Migraine Ninja Oath

The Quintessential Migraine Ninja: Rosa Sundquist

MigraineNinja200Quite a few of you collaborated with me to put together our Migraine Ninja Oath, and it turned out very well.

Today, I want to introduce you to someone who is the quintessential Migraine Ninja, Rosa Sundquist. It makes me happy to be able to call Rosa my friend. She's a constant source of inspiration to me. She has had such a tremendous struggle with chronic, intractable Migraine, yet she's always hopeful. She never gives up.

I recently published a profile of Rosa on Remedy Health Media's HealthCentral Migraine site. It begins:

Rosa-Dolphin

Rosa Sundquist has had Migraines since she was a teenager. She endured the years 2008 to 2014 while in pain every single day. Still, she never gave up. With hope and determination, she worked with Migraine specialists to find treatments that would give her some relief.

Q: How long have you had Migraines? What’s your diagnosis, and how long did it take for you to get an accurate diagnosis?

Rosa Sundquist (RS): I’ve had Migraines since about the age of 15, perhaps longer. (I’m 55 years old now.) As a child, I had severe digestive issues. In fact, I don’t remember ever not having digestive issues.

I was officially diagnosed with episodic Migraine at the age of 27 and was told to take Motrin or Tylenol. I can’t remember who gave me the diagnosis. I think they were just guessing since my mom and sister also have Migraine disease. (I have family with Migraine on both sides, maternal and paternal.)

In September of 2008, I was diagnosed with chronic Migraine without auraintractable Migrainecervicogenic headaches, and occipital neuralgia. In 2009, hemicrania continua was added to the list of diagnoses, and in 2011, cervical dystonia joined the long list.

I hope you'll consider reading this profile, Rosa Sundquist: A Hopeful and Determined Migraine Patient. Reading more about Rosa is bound to raise your spirit and give you hope. 

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 

     


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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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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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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