Living with Migraine

Migraine Ninjas Stand Up and Speak Out

MigraineNinja200I've been thinking a lot about our Migraine Ninja Oath. These lines make me think of a principle that my father worked very hard to drum into me — standing up for myself. Consider these lines from the Migraine Ninja Oath:

I promise to do my best to…

resolutely advocate for myself and fellow Migraine Ninjas.

do whatever I can to reduce the stigma associated with Migraine.

always channel my inner ninja.

I will know…

each of us must stand for the stigma to fall away.

I am capable of standing for many Migraine Ninjas stand with me.

 As I've grown older and become a parent, then a grandparent, I've notices that many lessons our parents teach us come back to us, make sense, and mean more as we grow older. My Daddy and I had some truly great conversations when I was a child and after I was an adult and out on my own. He wanted me to find a loving life partner and marry, BUT he also wanted me to be able to stand on my own and take care of myself.

More than once, Daddy said, "If you won't get up and stand up for yourself, you can't expect someone else to do it for you." He carefully explained that I should never expect to sit back and expect other people to stand up for me if I wasn't willing to get off my butt and stand up for myself. He said that no matter how bad things got, there would always be at least some small way in which I could stand up and speak out for myself, even if it reached just one person at a time.

Having worked as a patient educator and advocate for people with Migraine and other Headache disorders for the last 17 years, this lesson has come to my mind very often. I have to admit to not understanding why so many people with Migraine won't stand up for themselves, let alone join in advocacy and awareness efforts that can help us all. More times than I can count, I've shared awareness and advocacy opportunities in which only an extremely small number of people participated.

From the periods in my life when my Migraines were chronic and nearly constant, I totally realize that many of us are limited in what we can do to support awareness and advocacy efforts. Some opportunities such as the annual Headache on the Hill event simply aren't physically possible for many. There are, however, opportunities that are far easier, so easy that anyone who can manage to be online can easily manage. There are Facebook posts that can be shared, Tweets than can be reTweeted, online petitions that can be signed in less than 30 seconds, and more.

So, please take another look at the parts of the Migraine Ninja Code that I shared above. If you're reading this, then you obviously read things online. A Migraine Ninja participates in awareness and advocacy opportunities as fully as we can. There may be some we can't manage, but there are plenty we can manage.

I'm proud of and thankful for my fellow Migraine Ninjas who stand up for themselves and for others who have Migraine disease. GO NINJAS!

Stand-Up-for-Self-Quote

Namasté,

_______________
Teri Robert
patient educator and advocate, author

author of Living Well with Migraine Disease and Headaches
www.terirobert.com
www.migrainedisease.com
www.healthcentralcom/migraine 

© Teri Robert, 2017.

 

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Migraine Ninjas: Adjusting Our Sails

MigraineNinja200Good afternoon to my extended Migraine Family!

The quote on the image below makes me think of living with Migraine disease. Of course, it was meant to be about life in general, but for many of us, Migraine has such a huge impact on our lives that it takes center stage.

There are so many things that are outside of our control. For example:

  • Genetics: We can't change the rules of genetics that left us susceptible to inheriting Migraine disease.
  • Many of our triggers: We can't control barometric pressure changes, hot summer temperatures, or many other things that are Migraine triggers for many of us.

Those are like the wind, and we can't change their direction.

That said, that doesn't mean there's nothing we can do.

My chosen destination is a life lived as well and fully as possible, despite Migraine disease, and I can adjust my sails to reach that destination. Here are some of the ways in which I draw on my inner Migraine Ninja and adjust my sails:

  • by working as a treatment partner with a good Migraine specialist
  • by doing my best to avoid some of my triggers: dehydration, irregular sleeping patterns, fragrances and odors, rooms that are too warm, closed spaces with loud noise
  • using my preventive treatment, as prescribed, every day without fail

AdjustSailsQuote

We're all different, so we have to adjust our sails differently.

What's your destination, and how do you draw on your inner Migraine Ninja and adjust your sails. Please leave a comment below, and share.

Namasté,

_______________
Teri Robert
patient educator and advocate, author

author of Living Well with Migraine Disease and Headaches
www.terirobert.com
www.migrainedisease.com
www.healthcentralcom/migraine 

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Migraine Ninjas Listen to Our Inner Voices

MigraineNinja200Does it ever seem that everyone we know has their own opinion about how we should live with Migraine... what we should take for our Migraines... what's causing our "headaches?"

