give back and count my blessings. Because of this, I have always tried to be charitable. But while I was going for walks and supporting other charities, I started to wonder, why isn’t there someone fundraising and raising awareness for migraine?
I was a stay at home mom and isolated with migraine. I started my blog to tell my story because I knew I wasn’t alone but didn’t know how to reach others that were living like I was. So I started telling my stories through my blog, connecting on social media and found Miles for Migraine and other organizations that push for research, funding, community and advocacy. I feel proud that I have seen so much grow since I started. There is still so much work to be done to reduce stigma but I’m happy that My Migraine Life is making a difference.
Q: What’s in your migraine attack toolkit?
A: I review a lot of products on my blog because I use a lot of products! With the amount of symptoms I’m battling, I have a lot of natural ways to relieve them.
Q: When do you wear your Migraine Shields? Do you use them to help during an attack or prevent?
A: I wear them mostly to prevent triggering a migraine attack while I’m using my computer. This year, staying at home and working more on my advocacy projects has led me to more screen time. Migraine Shields have been helpful in working longer and less pained.
Q: What is your advice to someone who is just experiencing chronic migraine?
A: Advocacy should be part of your treatment plan. Learn about migraine, what triggers you, how you can treat it and lifestyle changes that can help. You know your body the best and your relationship with doctors and therapists should be a team approach. There are many ways to treat and prevent migraine and understanding that it’s a journey while finding what works for you will be different for everyone.
Say hello to Sarah by following her on Instagram and use her code: MYMIGRAINELIFE for an extra 20% off your next pair of Migraine Shields.