Your Help Needed for Migraine Art

An MFA student at the Rhode Island School of Design and fellow migraineur, Molly McGee is embarking on a series of design projects based on migraines — and she needs our help. The projects are to “express in the way I know best to those who don’t understand how painful and debilitating migraines can be.” She hopes to compile the projects into a book about migraine pain and how it affects one’s life.

Here’s where you come in. If you’re comfortable, please answer some or all of the questions below. There’s no pressure to write perfectly. It’s more about sharing your thoughts. Molly is looking for words and expressions about migraines. She asks that you “speak from the heart, and if there is an anecdote you want to tell then by all means share your story.” Your name or any identifying information won’t be included in the project.

You can e-mail your responses directly to mmcgee@risd.edu. Or, if you’re OK answering the questions publicly, you can post your responses in the comments. Ideally, we could read other people’s answers and build upon them with our own experiences.

  • How long have you suffered and how much of your time is spent in pain?
  • What sort of drugs have you been on and what were the side effects? Are the side effects worth it?
  • What might you give up to make your migraines go away?
  • Are your family and friends or coworkers understanding of your pain?
  • Finally, write anything you think is important. What is the most important thing you want to express about migraines?

I’ll post my responses to the questions soon.

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2 Responses to “Your Help Needed for Migraine Art”

  1. sandra Says:

    I suffered from migraines from my early 20’s to my early 50s and am now migraine free at age 57….Menopause is the only thing I can thank for this freedom and new life!

    I usually had several migraines a month over the course of the 30 years. And to further compound things, I also suffered from tension headaches which could trigger a migraine.
    My life was very much affected by these debilitating migraines.. I doctored for years and tried many drugs…The only one that seemed to help me was imitrex…At first I had to give myself shots until the pill form was available. At the peak of my illness I was using 3 boxes of imitrex a month, which was way too much and I ended up getting rebound headaches from taking too many imitrex…I also tried magnetic headbands, biofeedback, and two sessions of chiropractic treatment.

    At my worst moments I would have given my life to make the pain go away. I have given birth to 3 children, and there were migraines worse than childbirth. I remember one so well; when it was over I said to my husband, “That was worse than childbirth and I don’t have a sweet baby to show for it.”

    Only people who have had a migraine are truly sympathetic to the pain…I know it was hard for others to understand, especially when I was sick in bed with a migraine for key family or social events. My husband grew less sympathetic as the years passed. He grew to tolerate them, but they happened so often that I think he became calloused to my suffering.

    AFter my migraines left, I had a few hard headaches, and I recall one becoming quite migrainish…..The strange thing was, I welcomed it like a long lost friend…I said, “Hey, there you are again. It’s been a long time. How are you?” I know that sounds nuts because I am delighted to no longer get the killer migraines, but they do become such a huge part of one’s life. I do not ever want another killer migraine and I am delighted not to have them anymore. I did end up gaining a lot of weight during menopause, but the trade off was worth it.

    Migraines teach us humility; they teach us patience and courage; they teach us how to totally give ourselves over to God; they teach us that we are nothing on our own strength.

  2. sandra Says:

    I suffered from migraines from my early 20’s to my early 50s and am now migraine free at age 57….Menopause is the only thing I can thank for this freedom and new life!

    I usually had several migraines a month over the course of the 30 years. And to further compound things, I also suffered from tension headaches which could trigger a migraine.
    My life was very much affected by these debilitating migraines.. I doctored for years and tried many drugs…The only one that seemed to help me was imitrex…At first I had to give myself shots until the pill form was available. At the peak of my illness I was using 3 boxes of imitrex a month, which was way too much and I ended up getting rebound headaches from taking too many imitrex…I also tried magnetic headbands, biofeedback, and two sessions of chiropractic treatment.

    At my worst moments I would have given my life to make the pain go away. I have given birth to 3 children, and there were migraines worse than childbirth. I remember one so well; when it was over I said to my husband, “That was worse than childbirth and I don’t have a sweet baby to show for it.”

    Only people who have had a migraine are truly sympathetic to the pain…I know it was hard for others to understand, especially when I was sick in bed with a migraine for key family or social events. My husband grew less sympathetic as the years passed. He grew to tolerate them, but they happened so often that I think he became calloused to my suffering.

    AFter my migraines left, I had a few hard headaches, and I recall one becoming quite migrainish…..The strange thing was, I welcomed it like a long lost friend…I said, “Hey, there you are again. It’s been a long time. How are you?” I know that sounds nuts because I am delighted to no longer get the killer migraines, but they do become such a huge part of one’s life. I do not ever want another killer migraine and I am delighted not to have them anymore. I did end up gaining a lot of weight during menopause, but the trade off was worth it.

    Migraines teach us humility; they teach us patience and courage; they teach us how to totally give ourselves over to God; they teach us that we are nothing on our own strength.

    ********
    Thank you for sharing your story. I’m so glad that you are no longer suffering.

    K


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