Our MAM group members tell us about their best moments over the last year
Every year, people living with migraine strive to enjoy vibrant, productive, joyful lives, even while facing the challenges of managing a serious neurological disorder. As 2019 comes to a close, we asked our Move Against Migraine (MAM) Facebook support group members: What are you most proud of accomplishing this year? What was your greatest migraine-related triumph this year?
Here’s what they had to say:
Finding the Right Doctor
Most people living with migraine don’t talk to a doctor about their symptoms. A lack of credible information, the presence of social stigma, and not knowing how to start the conversation can make it difficult to speak up and ask for help.
That’s why we’re especially happy for those who’ve taken that first step. Finding the right doctor boosts confidence and gives us an improved outlook.
“My situation hasn’t looked so potentially positive, EVER,” MAM member Phoebe says.
Similarly, MAM member Stacey is feeling more positive since finding the right doctor.
“I’m optimistic about my treatment plan because I have a great relationship with my physician,” she says.
If you’re inspired to add a healthcare provider to your migraine support team, the American Migraine Foundation put together a guide to starting the conversation about migraine with your doctor.
When people find relief from debilitating migraine symptoms, the effect on their lives can be dramatic. They can make plans again, achieve fitness goals, start families, and renew their self-confidence.
“I feel like I’ve turned a corner with my migraines,” says MAM member Venice. “Started a new medicine this year and it’s been life-changing. I don’t hesitate to make plans anymore.”
With or without improvement in migraine symptoms, many of our members tackled the tough challenge of exercise and weight loss. MAM member Tina has been determined to take the weight off even though migraine still puts her on the couch too often.
“I haven’t given up,” she says. “I’m still trying. Some days are better than others.”
Sometimes wellness means knowing when to take a break. Jennifer tells the group that her proudest accomplishment was “realizing and accepting migraine is debilitating and my stressful career needed to take the back seat in my life.”
Enjoying Hobbies Again
For some of our members, less time spent hiding in the dark meant more time to enjoy hobbies. MAM member Deb has been “enjoying more writing, doing more photography,” while member Andrea is reaping the benefits of fewer migraine days by “being able to paint my watercolor pictures,” and finishing a children’s book she has been writing.
Some highly-motivated members took their migraine-free days to a new level. MAM member Raine says she started pilates, and member Nelle got her open water scuba certification. MAM member Danielle says she ran her first 5K at Miles for Migraine—and two more after that! These are amazing accomplishments in themselves, but knowing these ladies are living with migraine makes their success even more impressive.
Returning to Work
Migraine can affect a person’s ability to work. Time and again, we hear from people that they want to work, miss work, or fear losing their jobs. When migraine treatments begin to work, so do people! MAM member Hannah is a great example.
“[I’m proud of] finally getting my migraines under control and returning back to my career as an EMT after a two-year hiatus,” she says. “I’m doing so well with my migraines that I’m actually looking into furthering my education and career by studying to become an Advanced EMT or even considering going all the way for my paramedic license.”
Sustaining long-term employment can be challenging for those with chronic migraine. MAM member Kelly celebrated her one-year anniversary at her job after not working for almost nine years. MAM member Andrea says she’s been working more hours while her kids are in preschool, and that she hopes to accomplish more before the end of the year.
Even one of our group moderators is celebrating success.
“I had to leave my career as a mental health therapist seven years ago,” says MAM moderator Tammy. “Thanks to new treatments, I’m slowly returning to the work I love.”
Holding on to Hope
Not everyone has found successful treatment yet. This hasn’t stopped them from continuing to seek better options and maintain a hopeful outlook. MAM member MaryKay tells us that she’s “at peace with migraine and being right where I’m supposed to be.”
MAM member Stephanie, however, sums up the sentiment that many of our members have.
“Not giving up even though it’s all I wanted to do,” she says.
Living with migraine isn’t easy. We are proud of all your amazing accomplishments and look forward to hearing more success stories in 2020. For more of the latest migraine information and news, check out the American Migraine Foundation Resource Library. For help locating a treatment professional in the new year, head over to our Find a Doctor tool.