Reading migraine blogs is a great way to learn, pick up tips and tricks, find new resources, and feel like part of a community. There’s a fairly big online community for migraine sufferers (who sometimes call themselves Migraineurs), with plenty of fantastic migraine blogs to choose from. Here are three of our favorite migraine blogs.
The Migraine Girl at Migraine.com
The Migraine Girl started out with a blog on her own website. After her blog gained a lot of attention and support, Migraine.com approached her. Now she writes exclusively at Migraine.com. She’s done interviews (both as the interviewer and as the interviewee), is an advocate for migraine-sufferers, and has been featured in publications like Health Care Communication News and OnlineAthens.
Although she originally began blogging as a way to vent her frustrations about migraines and the treatments she’s tried, it’s become something much more. Now the Migraine Girl is a source of support and encouragement to other migraine sufferers. She’s encouraged lots of open communication about migraines.
Migraine Girl’s story
Rather than science-based posts, the Migraine Girl’s posts focus on the day-to-day struggles of migraine-sufferers.
She’s been living with migraines since she was 13, so the Migraine Girl has a lot of experience to share with other migraine-sufferers. Often it’s clear in her posts just how long she’s had to deal with migraines. For instance, in her post Springing into Action?, she describes migraine triggers associated with seasonal changes.
Other times, though, the Migraine Girl shows just how insidious migraines can be, when even after 20 years of migraines, she’s surprised. For example, after moving to a new house with a fireplace, she discovered a new migraine trigger: the smell of the fireplace.
This is why the Migraine Girl’s blog posts are so interesting. She is, like everyone else, someone who’s learning as she goes along, reaching out to help others while searching for answers herself.
Why we love this migraine blog
Posts from the Migraine Girl are always easy-to-read, like a note from a friend.
The length of posts varies, but most are fairly short. The tone is always conversational. Sometimes she brings up topics that people without migraines don’t even think about or that aren’t discussed often enough, even among migraine-sufferers. Often posts end with a question, and it’s not uncommon for lengthy discussions take place in the comments.
The Migraine Girl also owns an independent bookstore in Georgia, so it’s no surprise that she’s a booklover. When she comes across a book that deals with migraines, she posts a review of it. If ever you’re looking for a book that deals with migraines, go looking through the Migraine Girl’s archives for her very thoughtful, concise reviews.
Another on-going series in the Migraine Girl’s blog is her “Completely Unofficial, Made-Up Migraine Type” collection. These posts have usually have a wry sense of humor to them. Anyone who lives with regular migraines knows that migraines come in all shapes and sizes, and the Migraine Girl puts names to all the different types.
Migraine Girl’s community
Connecting with the Migraine Girl and the community she’s built is very easy.
A simple way to connect with the Migraine Girl is to comment on her posts. Leave a thoughtful comment or question, and there’s a good chance she’ll respond. Once in a while, she’ll even respond with a promise to write a blog post that provides a more in-depth answer.
The Migraine Girl is also on social media. On Facebook, she posts when she puts up new migraine blogs. She also posts when other bloggers on Migraine.com publish something she finds interesting or important. Conversations sometimes take place in the comments of these posts, and it’s also a great way to stay abreast of new research and information in the world of migraines.
The Migraine Girl also has a Twitter account. Her feed is a mix of personal happenings, bookish comments, and migraine information. She interacts quite often with other people on Twitter, so don’t be surprised if she offers you a few words of encouragement if you reply to one of her tweets.
Kerrie Smyres at The Daily Headache
Now in her late 30s, she began to suffer from chronic migraine and other headache pain more than 25 years ago. Eventually the pain became so all-encompassing that she was forced to quit work. Still wanting a creative outlet, she started her personal migraine blog to explore what life was like for someone living with a chronic pain condition.
She started The Daily Headache in 2005 and became a contributor to Migraine.com in 2011. She also does other freelance work.
Kerri is currently living in Arizona after other areas of the country proved to harbor weather patterns that were major migraine triggers. She found the mild, consistent weather in Arizona to be better for her condition. She is has been able to build a personal network of family and friends and now experiences reduced migraine pain. Besides writing for migraine blogs, she also enjoys baking, traveling, yoga, reading, baseball, and crafting.
Why we love the Daily Headache
Kerrie Smyres has a strong personality and her passion about her writing comes through her words on the screen. We also love that Kerrie Smyres often chooses to focus on the positive. Yes, chronic migraine pain is not easy to live with but rather than dwelling on that pain, she takes the time to write about the way she beats it to accomplish her goals.
She shares information about photophobia, for example. This is one of the most common symptoms of migraine headaches but is often ignored or dismissed. Classifying it is a phobia automatically makes it feel less like a symptom and more like a personal issue. But it is a very real problem for so many people who deal with chronic migraine pain. In this post she share the real facts of photophobia and how it affects migraine patients without talking down.
Speaking of the dismissive nature of our culture when it comes to migraine headaches, Kerrie Smyres broaches that topic in this blog post. She poses questions that are important when it comes to invisible disabilities.
