I’ve got a secret

First seen on MigraineDownUnder.com and shared with Chronic Migraine Awareness, Inc.

Written by Sarah Cahill

My secret is one I’ve hidden for a long time from everyone but a select few. If you look closely, and if you know what to look for, you might guess.

Otherwise, you probably can’t even tell. I’m a bit like a master in disguise some days.

My secret is I have chronic migraine. This means in some way, shape or form I have migraine head pain every, single, day. Not a headache every day. Migraine. Totally different.

Wherever I am, whoever I’m talking to, whatever I’m doing, I’ve always got company. It’s always me and my migraine beast. I should probably name him. Larry? Arthur? Bars Tard? Maybe not. He might think he has more power than he actually does if he has a name.

Some days I feel like my right eyeball is being squeezed in a vice or pounded with a hammer. Other days I feel a bit of pressure and pain behind my eye and I don’t think about it too much.

But every day I walk the tightrope of managing my migraine disease by trying to eat well, exercise, prioritise sleep, take medications and the whole palaver that goes into helping to calm the beast.

Wow that sounds depressing doesn’t it. Let me balance it up.

Life is great. It truly is. I have 2 wonderful boys, a great husband, supportive extended family, amazing friends, a career I love and a great home; all while living in a beautiful part of New Zealand.

My family and I enjoy life. We hike, play sports, hang out, travel. We fight and we drive each other mad but even during the good times, of which there are many, my migraine beast is always there in the background.

I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to share I have migraine disease. It’s depressing talking about it and I’m not looking for sympathy.

But by not talking about it I’m doing myself a disservice. I haven’t let most of my friends support me because they didn’t know I need their support. Maybe if they knew they’d understand why I’m often the last to RSVP to an event (I just need to see how my head is closer to the time), why I haven’t invited them around for dinner for a while (I’m not sure how my head will be on the day) or why I sometimes I go a bit quiet in large groups (my head’s aching and I’m finding it hard to concentrate).

So now my secret’s out. My head hurts every single day and sometimes it’s exhausting. But I’m truly okay. I just needed you to know. And next time you see me, take a look at my right eye. It’s a dead giveaway I’ve got a bad migraine if it’s a little droopy. But don’t stare too long, it’s rude.                


Disclaimer: This blog is about my personal experience managing my chronic migraine. The content is informative in nature only. Please consult your healthcare professional for specific advice about how to manage your own migraine disease.

Sarah Cahill

Migraine Down Under. 2021

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