Migraines are not in of themselves awesome to experience. They are a neurological condition and pain can be invited to that party, but not necessarily. It is a mind-blowing experience and not a positive one. So why would migraines make people with migraine so awesome you wonder? We experience a very difficult experience, sometimes very often. I think that makes us very strong people. Very supportive people as well. We develop strong communities and make great friends in those communities.
A super sense of smell
When we are in Stage 3 of a migraine attack, the Headache Phase, we can have Osmophobia, known as a very strong sensitivity to odors. We can smell your perfume a block away. We can smell those stinky socks you took off in the other room. It is so profound an ability we might be able to smell what you had for dinner two days ago. The only thing that messes with this trick is that we also can get olfactory hallucinations in Stage 1 of an attack, the Aura. In other words, we can smell things that are also not there. Like burning toast and sewer. Or rancid goat breath. Sometimes it is really hard to label phantom smells. And since we have a super smell machine we can look all over for phantom smells. Nevertheless, superhuman smelling makes migraineurs awesome. Misplace your sandwich? We are on it! Think the milk is a little off? We will know it.
Superhuman pain tolerance
I’m not one to brag or anything but I can stand, communicate and even move while my head is imploding. This is a skill mastered with chronic migraines, which are classified as more than 15 migraines per month. Once you reach migraine warrior class, I mean chronic, you have to function in some capacity with them. In order to have a life. So we develop an astonishing pain tolerance in order to do so. We are talking functioning under 6 or 7 on the pain scale. Not so much when we hit 8 or 9. But I doubt anyone can master that class of functionality. Not saying this skill is awesome in itself, but we need it… we really need it.
We can sense weather changes
Like your grandma with her arthritic knee, we too have a sense of an impending storm and other barometric shifts. It really rather smacks us right in the brain noodle. I sense… oh my god that hurts like hell… yeah, a storm is coming. Useful if we are there when you are having an outside gathering. We are your weather alert.
We hallucinate without drugs
Yes, we get the perk of hallucinations without having to take drugs. We can have migraine auras and see flashing lights, translucent raindrops falling from the sky, cascading multi-colored sparks of color falling over our vision. We can see warping motion of objects that are not moving. We can have hallucinations involved with Alice in Wonderland syndrome that cause our body to morph larger or smaller to our perception or the world to get bigger or smaller. I have persistent migraine auras, so I have auras with or without the actual migraine. Most people find auras very unpleasant and disruptive however since I get them so often I tend to just enjoy the varied light show. They can be very visually disruptive given we generally need to see and AIWS, in particular, can be very severe. It is just an experience that we do not share with others. It is unique. It is indescribable. Sometimes entrancing and sometimes extremely disruptive. Sometimes visual, tactile, olfactory or auditory.
We rock the sunglasses and hats
Due to our excessive loathing for light from photophobia, we do not leave the house without sunglasses and/or a hat. And we rock it. We actually wear FL-41 specially tinted glasses for inside that specifically help with photophobia indoors, as well they can be used for outdoors as well in sunglass form. People often give us a double-take. Are we on drugs? Wearing sunglasses inside? Are we just that cool? No, but coolness is a side effect we are all good with.
We live in moderation
You won’t find us getting carried away because we have to watch our migraine triggers. Too much sleep. Not enough sleep. We will not, for example, go to a loud bar and get very intoxicated because a) loud bar could be a trigger by itself and b) alcohol is a horrible trigger. I personally learned this lesson in my early 20’s when I was first diagnosed. And a migraine when you are intoxicated? Not recommended. So we learn moderation. Keep it mellow. At times that happens to mean work wise as well. And this is a lower stress lifestyle I think many can learn from. Keep it mellow, man, keep it mellow. But, yeah, it would be nice to be able to go to a concert.
We are always prepared
Yes, we are always prepared for impending doom. Since we must live our lives when we do anything we are prepared for an attack anywhere we go. Migraine balms, triptan medications (abort migraines), naturally heavy duty sunglasses, hat and maybe some icy cold patches. For example, we may want to get our rock on at a concert, but the loud noises are a massive factor, so we prepare and bring our migraine emergency kit and earplugs. Hope for the best, prepare for the worst. So if you need an aspirin, I have it in my purse. Trust me, I do. Have a headache? I have a migraine balm you can use that is great for that sort of tension.
We are empathetic
We understand pain. We understand pain that knocks you out all day. Or even for days. We understand pain that sends you to the ER. We understand pain that people don’t quite understand or can’t quite relate to. We understand it when pain becomes chronic people understand it even less. So we empathize with suffering. We know how difficult it is to manage and cope with invisible disabilities and chronic pain of any sort.
We are spontaneous
Because of the fact a migraine may in fact hit at any time, we do not do plans very well. We often cancel plans and feel exceptionally guilty about this. But, my friends, we do spontaneous very well. Because of those low pain days or migraine-free days? We want to take advantage of them. We live for them. We want to experience our lives during them. Like now, now. Like, let’s get out there right now and do something. In moderation, that won’t trigger a migraine, of course.
We are great at diets and supplements
We have tried so many restrictive diets to help with our migraines we are great with them. We know Paleo, high protein, Mediterranean diet, anti-inflammatory diet and the all-important ketogenic diet. We likely can recommend recipes. Have helpful recommendations. Tell you if we happened to lose weight, and let’s just say given we gain weight on every preventative med we are put on we consider that to be a plus. Since we have tried and are on numerous vitamins and supplements we are a fountain of knowledge on these. We know what they are for, what they help with and even what the potential side effects are. We know all the good migraine ones.
Some of these are not awesome awesomeness. But we try. We really, really try. And we do rock the sunglasses. We certainly are awesome migraine people, having the deal with this pain all time time.
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