It’s migraine awareness week, and as a sufferer of migraines on an almost-daily basis, I should probably write something about it. Except, ironically, I’m way too ill to write much at the moment, and right now I have a migraine. (Before you butt in with “oh, if you really had a migraine you wouldn’t be on your laptop”, I live in severe pain every minute of every day, and eventually you have to just do things despite it, or you die. So yeah, it’s a milder-than-it-could-be migraine, and using my laptop on a low light setting will make it much worse than it currently is, but that’s my life.)
So, migraines suck.
Apparently 1 in 7 people get them, and they are really disabling. They stop you being able to work or think or do much at all really, except lie in the dark and quiet, and occasionally make them worse by using your laptop on a low-light setting to talk about them. Also, they are way more than a headache, it’s all stuff nobody understands but it’s to do with blood flow to the brain. They can involve lovely things like visual and audio disturbances, and puking; probably other stuff too. They can also occur without headaches at all, which makes them tricky to spot. They can exhaust the body so much that some sufferers end up… well, as ill as me. Even if you don’t end up that ill long-term from them, while they’re happening they’re pretty awful.
Obviously, migraines are an invisible illness, and sufferers generally don’t look like they suffer from anything at all, except when they are throwing things at you because you’re playing loud music and it’s making them feel like their skull is actually cracking in half. If someone really has a migraine, don’t dismiss it as “just a headache” (and similarly, if you have just a headache, don’t go round calling it a migraine) – they can be seriously debilitating things, and if you’re lucky enough to never have had one, be thankful, not skeptical!
I apologise for the lack of eloquence. Pretty wiped right now. Here are some slightly more coherent links about migraines: