Yes, I have an invisible illness. You can't see it, and if I didn't tell you I had it, you would probably never know.
Even with Migraine Disease, I have managed to still work and have a somewhat normal lifestyle. This is not to say that I don't end up in pain at work, or have to cancel plans last minute, but I still consider myself one of the lucky ones. Migraines have not totally disabled me.
For the times people do see me in pain, I get a lot of "have you tried this?" comments thrown my way. Maybe it's because the average person does not really understand that Migraine is "not just a bad headache".
Migraine is a genetic neurological disease affecting close to 36 million Americans. Migraine affects more people the Diabetes, and is the 12th most disabling disorder in the US.
You would think with those numbers, more people would know what it is. I guess because with Diabetes, people know it's watching your diet or insulin that is used to control it.
It just seems odd to me that there are so many people out there with misconceptions or no knowledge about Migraine at all! That's probably part of why it's under diagnosed and an individual waits till their attacks are very chronic before getting treatment.
The "can't they do anything for you" comments get old. I get tired of answering them. I am doing everything I can, trust me. If you felt anything like I feel on a daily basis, you would be on the computer researching Migraine, talking to people, looking for the best specialist in the world, no matter what the cost.
Granted, I am happy when I see a news report on Migraine make the evening news, but still, the information given to the general public is information Migraineurs have had for over two years. The news acts like it's a new fangled test, drug or device, when it's been on the market for years!
I wish for the day when invisible illnesses like Migraine, Multiple Sclerosis, Fibromyalga, and many others are hitting the main stream publications and radio waves.
So many of us suffer alone, trapped inside our pain. But having support groups out there make life a little easier. Knowing that "oh she feels that way too!" is comforting. Sharing pain is a powerful bond, yet I don't wish it on anyone.
There are a lot of great organisations and support out there if you suffer from Migraine: