Migraine Statistics by “The Migraine Trust”

wpid-img_20150323_064829.jpgMigraine is the most common neurological condition in the developed world. It is more prevalent than diabetes, epilepsy and asthma combined – eight million people in the UK have migraine (The Long-term (Neurological) Conditions National Service Framework, Department of Health, 2005).

Migraine is amongst the three most prevalent health conditions worldwide, along with anaemia and hearing loss (The global burden of disease: 2004 update, World Health Organization)

Among adults of all ages, migraine is one of the top 20 causes of disability expressed as years of healthy life lost to disability (The World Health Report 2001: Mental Health: New understanding new hope)

Severe migraine attacks are classified by the World Health Organisation as among the most disabling illnesses, comparable to dementia, quadriplegia and active psychosis (Shapiro & Goadsby, Cephalalgia, September 2007)

Migraine is the least publicly funded of all neurological illnesses relative to its economic impact (Shapiro & Goadsby, Cephalalgia, September 2007)

In the UK, there are an estimated 190,000 migraine attacks every day (Steiner et al, Cephalalgia, 2003)

An estimated 25 million days are lost from work or school every year because of migraine (Steiner et al, Cephalalgia, 2003)

Just over a third (34.3%) of migraine sufferers face difficulties or discrimination at work because of their condition (The Migraine Trust, 2004)

Over half (54%) of migraineurs experience one or more attacks per month, and 13% claim one or more attacks per week (Steiner et al, Cephalalgia, 2003)

Women are more likely to have migraine attacks than men – 18% of women and 8% of men (Steiner et al, Cephalalgia, 2003)

Children can get migraine attacks too. Attacks can start at any age, but they usually start in children who are in their early to mid teens (Goadsby et al, New England Journal of Medicine, 2002)

A survey of neurologists found that up to one-third of all patients consulted because of headache – more than for any other complaint (WHO, Factsheet 277, March 2004)

Depression is three times more common in people with migraine or severe headaches than in healthy individuals (WHO, Factsheet 277, March 2004)

Migraine remains undiagnosed and undertreated in at least 50% of patients, and less than 50% of migraine patients consult a physician (Pavone, Banfi, Vaiani & Panconesi, Cephalalgia, September 2007)

Migraine – SSDI Classification Discrimination

wpid-wp-1421975721526.jpegMigraine is ranked globally as the seventh most disabling disease among all diseases (responsible for 2.9% of all years of life lost to disability/YLDs) and the leading cause of disability among all neurological disorders.

(Steiner TJ et al.  Migraine: the seventh disabler.  The Journal of Headache and Pain 2013, 14:1.)

Severe migraine attacks are classified by the World Health Organisation as among the most disabling illnesses, comparable to dementia, quadriplegia and active psychosis

(Shapiro & Goadsby, Cephalalgia, September 2007)

Among adults of all ages, migraine is one of the top 20 causes of disability expressed as years of healthy life lost to disability

(The World Health Report 2001: Mental Health: New understanding new hope)

An estimated 25 million days are lost from work or school every year because of migraine

(Steiner et al, Cephalalgia, 2003)

My Demon, my body, my death

  • So, I showered yesterday. Big deal, yeah?! Not for most people. Most people shower daily as part of their routine. I have no routine. It was taken away from me by my body, my disease, my condition. It’s like a death, and I grieve it tremendously. I am restricted to doing only what my body allows for me now. “Original me” did whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, without much thought of restrictions. Especially to my daily routine. I’d get up in the morning to the alarm, shower, do my usual routine, get dressed, eat breakfast, and drive to work during the week. Weekends were for relaxing, shopping, museums, travel, whatever I chose. It was easy, simple really, some might say boring, but it was my life. And I controlled it. No one or nothing else did. I am now at the mercy of a monster, demon if you will. This demon owns me body and soul, as much as if I’d sold myself to it. My routine is gone, I cannot work, I function and fumble through life as I’m able, but I am not in control. My demon decides if I sleep or if I’m up all night. It decides if I can get out of bed without pain, stumbling, falling, or at all. It decides if I’m too nauseous from pain or meds to eat. It decides if something as simple, easy as a shower is allowed, tolerated, or causes so much pain that I just sit on the tub floor and cry. Just the water hitting my head can be excruciating So, my shower yesterday?! Huge deal! I must have done something to please my demon, for I had a pain-free, long, hot, even enjoyable shower. Then the exhaustion hit and I could do nothing else for the rest of the day. From a shower! I know, crazy right?! I’m quickly learning to take what I can get and appreciate it. A drive to a doctor appointment without too much pain, aura, or visual disturbances to see properly. A trip to the pharmacy without the lights, noise, and smells of the store turning my daily migraine into a 10+. A phone call where the person I am speaking with understands me because aphasia hasn’t caused me to use incorrect words and/or phrases. And yes, even something that used to be so commonplace for me, a shower. I have a love/hate relationship with my demon. I hate my limitations with a passion, but, as long as he’s driving this body, I’ve learned to love and even treasure the little things I’m allowed to do for myself because they are few and rare and precious. A few hours without pain, a day that I can walk to the mailbox by myself, a day without having to cancel an appointment, a day without embarrassment as to what I may say or do while I’m out. I do what I am allowed to do and I do it gratefully. But I haven’t given up, and I am still in here! It’s still me, still my thoughts, my dreams, my future, and I am fighting desperately to take charge once again! Do I dream of the day I can take back control of my body?! Every damn day! And I will! And when that day comes, I plan on sending my personal demon straight back to hell where he belongs! Happily! And hopefully forever! Until then, #AlwaysKeepFighting! 

My Dreams On Hold

When I was in my late 20’s and early 30’s, I travelled. A lot! There was nothing I enjoyed more than the planning, research, and studies of another country. I attempted to learn the basic language, locate the museums and exhibits I just had to see, and the cuisine I wanted to taste. I didn’t have a strict itinerary, but I wanted to see everything I could in case I never made it back there and I usually saw it all. My travelling companion was always my Mom. We made a great team! We shared the same interests and got along so very well. We walked and walked and walked. We turned corners and found hidden gems not found in any guidebooks. Secret gardens, surprise exhibits. We talked to locals about the best non-touristy places to see. We saw the works of the greatest artists, painters, sculptors and inventors that ever lived. We saw buildings and ruins, gardens and cemeteries steeped in history. The greatest monuments and statues ever created. It was truly awesome. We went to England, Italy, Amsterdam, and France. We met amazing people, learned about different cultures, ate, shopped, browsed, wandered, dreamed of living in each city. It was magical. I never wanted to stop travelling. But I had to. My body wouldn’t allow it anymore. Daily migraines, chronic pain, and fibromyalgia didn’t make for great travelling companions. Not to mention the lack of income to afford the trips since I couldn’t work anymore. I refuse to admit that I’ll never travel again. I have to believe I will, at some point, be well and strong enough for another trip. It’s one of the few things that keeps me positive and allows me to keep fighting. Better days ahead, I hope!