Thursday, 5 September 2013

RENT: How many days have you lost to migraine?

Migraine is the great time thief. It shamelessly barges into our lives and steals time that we can never have back. One of the hardest parts of living with migraine are all the milestone events you have to miss: birthday parties, christenings, job interviews, weddings….and on it goes. Time is stolen that you can never have back.

I asked several migraine buddies if they would kindly tally up an estimate of days they lost to migraine. Counting up my own days for 2011 -12 I must admit I felt like someone had punched me in the gut. It’s quite shocking, seeing it there in black and white, seeing what the great time thief has taken.


Sarah (aged 46)
Basilar Migraine and Chronic Migraine
Lost: 365 days
 Of those 365 migraines, 156 of were Basilar attacks.

Victoria (aged 32)
Chronic and Episodic Migraine
Lost: 120 days

Daisy (aged 33)
Chronic Migraine
Lost: 75 days
Plus 6 months off work.
(2013 – 60 days lost and counting…)

Fiona (aged 32)
Chronic and Episodic Migraine
Lost: 99 days so far this year…
2012: 125 days and 2011: 178 days

Claire (29)
Chronic Migraines
Lost: 70 days so far this year…

It is, really, quite hard to estimate the actual number of days lost to migraine. In my tally I simply added up the days I took a triptan. In 2011 most of my migraines lasted 3 days, and I also didn’t count the hangover days that followed nearly every attack. So my tally from 2011 is probably double the 120 stated. 2011 is also the year I had to give up work due to migraines. Sarah, Fiona, Claire and Daisy are also essentially noting the days of migraine attacks they had. As Daisy notes in Migraine Memoirs, these numbers also don’t take into account all the times you stay in, tread carefully, rest and miss out on yet more of life as you don’t want to re-trigger that migraine.

This post was inspired by the fabulous song “Seasons of Love” from the musical RENT. The lyric for the song begins as follows:

Five hundred twenty-five thousand
Six hundred minutes,
Five hundred twenty-five thousand
Moments so dear.
Five hundred twenty-five thousand
Six hundred minutes
How do you measure, measure a year?

In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights
In cups of coffee
In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife.

In five hundred twenty-five thousand
Six hundred minutes
How do you measure
A year in the life?.....

How many of those Five hundred twenty-five thousand, six hundred minutes have been spent having a migraine? But, more importantly, we should be proud of all that we accomplish despite the time migraine steals from us.

You can learn more about RENT here. I highly recommend that you listen to Original Broadway Cast Recording, the above is from the film version. 

Side note: Myself and the other migraineurs were all able to make this estimate as we keep careful diaries. We all use different ones, but I highly recommend you use a migraine diary, they’re an invaluable tool for your Doctor and for you. I’ll write a summary of the different migraine diaries available, soon.

How many days have migraine stolen from you this year?


Evita: “Don’t Cry for me Argentina”. Do you want empathy and understanding? Do you want sympathy? Do you ever NOT want to talk about your migraines. Why? When?

1 comment:

  1. My migraines became progressively worse and more frequent over my 30s until they just merged into one big, long migraine that lasted continually and I locked myself in the house. A "good day" was when my head didn't hurt TOO bad and there weren't many visual effects blurring my vision. I lived with the shades down, only leaving to grocery shop with others once a week. That particular "migraine" lasted about three years. Altogether I would estimate 5 or more years of my life have been spent with a migraine. I'm in my 40s. (Eventually I went to a neurologist - my GP was unresponsive to my pain issues - and after extensive testing that showed nothing in particular wrong with my brain or eyes, just started taking a "migraine prophylactic" and they went away so long as I also avoid ALL of my triggers.)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...