Continuing forward with unmasking more migraine information:

Migraine Awareness Prompt #16 – Riverdance: Have you found a way to work exercise or movement into your life with Migraine/Headache Disorder? Well, yes and no.  How’s that for a not so straight answer?!  There are several such yes/no unanswerables in a migraineurs life.

Exercise is one of those funny things.  It’s as much a double edge sword as caffeine is.  Exercise can trigger a migraine for many people.  And then there are a few who can actually do a light exercise routine to  stop a migraine before it gets too far out of hand.  Caffeine is the same way.  Too much can be a bad thing and trigger a migraine, while a little bit can actually stop an attack.  So one has to find a happy medium and then stick to it for both exercising and caffeine when you live with migraine.

I’ve got the caffeine down to a science.  I know how much I need to take in each day and how.  But the exercise thing is still a confusing thing for me.  Typically exercising won’t trigger a migraine for me unless I’m doing too much on a hot day.  But unlike my caffeine, I’ve not found the right amount of exercise to keep me level either.  So I continue to (half-heartedly) figure this one out.

Will the Tape Self Destruct in 5 Seconds?

Migraine Awareness Prompt #17 – Mission Impossible: Oh I remember this show.  Do you?  The guy ALWAYS accepted the mission put before him and then the tape would self destruct just after he was informed of what the mission was!

This prompt made me think about the things that were important to me in my life that I felt were especially challenging to accomplish when also dealing with a migraine.  When my children were younger I had a few times when I wondered if I would complete the mission at hand.  Which at that time was to support my girls at their schools activities.

Two times in particular come to mind.  Once when I was in the midst of a migraine, I needed to show up and cheer for the team at a basketball game.  Between the squeaky tennis shoes on the gymnasium floor, the coach blowing on his whistle, and the loud crowd of parents – I thought my head was going to explode and I’d never get to tell my daughter how proud I was of the points she scored for her team.

Another time was when I had to secretly use ear plugs at a concert of youngsters pulling their bows across the string instruments they were trying to master.  That was the year my youngest chose the violin as her instrument of choice.  Later she opted that wasn’t going to be “her thing.” I was forever grateful when she found new interests!  And luckily she never found out about the ear plugs that allowed me to get through her concert without shedding tears from the pain.

Even as I felt like the fizzle of explosive powder (seen in the Mission Impossible opening) was getting dangerously close to exploding my head – I was able to get through both events (and a few others) without the kids ever knowing I was suffering so severly.  My mission was to be there and never let them know I was in pain.  Having my children feel guilt over my headaches was not an option.  Even if I risked a more difficult migraine to manage when I got home – it was always worth the risk to press on through the pain.  I think it was because my migraine attacks were episodic at that time that I somehow always found the strength to get through it.  I didn’t miss the things that to them represented ‘big events’ in their lives.

I met the mission….. and then sometimes I felt like I quietly self destructed in the darkness of my bedroom.

Unfortunately my disease has progressed to chronic, and I don’t always find that strength to push through those seemingly ‘big events’ any more.  The events I struggle with these days are more like trying to get through a full day of work or maybe even just an extended briefing under florescent lighting.  Sometimes loud banquets or military events are the challenges.  I don’t feel the need to fake-it-till-I-make-it these days – so I don’t.  The difference?  I’ve gotten wiser about managing my healthcare needs and today I realize the mission can be met better through others who aren’t operating dysfunctionally because of pain.  I’ve learned to bow out if need be.

It isn’t because things are such that the daily missions are impossible.  In truth, they are actually possible – only because of the modifications made, the priority changes, and the willingness of others to adapt when I can’t be there to accomplish something.  Of course people at work are not always understanding or flexible about my absence.  And I know that on those occasions when I have to put me first and their mission further down the line – I risk my job and sometimes my reputation as a quality employee.  It’s a risk I’m willing to take….. knowing that my job, my career may self-destruct anyway.

Blasting Migraines Out of My Head!

Migraine Awareness Prompt #18 – Die Hard: “Now I have a machine gun. Ho, ho, ho”: Devise a make-believe weapon to blast Migraine/Headache Disorders out of your life. I’m not really into guns all that too much.  So instead I’ve decided to device a magical healing box.  One where the chronic pain patients could step onto a conveyer belt that would roll them through a magical place that would heal them completely.  When they come out on the other side, they’d be pain free and healthy in all matters.

However, before anyone would be allowed to take advantage of this magical moment on the other side of the box, they would first be required to stand in front of a mirror and review the lessons they had learned as a result of dealing with their illnesses.

Their self reflecting time would happen when they were alone in the silence of the box.  Whether it was perseverance, patience, empathy, gratefulness, or any other lesson – it would be important for us to recognize those lessons and hold them close to our heart as we moved though the magical healing machine.  So that even after being transformed to a healthier state of body and mind – we would always remember the lessons and live our lives accordingly.

Hugs and wishes to you for a few moments of magic in your day!



June 2013, Migraine and Headache Awareness Month, is dedicated to Unmasking the Mystery of Chronic Headache Disorders. The 2013 Migraine and Headache Awareness Month Blog Challenge is a project of


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