Share Your Voice
More than 38 million people in the United States have migraine disease – 12% of the population. Below are some of their stories.
When I am out with people or around them, and have a migraine, I don’t like to let them know how much it hurts. Mostly because I just want to be a normal healthy kid. Migraines are one of the only things that can make me feel weak and helpless. My bed is the one place I can be where there are no lights or noise to bother me. I can curl up into the fetal position and do the thing I try never to do in public, cry. Alone is the only way I will cry, because when I am down I bring my friends and family, the people I love, down with me. I feel that I am causing enough pain through this disease and I feel obligated to take a lot of the rough stuff on myself.
I want it to be true that I can do anything that I put my mind to. To do this I would have to get to a point where I am fairly in control of my health, especially my migraines. Health is the biggest thing I desire for my future, as it would open up for me all possibilities. I would like to be an FBI agent, stand-up comedian, or stockbroker. People who really know me know that I have a good shot at what I want in life. I also know that the future because of its uncertainty is open to endless possibilities, and a chance to pursue dreams even when others may scoff at you or hurt you. The future is always waiting to be made.
For 7 years I’ve had a migraine that has never gone away. My life is consumed around catering to my pain, but it’s also inspired me to focus on my health and self-care! I’ve also developed a strange enjoyment for nerve blocks and peppermint oil.
After seeing 7 different specialists, thank you to Dr. Henry for being the very first person in my life to never settle without a solution!
My migraines started in February of 2009. I can remember looking at Valentine’s present a friend had gotten his girlfriend and my vision started to blur and I could not read an engraving right in front of me. Since then I have never had a full day without pain.
I’ve seen over 10 different doctors all who knew exactly what was causing the problem, and had the magic answer. I went through multiple tests, drugs, and other treatments all ending in the same frustration of being turned away. Being told there was nothing more to try, and to start from the beginning with a new doctor starts to feel hopeless. Everything in life is planned tentatively around it being a good day or a bad day, knowing that at any moment I can go from tolerable to laying flat out in the dark.
I’ve been seeing Dr. Henry for over 2 years now and since then I have been able to hold a steady job and go back to school. Dr. Henry is the first doctor to not stop trying; he is constantly looking for something new to try. He helps me manage my unbearable pain and nausea. Whether it’s fitting me in for a last minute IV, working around my 70-pound service dog, or planning a nerve block right before my final so I can focus on the important things in life rather than pain.
Being able to cope and manage pain is very different from having it be cured. I’m enthralled to see how much awareness this Foundation has raised. It is far worse than any headache you can imagine and it’s never as easy as popping an Excedrin and powering through. Managing depression is also a constant battle, but having hope is what drives me to keep trying to live a life as normal as possible, hope that this is something that can be beat and eventually will take away my pain.
My migraine saga began when I was 10 years old, only I didn’t realize that until I heard Danielle Henry’s story. When I was in the fifth grade, I began getting what I thought was the flu every two weeks. My teacher thought I was faking, but I was violently ill for a solid 24 hours. I know now that I was suffering from abdominal migraines with all the symptoms. I was entering puberty and was predisposed to migraines; I inherited them from my father’s side of the family.
At 21, I started getting severe migraines every month that were related to hormones. When I was 39, I got a migraine that lasted from October to March. I barely continued working every day; it was difficult being sensitive to light and sound.
Some years later, I now have chronic migraines; only one medication works to abort them, and it can cause rebound migraines.
Life with migraines is like walking on a high wire with a net that has holes in it.
In 2016, I was having daily migraines and nausea and discovered I needed gallbladder surgery. Following that, the nausea and migraines continued, which led to the discovery that genetically I don’t have the enzyme to digest sucrose and fructose. I now take the oral solution of Sucraid with my meals which has reduced the number of migraines I have to about 12 to 15 a month rather than daily.
Restorative yoga through the Daniele Byron Migraine Foundation Headache School has offered relaxation and stretching, which helps me deal with my migraines, along with the information provided during the sessions by the experts.
My son Kyle is 10 years old. This sweet spirit joined our family with a smile and was known by all to always share his smile with anyone around him. Until Kyle turned 4 years old.
This smile quickly faded until it was almost a lost art. He struggled with chronic migraines and try as he may, his life of happiness faded and the migraines completely took over.
I lost my son in my eyes. As a parent, my heart ached and I just wished that I could take the pain away. I thought I’d never get my child back.
After a few years of no comfort and several physicians later we came to know Dr. Henry.
Within just a month time I was able to see my son return to the amazing and happy child that everyone used to know. Truly, we are so blessed. His favorite thing to do now is to write inspirational letters to everyone that he sees that needs just a bit of cheering up.
He is an active, thriving, inspiration of perseverance.
By Melisa Olsen
I started getting migraines when I was 15, 20 years ago. I was diagnosed with Hashimotto’s this last year, an auto immune disease that affects the thyroid, and found out I have a gluten allergy. By tweaking a few things in my diet, my migraines have gone from 15-20 per month to 2-5, and those are during my menstrual cycle. I think it’s important that each individual do all they can to pin point the root cause of their specific migraines.
I’ve suffered with chronic migraines for two years. It has been devastating on my educational and social life; I was forced to leave the school and all my friends. Through hard work I was able to get my grades under control, my social life however is pretty much non-existent.
I’ve tried several medicines, and have joined a support group for teens with chronic migraines. Recently I was admitted into the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and I hope that that will help. I only wish that migraines were better understood and that it were a simple fix.
For our entire lives, my husband and I have been dedicated to fixing things and making our world a better place. Identify the problem, find and implement a solution, and get running again – that is what we have done all our lives! It is so frustrating to find that we can’t help our child, we can’t fix chronic migraines.
Migraine is a neurological event that medical researchers can now see occurring on functional MRIs. They can see a wave called “cortical spreading depression” spread across the brain during a migraine. This unexplained occurrence has been happening in my son’s brain every week, once a week for almost two years now. Right there in front of me, I can see a migraine happening to my son but I can’t break down why it is happening or find a way to stop it from happening.
Two years ago I did not know what a chronic migraine was and we went to the doctor to “fix” the problem. I assumed we would get a pill or some means of fixing the health issue and move on with our lives. The doctor diagnosed the condition I had never heard of, declared my son disabled, and handed me a 504 letter. I had never heard of chronic migraines and did not know what a 504 letter was. I went very quickly from having a “gifted” child to having a sick child.
This has affected our family in so many ways. For a teenager to get control of this difficult disease is a far greater challenge than many can understand. A doctor can tell you to learn to live with a disease, but in day-to-day life, you start to find out how hard that is to do. The medications can cause terrible side effects and switching medication can cause depression. There is panic when a migraine hits at the worst possible time and constant fatigue that can impede your child’s life more than the migraines.
The misunderstanding and underestimation of the effects of this disease have made the journey much more difficult than we had ever imagined. There is hope, there is happiness, and there will be a happy ending one way or the other. It just will take more time and determination than we had anticipated.
My 17-year-old daughter, Savannah, has suffered with chronic headaches since the age of 10. It started as abdominal migraines (yes, that’s a thing) at 8-years-old.
After years of searching for answers and relief from doctors, chiropractors, massage therapists, physical therapists, cranial orthopedics, surgery, medication, sleep studies, a daith piercing, and Botox she was FINALLY diagnosed with New Daily Persistent Headaches by Dr. Henry. He has been instrumental in helping Savvy.
Just recently we were able to celebrate the first day in seven years that she hasn’t had a headache because of a nerve-block injection. While it hasn’t completely eliminated her headaches, she has found some relief. Dr. Henry is our hero and we love that he has dedicated his practice to helping those who suffer from migraines and headaches.
As a mother of someone who suffers from almost constant headaches, I am quite familiar with the way that migraines and cluster headaches affect my daughter’s life.
Even as early as two days before a migraine begins her mood and well-being are compromised by irritability, depression, sensitivity to light and sound, difficulty concentrating and fatigue. It affects her speech and her comprehension is also impaired. My daughter is brilliant, a member of Mensa, making it especially heart breaking to see her wrestle with these symptoms.
