The theme of November 2010 Headache and Migraine Disease Blog Carnival at Somebody Heal Me is: “What are you thankful for despite living with migraine disease?”
Absolutely and of course I am grateful for my family, my husband and children, my birth-extended family, and my husband’s family. Without all the family love and support I am so fortunate to have, I cannot begin to imagine how different my life would be. Then there are friends, those who have touched my life briefly and those who have stayed a lifetime, for which I am thankful.
My daughters took a happiness course in college, and one of the ways to feel happier is to keep a gratefulness journal, each day recording five things you are grateful for. This I did for a brief time on paper, and I still try to make mental note of at least one thing I’m grateful for every day.
But here I want to focus on targets of gratitude in my migraine life:
1) Finally after my 40-year war with migraine, we are seeing the kind of research and studies that have been so desperately needed for so long! And two different migraine-related genes have now been identified, confirming that it is a genetic disease. These are phenomenal developments for people with migraine worldwide.
2) A wonderfully helpful and supportive migraine community is flourishing online with migraine and headache organizations such as the Migraine Research Foundation, the National Headache Society and ACHE, and the National Headache Foundation. Lots of bloggers and health sites like Health Central and WEGO Health provide information and platforms for discussion and support.
3) The fact that I published Migraine Expressions, a longtime dream.
4) And that I made so many fabulous friends and connections in the migraine, headache, and epilepsy communities, mostly via my work on the book, and in the process have loved the literature, poetry, art, photography and even music that has presented itself.
5) Activist groups such as the AHDA and other organizations are beginning to have a serious impact in migraine education, awareness and with members of Congress and the NIH, which can only be beneficial for all.
All of these things I am grateful for, and I hope that progress will continue to be made relatively quickly.
Fred Freitag, D.O., once said to me that he misses in all the migraine expressions any mention of “the benefits that come from having migraine. What was it about the genes that led to migraine providing a role in the selection of mankind as we know it today? [I think an example of this is the theory that early on people with excitable brains were more alert and could warn others of danger.] Consider the many marvelous traits associated with migraineurs, overall their positive traits far outweigh their negatives. It is matter of harnessing that ‘goodness,’ if you will, to make it work for one rather letting it work against one.”
I think of that — and my wonderful family and friends — whenever I wonder what I might have done or accomplished had I not had migraine disease, then I reflect on what I have and what I have done and enjoyed in my life.
And then I am very grateful, indeed.