Living with migraine and cluster disease is devastating. Often I find myself smiling despite the pain, frustration and fears. It’s really hard to explain to those who do not experience migraine or cluster what an attack really feels like. I remember the first time I took a picture of myself while I was having an attack and I looked at it later. The feelings that bubbled up inside were overwhelming. Over the past couple of years, I have been working to accept this part of my life. It has become empowering to realize migraine and cluster disease are a part of my experience and I don’t have to hide it.
Have you considered how much energy it takes to hide the pain? It is exhausting to be seen outside of my home because I want to appear normal. As soon as I am in the comfort of my own home again, I breathe and realize I have no energy left to take care of the needs that I have. It’s been a long journey but slowly I am hiding less and speaking more. Sharing my photos as a part of this project is one way I can help others see the difference between a day with a cluster attack and a day when I am not having a cluster attack. I am more than cluster and I am more than migraine; I am a person who manages cluster and migraine daily.
The month of June is Migraine and Headache Awareness Month. As a part of our Empowering Patient Voices initiative we will be doing a series of posts highlighting the devastation of migraine, cluster, and other headache disorders. We are inviting you to participate by sending in photographs to be featured and also to encourage those who participate by “liking, commenting and sharing” the posts during June.
HOW TO SHARE YOUR PHOTO FOR INCLUSION IN THIS PROGRAM:
- Choose a picture of yourself when you are feeling well and another picture when you are having an attack.
- Submit an original quote you would like to have with your photos that is 10-25 words in length. (We can add one if you can’t think of one.)
- Email both photos and the quote to email@example.com ASAP!
- Check your email for a photo consent form, giving us permission to use your photograph on our websites, social media, email and other forms of media. You may also request that form by emailing us.
We hope that you will allow the world a glimpse into what living with migraine, cluster and other headache disorders is like for you. As we raise awareness and take a look behind the mask, there is more hope of change in the future. It is our vision to help bring migraine, cluster and other headache disorders out of the shadows, and we hope that you will be a part of that!