People have varying motives for giving us their opinions. For the most part, they mean well. It's human nature to try to help when someone doesn't feel well. The problem is a lack of understanding of Migraine and the misconceptions that still flourish.

Too many people still think...

  • a Migraine is just a bad headache.
  • popping some Tylenol will make a Migraine go away.
  • we could control our Migraines if we "quit worrying about things."

There are times when Migraine has us so worn down that we may be tempted to listen to the opinions others offer, and it's possible that in those opinions, there are some valid suggestions. Here are some suggestions for evaluating the opinions and suggestions people offer us:

  • If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  • At this point, there's no cure for Migraine disease, so there's no reason to even listen to a "cure" pitch.
  • Anyone who offers a treatment with huge success rates, and says there's a conspiracy to keep it away from patients because it would cut into the profits of the pharma companies is a whack job. There are many journalists with mainstream media outlets who would run with that story if it were true. Think about it. That's Pulitzer Prize territory.
  • Nothing has "no side effects." Everything has potential side effects and contraindications. Those "natural" products contain herbs and other substances that were our first "drugs," and they're still drugs.
  • When in doubt, we can always check with our doctors.

Whether people offer their opinions in terms of our lifestyle, our personality traits, or treatments they think we should try, we have to sort through all of it. In the end, as Steve Jobs said, we can't let the noise of other people's opinions down out our own inner voice. We're Migraine Ninjas, and this is when we must draw on our inner ninja to do what's right for us.

Ninja-Quotes-opinions-Jobs

Namasté,

_______________
Teri Robert
patient educator and advocate, author

author of Living Well with Migraine Disease and Headaches
www.terirobert.com
www.migrainedisease.com
www.healthcentralcom/migraine 

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The Migraine Ninja Oath

MigraineNinja200I want to begin my thanking everyone who suggested additions to our Migraine Ninja Oath. Thank you! The submissions were wonderful. It quickly became obvious that people were thinking along the same lines because many of the suggestions were variations of the same thoughts and principles.

You may wonder why we need a Migraine Ninja Oath. To me, there are two main reasons:

  1. To inspire each of us.
  2. To give us principles to cling to when we feel that Migraine disease is robbing us so badly that it might be winning. It can't win unless we let it. Taking your suggestions to put together our Oath has been very inspirational to me and helped me through a spell of feeling less hopeful than usual.

Without further ado, here is the Migraine Ninja Oath:

I promise to do my best to…

remain hopeful, steadfast, and determined.

always be kind to and supportive of others with Migraine.

respect other ninjas’ journeys.

resolutely advocate for myself and fellow Migraine Ninjas.

be an active partner with my doctor with regards to my care and treatment.

continue to seek knowledge and share it with others.

choose life, joy, and moving forward, regardless of hurdles.

embrace everything I can do, regardless of what I can't do.

choose “can” over “can’t” whenever possible.

be trustworthy when a migraine buddy comes to me in confidence.

be brave, and ask for help when I need it.

do whatever I can to reduce the stigma associated with Migraine.

I will know…

I am bonded with other ninjas even in the isolation of night.

the future will bring help in ways yet unimagined.

everyone has struggles, and I am not alone.

each of us must stand for the stigma to fall away.

I am capable of standing for many Migraine Ninjas stand with me.

 

Thank you also for the many comments I've received supporting this new blog/site. There's more to come, but it's going to take some time to develop. Your patience is greatly appreciated.

Namasté,

_______________
Teri Robert
patient educator and advocate, author

author of Living Well with Migraine Disease and Headaches
www.terirobert.com
www.migrainedisease.com
www.healthcentralcom/migraine 

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An Important Lesson for a Migraine Ninja

MigraineNinja200Good morning, Migraine Ninjas!

Do you like good quotes? I love them! I've been looking around for quotes that could apply to us as Migraine Ninjas and have found a few. I thing the quote on the image below is very true for us — in many ways...

  • We need to learn our bodies. We can't call our doctors every time we have a Migraine, so we have to make some treatment decisions for ourselves when a Migraine strikes. We can't do that without learning our bodies. Research has shown that Migraine abortive treatments such as the triptans — sumatriptan (Imitrex) rizatriptan (Maxalt) zolmitriptan (Zomig), etc. — work better when used early in a Migraine attack. For many of us, the prodrome phase may be too early to treat, but if we get an aura, some of us benefit greatly from taking our abortive medication during the aura phase. We can't do that unless we've learned our bodies well enough to recognize prodrome and aura symptoms. Here are some helpful links:
  • We also need to learn ourselves intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually. This is critical so we know how to deal with ourselves as we live with Migraine disease. We also need this knowledge so we can let other people know how to live with and support us.

