Friday, 12 April 2013


Meet Miss April, the magnificent Michelle! Michelle was diagnosed with migraines when she was only nine years old. I'm going to repeat that - nine years old. Despite going through ordeals that would wipe the smile off most healthy people's faces, Michelle manages to keep a sense of humour, and uses her wealth of experience to help others. She's taken part in research trials for migraine medications and has a wonderful health tumblr page and can always be found for a friendly chat and advice on twitter.  In fact she was nominated as Migraineur Of The Month by Brittani who told me what great support and friendship Michelle has offered. 

Plus it's her Birthday on April 16th so I can't think of a more worthy recipient of Migraineur Of The Month title. 

The magnificent Michelle

Can you remember & describe your first migraine?
I don’t remember my first migraine. I was diagnosed with migraines when I was nine – my mother recognized the symptoms and since it runs in our family (in the females), she took me to a doctor right away. I do remember that the doctor’s didn’t know what to do with me, and I had to take this nasty tasting medicinal syrup when I got one.

Best migraine top tip anyone’s ever given you?
“Lay down with an ice pack in a dark cool room.” I have been doing that since forever. It is the one thing you can guarantee I will do when my migraine gets severe.

Worst Trigger?
It used to be gluten (the reason I now eat gluten-free). I’m going to say it’s a draw between really strong smells (perfume or cooking smells) and warm weather/lots of sun; which I’m lucky about, because living in the Pacific NW of the USA, it’s pretty rainy so sun is not too common.

Favourite migraine comfort?
Besides an ice pack, I always find myself eating as my migraine is starting to ramp up. I love eating junk food during that time. It’s like I feel that if I keep eating, my migraine will magically get better but it never does.  

What’s the worst assumption that’s been made about you and your migraines?
The worst is probably that I’m using it as an excuse to not live up to my full potential, or that I’m using it to be lazy – kind of the same thing.

What are you most proud of doing despite living with migraines?
I think I’m going to have to go with having a relationship! I had really given up on dating and ever having a relationship until my boyfriend came along and really his perseverance is what made me change my mind. We’ve been dating for eight months now and he still puts up with my migraines and other health issues so I think we’re good! J

The cute couple!

Have you ever taken part in research trials? Would you have advice for others?
I’ve done a few as a pre-teen. I did one for Topamax effectiveness in adolescents, Imitrex nasal spray, and a sleep study for adolescences’ with pain conditions.  The Topamax and Imitrex were already FDA approved so I wasn’t a lab rat, and I wasn’t scared about any adverse effects. My only advice would be to just do what you’re comfortable with. If I hadn’t wanted to do any of these studies, my parents would’ve been fine with that. I was already on Topamax at the time of the study, and I was looking for a new triptan when the Imitrex study was presented.

What other conditions do you live with as well as Migraine?
I was diagnosed with major depression disorder and generalized anxiety disorder when I was 16, hypothyroidism when I was 19 (also runs in my family), and I went gluten-free before I could be properly tested for it (DON’T DO THIS) but I do believe I have Celiac/Coeliac disease (my sister has it, and it also runs in families). 

If you could be The President for a Year what would you do!?
I would allocate a sizeable amount of money towards migraine research and kick the butts of the National Headache Foundation into gear. I would help raise a lot more awareness about migraines and help people realize that it IS NOT just a headache. There’s quite a bit of non-migraine related stuff I would do too, related to food safety, GMO laws, and that sorts.

Hi, my name is Michelle Malley. I live in the Portland metro area of Oregon. I turn 23 on April 16. I was diagnosed with migraines when I was 9, and chronic migraines for the second time in March 2011, and have yet to find something to alleviate them. My favorite color is orange, I’m left-handed, and I love cats and cat-related things.

Twitter handle: michellemmmm

Michelle, I think it's incredible that you cope with so much and yet help others. On a totally different note, I also feel like munching on loads of junk food sometimes during and after a migraine! Anyway, I know everyone will be wishing you a very happy and healthy (and hopefully migraine free) day on the 16th.

*****Don't forget THIS TUESDAY 16th APRIL
The first ever Migraine Monologues Book Club!
Click HERE for details of how to join in. 

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