“Migraine has rendered my life and my personality nearly unrecognizable. To say it has wreaked havoc on my life is the understatement of the century. This is an experience familiar to many people who have migraine. Yet, also like so many others with migraine, I’m wary to tell anyone about the devastation because the response is so often: ‘What’s the big deal, it’s just a headache?’ or ‘Take an aspirin and get over it.’ Most of the time, this makes me feel isolated and sad, but sometimes I get angry. During a recent bout of fury, I wondered how the general public’s understanding of a disease could be so radically different from the reality of people who live with it.”
Unusual migraine symptoms
Another of her posts cataloged some of the more unusual symptoms of migraine headaches. She discussed many of the symptoms that she has experienced over the years. Many are either so common that she doesn’t even think about them anymore or things that most people don’t associate with migraine pain. The list was incredibly informative. It is helpful for both doctors and other patients to hear the inside story from someone actually experiencing these symptoms.
Many of her symptoms included:
- Tooth sensitivity
- Sensitivity to exercise
- Heat intolerance
There were many more on the list. Most people wouldn’t consider these things specifically migraine-related but understanding the correlation and how they happen when migraine triggers are present could help someone better understand their own body and the way it reacts to this type of head pain.
Kerrie Smyres also works with a great resource that reaches more people than her individual blog. Migraine.com is one of the leading online communities and resources for people living with the pain of chronic migraine headaches.
Through her years of writing experience, Kerrie has become a voice for those who feel like their message often goes unheard not only by the medical community but by all the people around them.
Kerrie has made another huge contribution to the migraine community, but one she doesn’t shout from the rooftops. She is the co-founder of a company called TheraSpecs, a product designed to help migraine patients deal with the effects of photophobia.
You can get involved in Kerrie Smyres’ community by following her on Migraine.com and reading and participating on her personal blog.
Migraine.com, the leading migraine blog
Finally, one of the best migraine blogs is Migraine.com, a Health Union website that is powered by readers. As you’ve noticed, both of our other migraine bloggers also write for this site. And it’s a place for real people and real experts share information and insight about living with this often debilitating head pain. Users can register with the site and contribute to surveys and statistics daily. These help everyone determine the best ways to treat and live with chronic migraine pain.
Because the website is user-driven, there is always new content available for readers. This means that there are extensive and continuously updated resources available at all times. Recent features are showcased on the front page. More in-depth information can be found along the top of the page in the additional sections. These sections include community and tool pages that can connect migraine patients to one another for support and additional resources for daily living.
Under the tab for community, readers can get the latest migraine-related headlines. They can also participate in surveys and discussions, tell their stories, and get involved.
One of the most important recommendations we make to our pain patients is to become involved in a support group. Support groups can be in person or, if necessary, online. The Migraine.com online support community is one of the most vibrant we’ve seen. We highly encourage our patients to utilize it.
On the community page you can meet the Migraine.com team of advocates. These are individuals who are impacted by chronic migraine pain but “have chosen not to let the disease run their lives.” Each of them has a unique perspective that readers can learn from and know that they also live with migraines.
Our favorite posts
Some of our favorite migraine blogs on the site include:
- Life after migraines: Ciar posts about her life after chronic migraines. While she still gets headaches, she says they are much better than they were at another time in her life. She shares that after 25 years with chronic migraines the pain began to change and her life is very different now to provide hope for other readers.
- Check the expiration dates: Contributor Julie offers some advice about checking the expiration dates on medication before taking them. She discusses a time when she was on a trip and didn’t realize the medication was expired before it was too late.
- Living with elves: User Kaci describes her migraine headaches as living with elves in her head. They have tempers and respond angrily to sounds and bright lights, which is an experience every migraine patient can relate to. She describes her quest to quiet the elves. Kaci has tried acupuncture and Botox as well as a number of pharmaceutical treatments. She has yet to find the right solution but is feeling confident.
- Being a migraine mom: Keling describes what it is like to watch her young son suffer from migraine pain. Migraine headaches don’t only affect the patient directly, everyone in their lives experiences the reverberations of the painful experiences. She describes what makes him a wonderful boy and her hope for discovering a medication that will help him.
From these frank stories, open discussion can begin about what it is like to live with migraine pain and as migraine patients. Users are encouraged to participate in the open forums. These help facilitate discussion on migraine headaches and how it affects daily living.
Migraine.com offers a variety of tools that can help individuals better manage their chronic migraine pain on a day-to-day basis. There is a migraine meter and symptom checker. There are migraine quizzes frequently featured on the site as well. A FAQ can also help people understand the most basic information about this chronic head pain. And, there is also a migraine journal available that can help patients keep track of their symptoms and receive better care from their specialists at appointments throughout the year.
Why are migraine blogs so important?
Migraine pain, along with a variety of other invisible disabilities, are real and debilitating. It is critical that we, as a society, are part of the dialogue about how to better help our fellow sufferers cope with their disease. Migraine blogs stop the erasure of this condition and make it more known to the public.
More exposure can also begin within the community itself. Migraine patients can promote a sense of compassion by participating in user-driven sites like Migraine.com to share their experiences. They can also support others in their own journey to find relief, such as in the PainDoctor Facebook support group.
Do you follow any migraine blogs? What are your favorite migraine blogs to read?
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