What else do you think we need to learn about ourselves? Please feel free to leave a comment below and share. Also, if you have quotes that you believe apply to us as Migraine Ninjas, please feel free to comment ans share those as well.

Ninja-Quotes-learn-oneself

Namasté,

_______________
Teri Robert
patient educator and advocate, author

author of Living Well with Migraine Disease and Headaches
www.terirobert.com
www.migrainedisease.com
www.healthcentralcom/migraine 

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What's Right for a Migraine Ninja?

MigraineNinja200What's right for a Migraine ninja? Well, what's right for anyone?

Does it sometimes seem as if other people people are always telling you what's right for you? It was that way for me for a long time. On top of that I've tended to be a "people pleaser," wanting to make everyone happy and wanting people to like me.

At some point, I decided that I'm the only one who can truly know what's right for me. I'm the only person who's with me 24/7. I'm the only person who truly knows how I feel — what makes me happy, makes me sad, makes me feel that I have value and am contributing to society.

Realizing that only we know what's right and best for us is part of being a Migraine Ninja. Once we determine what's right and best, then we can go after it. The quote below is perfect for Migraine Ninjas!

Ninja-Quotes-Whats-Right

Namasté,

_______________
Teri Robert
patient educator and advocate, author

author of Living Well with Migraine Disease and Headaches
www.terirobert.com
www.migrainedisease.com
www.healthcentralcom/migraine 


Help Write the Migraine Ninja Oath

MigraineNinja200Yesterday, I talked about What's a Migraine Ninja? Today, I'm asking for your input in writing the Migraine Ninja's Oath. What do you think it should say? What should we promise?

Were you a Girl Scout or Boy Scout? I was a Girl Scout, and I've been thinking about the Girl Scout Law, which says:

I will do my best to be
    honest and fair,
    friendly and helpful,
    considerate and caring, 
    courageous and strong, and
    responsible for what I say and do, 
and to 
    respect myself and others, 
    respect authority,
    use resources wisely,
    make the world a better place, and 
    be a sister to every Girl Scout. 

So, for the Migraine Ninja Oath, let's start with:

I promise to do my best to

remain hopeful, steadfast, and determined.
always be kind to and supportive of others with Migraine.
continue to seek knowledge and share it with others.

What else should our Migraine Ninja Oath say?

Please share your thoughts and suggestions by emailing me through the purple "Email Me" link in the right column or below (depending on how you're viewing this post), or by posting a comment below.

 

NinjaCat150By the way, Binx, my new kitty, says that our pets can be Migraine Ninjas too, so don't forget to consult your pets for ideas. :-)

 

 

 

 

 

Namasté,

_______________
Teri Robert
patient educator and advocate, author

author of Living Well with Migraine Disease and Headaches
www.terirobert.com
www.migrainedisease.com
www.healthcentralcom/migraine 

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What's a Migraine Ninja?

MigraineNinja200The word ninja is derived from the Japanese characters "nin" and "ja."

  • Nin originally meant persevere.
  • Ja means person.

Ninjas originated over 800 years ago in the mountains of Japan as practitioners of ninjutsu, a martial art sometimes called "the art of stealth." They often served as spies, serving in the military. They were trained in concealment, disguise, geography, medicine, and other martial arts. Today's ninjas study ninjutsu for self-defense and physical fitness. Today, the word ninja is also used to describe a person who excels in a particular skill or activity.

A Migraine Ninja is a person who draws on their inner ninja to manage Migraine disease and live a full life.

ANYONE living with Migraine disease can be a Migraine Ninja:

  • people with chronic Migraine who are still searching for effective treatments
  • people who have been successful in getting their chronic Migraine reduced to episodic Migraine
  • people with frequent episodic Migraine
  • people who have only a few Migraine attacks a year

Migraine Ninjas are:

  • hopeful
  • determined
  • steadfast
  • supportive of others
  • seekers of knowledge
  • self-aware
  • generous

Are YOU a Migraine Ninja? If not, are you ready to become a Migraine Ninja?

This site is dedicated to Migraine Ninjas and their needs and wants. Please click the purple "Email Me" button to the right or below (depending on how you're viewing this site) to share your Migraine Ninja story, make suggestions, ask questions, etc.

Namasté,

_______________
Teri Robert
patient educator and advocate, author

author of Living Well with Migraine Disease and Headaches
www.terirobert.com
www.migrainedisease.com
www.healthcentralcom/migraine 

 

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