I’m not easily angered. A dinner party debate about politics will not rile me, mainly because I don’t actually know enough about politics to join in properly. If politics are being discussed I do the following (you may steal this technique): frown knowingly, tilt my head to one side, nod slowly and if asked a direct question say “Yah, yup, OK, interesting, interesting but what do you think?” Neither will heated discussions about religion upset me because I do not want to admit that I can’t really remember much of my undergraduate Theology degree.
However, if you say any of the following I will slap you in the face:
“It must be so lovely to have all that time to yourself when you have a migraine.”
“Why don’t you just go for a jog?”
“I got rid of my migraines with willpower…”
“I didn’t want to be the one to say it, but we all think you’re a bit lazy.”
“Do you like getting migraines?”
“Just take some painkillers.”
“Grin and bear it.”
“I’m sure they’ll stop when you’re fully employed.”
“What you need is a distraction!”
“You’ll grow out of it dear.”
All these things have been said, to my face. Unfortunately no one has been slapped. Yet. But you have been warned. And actually, the last statement is kind of true for some forms of migraine. Research shows certain migraines lessen with age. Mine, conversely, are getting worse but I’ll go into that in another fascinating blog.
My point is this: forget feminism, racism, forget dwarfism, there is a new ‘ism’ in town that effects over 15% of the world population. Migrainism.
“Migrainism is when a person suffering from migraine is treated differently because they have migraine.”
Victoria Ann Saxton. London, England. 2011. © ™
There are many misconceptions about migraines, some of which even I used to share. Gasp. My Granny used to complain of ‘headaches’ and because she was a bit of a battleaxe we all thought she was just making a fuss. Then my mother hit menopause and started suffering from migraines and we suddenly realized Granny hadn’t been making a fuss at all. And that she hadn’t been lying in her room, in the dark, for three days just because she was a stubborn old witch who had a point to prove. We still feel guilty. Sorry Granny. You see migraine is largely genetic, if you have a parent with migraine you have a 40% of getting it too. This is why I must mate with a super human bionic man with no medical ailments of any kind, and no ginger genes in his bloodline!
So, next time you meet someone who tells you they have migraine do not be guilty of migrainism.
DO NOT ASSUME THEY:
- Are a middle aged spinster, living alone with 12 cats
- Are depressed
- Like the colour beige
- Are boring
- Suffer from anxiety
- Are lazy
- Are making it all up
- Are agoraphobic
- Just have a bad headache
- Don’t like socializing
In relation to this last point, I would suggest that migraineurs are, in fact, the ideal dinner party guest. I know that I am often so over excited to be able to make a social engagement, such as a dinner party, that I basically talk non-stop. So, with me around there will be no longeurs in conversation, nor will there be any heated debated about politics or religion. Ideal.
Next time: Migrainsm Part II: How Doctors are often the biggest Migrainists, and How I made a trainee GP cry…