Tuesday, December 17, 2013

What Part of Migraine Do You Not Understand?

I've wanted to write an article similar to this, for quite some time. Especially when someone tells me that they had a migraine once. Or, that they usually only get sinus or stress headaches, but this one headache was so bad it must have been a migraine. I just want to yell, "What part of migraine do you not understand?"

This is not a story that is singularly mine. Every migraineur has this experience at one time or another. Typically, I just nod and let them complain because their pain is real, too. I then ask about things like their triggers, their symptoms, and how long the episode lasted. The conversation changes fairly quickly. I usually don't have the energy to explain the migraine process, nor do they have the
attention span to listen.

So, I've been thinking about ways to bring more attention to what a migraine truly is and is not. Thinking about how to educate those around me without breaking out the 45 minute PowerPoint presentation. So, finally using some of my graphic design skills, I decided to create a graphic that would represent the phases and some of the conditions of a migraine. They aren't meant to represent every symptom,
but might just inspire someone to ask questions.

This may seem like a blatant plug, and maybe it is. But please, hear me out. I've set up a shop with CafePress using these designs to create clothing, t-shirts, pajamas, sweats, pill boxes, bumper stickers, water bottles and much more. My intention is to raise awareness as well as give back to the migraine community by giving at least 10% of the profit from each sale to the Migraine Research Foundation. I've tried to make a story board for each of the four phases of migraine. Obviously there is no way to include every symptom for each phase fit on a migraine preparedness bag, or t-shirt, so I have chosen to use icons for some of the most recognizable. I have procured the full rights to any portion of the designs that are not my own and own the copyrights. Take a look at the following pieces of the overall design, feel free to make comments, and go get something you can use to
educate others at the Against The 'Graine Store.

This phase is marked by;

(These are the icons I have chosen to represent)
A greater thirst or craving for certain foods.
Unusually irritable.
Needing more sleep or being more tired than usual.

Not everyone experiences the Aura phase but it may be recognized by;

(These are the icons I have chosen to represent)
Strange sensations in the body.
Changes in vision.
Problems communicating.
Problems hearing or understanding.

The beginning of the headache may include;

(These are the icons I have chosen to represent)
The actual attack of pain which usually begins above the eyes 
and affects one side of the head.
May cause Nausea.
May cause Vomiting.
Typically restricts from any physical activity.

What some refer to as the "migraine hangover" may include;

(These are the icons I have chosen to represent)
Extreme tiredness or sluggishness.
Strange feelings, aches and pains throughout the body.
Head pain which is typically not as severe as the actual attack.