There is a storm raging


Give yourself, or your patient experience a tagline.
Grab attention with your slogan. Make sure it’s catchy!

I’ve tried several taglines over the years, not really thinking about the impact it would have. However, marketing is important. It does matter, even for disabled bloggers whose writing is simply a labor of love.

…there is a storm raging

Some time ago I stumbled on the idea of using a storm theme for my blog. Weather changes are the single biggest variable affecting my health. It seems like there is always a storm front blowing in or out. Some help me feel better while others wreak havoc on my nervous system.
brainImagine the human nervous system…the brain, spinal cord, and miles of nerve endings. Now think of all the electrical and chemical processes required. The transmission of each message is like a spark of lightning. Like storm clouds, our nervous system can set off a torrential downpour. One message gets redirected. Another is delivered too quickly. The brain goes haywire in an attempt to set things right. Before you know it, you’re caught at the mercy of an unforgiving deluge without even an umbrella.

That’s my nervous system. One wrong move and the whole thing is a chaotic electrical storm.

Speaking of storms, I can feel the thunder clouds rolling in.

It’s time to take shelter…

Please enjoy this beautiful music while I treat this latest migraine storm. I will be back in a few hours.

Four hours later…

…it’s been a few hours and the storm has calmed to a steady downpour.

During the wait, I thought of another way to interpret this tagline.

What if I am the storm who is raging?

While the idea of taking shelter during a storm makes sense, I’m not just a passive bystander. I’m not foolish enough to ignore my own needs. Yet often I find that I’m standing outside, holding the door open, encouraging others to come in to safety while the storm clouds roll in. In between the storms, I step out into the light to survey the damage. I search for those who got caught unprepared and try to help them pick up the pieces. I’m a passionate supporter of storm preparedness. Teaching people how to prepare is essential.

Like weather patterns, a migraine storm is not within my control. It happens when it happens. (Yes, I know all about triggers. I’ve identified my triggers and eliminated the ones over which I have control.) Having Migraine disease means that storms happen. I can’t possibly control all the variables. It would be like trying to stop a thunderstorm. That doesn’t mean I stand on top of a hill, daring the lightning to strike.

“You can’t stop life for a headache.”

Waiting to get treatment is like standing outside in the middle of a thunderstorm and complaining because you got wet. Image courtesy of foto76 at
Waiting to get treatment is like standing outside in the middle
of a thunderstorm and complaining because you got wet.

Image courtesy of foto76 at

Even experienced patients don’t realize how serious this disease really is. We spend our lives being told to take a pill and get on with it. We would never treat a dangerous storm like that. Everyone stops life for a dangerous thunderstorm, tornado, hurricane, or blizzard. Why would we not do the same when our nervous system falls apart?

There is so much that can be done about Migraine. That doesn’t mean it isn’t a serious medical condition. If ignored, it can result in daily intense pain that no longer responds to the most aggressive treatment. Many people wait years to get a diagnosis and start treatment. That just makes the problem harder to treat.

I was one of those people.

Migraine disease runs in my family. With so many relatives coping with migraine, it wasn’t something any of us thought deserved medical attention.  Mine is a situation in which oral tradition worked against me. If everyone has Migraine and everyone seems to be doing okay, then it must not be a big deal. But it was a big deal.

Four is too many!

If you are facing four or more migraine storms each month, please get expert help.  Waiting to get treatment is like standing outside in the middle of a thunderstorm and complaining because you got wet. You may not be able to stop every attack, but you can do a lot to prepare for it.  No matter what your circumstances, ultimately you are responsible for your own care. Do not let anyone (family included) stop you from coming in out of the rain. If they track in mud and noise, you have my blessing to kick them back out into the cold until they straighten up.

Steps to take

    • Consult with an expert who can help you make preparations
    • Prepare a survival kit with everything you need to treat a storm
    • Recognize the early warning signs
    • Create a safe shelter in which to weather a migraine storm
    • Stock it with enough food and water to last you 3 days
    • Create a disaster plan and review it with your loved ones frequently
    • Know when to call for emergency help
      • Your storm lasts more than 3 days without a break.
      • It is the most intense pain of your life.
      • You experience neck stiffness, fever, or flu-like symptoms in addition to pain.
      • You experience stroke-like symptoms not previously diagnosed as Hemiplegic Migraine.

For more information about getting prepared for Migraine storms check out my list of favorite links.

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