there’s more to a migraine

I created this post as part of a campaign by Teva Pharmaceuticals. I received an American Express gift card for participating.
If you’ve ever had a migraine, you know how that it’s not just a “really bad headache.”

A bad headache can be alleviated by eating or rehydrating or just waiting it out.

A migraine is something that takes over your body and doesn’t let go. It may start out feeling like a headache, but it soon takes a left turn at normal and dives straight into a cycle of all-encompassing pain.

How do I know? Well… I’ve unfortunately had my fair share of migraines throughout my life. My first one hit in high school, and they’ve been sprinkled throughout the years ever since. For me, they start out with a deep dull pain in my head, usually around my eyes and temples. The pain just deepens as the hours wear on and that’s usually when the throbbing begins.

At that point, my body just decides to go into all-out war. In a desperate attempt to gain my attention, my body tries to do everything it can to get me to stop life and take a time out. I get nauseated. My senses (sight, smell, sound) become incredibly sensitive and it’s like people are screaming at me while I stand underneath a direct spotlight.

The migraine is trying to get me to crumble into a ball in a dark room, but it never seems to hit at a time when that’s convenient or feasible. Instead, it’s at 11am during a workday. A time when I think it’s just a headache. But when you realize it’s so much more, and it starts going crazy, you’re stuck at work at 3:30pm and need to concentrate enough to get home, pick up your child from daycare, etc. Those are the days when you know the end isn’t coming that night and you’ve got a long journey ahead to get back to normal. My migraine cycle is 12 hours at minimum, and because life usually can’t stop 100%, it can last multiple days in the worst scenarios.

I often thought I was alone in my suffering, because migraine sufferers aren’t usually out frolicking in public with their symptoms. You usually don’t tell your friends what’s going on when you are in the middle of being sick because you try to lowball your suffering. “Sorry, I can’t come tonight. I’m sick.” Generic excuses and little mention of the embarrassing fact that you’ve been knocked off your feet for hours upon hours. But then I learned that about 18% of American women suffer from migraines, and that it’s one of the world’s most prevalent medical conditions. (Migraine Research Foundation)

And that’s why I wanted to share a little of my story. Because we all shouldn’t be suffering in silence and thinking we’re the only ones. If you, or someone you know suffers from migraines, visit to learn more about them.