Next comes the actual headache, which is so severe that she keeps her house cool and dark, even going so far to put the deepest light-blocking treatment on her windows and keeping the blinds closed. She struggles with accomplishing anything other than going to work (and frequently having to cut her day short) and sleeping. She is not able to have much of a social life because she never knows when she will be in so much pain that even plans to attend her favorite sources of entertainment — concerts and plays– must be cancelled. Teardra has always been active, accomplishing much in life. The headaches have forced her to take a step back from the citywide book club she runs, the side business she founded, weekly volunteering and ongoing academic endeavors. My husband and I help her out with homework, yard work and housework at times because she is feeling sick so frequently.
Migraines are a debilitating disease that only the sufferer and her family members can know the full extent of how it impedes a person’s ability to live a normal life.
Despite living with chronic pain, Jessica is high functioning, active in volunteer work and the lives of her family. She is working to become certified as a personal trainer in hopes of helping others function with chronic pain. She finds temporary relief from her headaches in aerobic and resistance workouts. Jessica has learned many things from this disease, including how to take life hour by hour instead of looking at the whole day or whole week ahead of her. She focuses on the task at hand, though everyday is a constant mental battle of just trying to get through the day.
Jessica’s husband of 18 years and her children have also learned many things from this experience. They are hoping for the right solution to heal her, and are continually adjusting to find ways to better support her. She now realizes all that she took for granted in being pain free and is optimistically searching for a solution with the help of Dr. Dan Henry.
I was 18 when I had my first migraine. I remember thinking that something was wrong with my vision. Little did I know that this was the beginning of a lifelong journey. For the most part, my migraines did not interfere with college life. The first year after I graduated I had a headache everyday. Literally EVERYDAY. A neurologist told me I needed to strengthen the muscles in my back. That was the first in a long line of “cures.” Physical therapy, Topamax, two hours in the doctor’s office for DHE injections, ER visits (“No, I’m not a drug seeker, I have a damn migraine!), PFO repair to my heart, Botox …
All of this finally led me to the most caring and compassionate person on my long road to treatment: Dr. Henry. He literally saved me from having a migraine every day. Now I have a mix of nerve blocks, magnesium drips, Botox and rescue meds and have a migraine 1-2 times a week. It is a daily struggle. When I think, “Maybe today is a good day and I won’t have migraines anymore,” one comes along and wipes me out. It’s hard to explain the pain you feel to coworkers, friends, loved ones, your spouse. It’s not “just a headache,” “no, I’m not flaking out on you,” “it’s not you, it’s me.” You feel unreliable, tired, waiting for the next shoe to drop. I’m hopeful though. I see that more and more treatments have become available in the past 5 years, than in the previous 20. Thank you to Dr. Henry for fighting so hard for his migraine patients!
My migraines became chronic when I was pregnant with my first child. They have been difficult to manage for the past 6 years. My daily routine is based upon what may or may not trigger a migraine. How and what I eat, drink, sleep, exercise, nap, weather, and stress levels all contribute. This disease has altered how I am as a wife, mother, and friend.
My guilt eats at me as I have to explain to my 6 year old why I’m napping or telling my husband I can’t go in a hike. Dr. Henry has given me hope that I can get through this disease with medical help. I’m comforted he is there and understands.
I have battled migraines for 27 years. The past six years my migraine disease crescendoed to the point where it was not a question of if my head hurt, but how bad. Migraines contributed to a neurological incident that left me unable to walk, sit up or stand. I was not able to drive or take care of my children for two and a half excruciating years. I had to re-learn to walk. I spent a total of five and a half weeks away from my family while admitted to a special treatment hospital for headaches in Chicago.
Thanks to Dr. Dan Henry’s expert care and compassion we were finally able to have another miracle baby join our family following a six year wait.
Dr. Henry has helped me through my darkest and most hopeless times. He treated me week after week with a passion and concern I have not otherwise experienced. He has restored me to a level of functioning I have not had for years.
I have suffered with chronic migraines for most of my life. They are debilitating to say the least. My vision will get really blurry, any noise becomes almost unbearable and I am frequently nauseated (besides feeling like my head is going to explode any minute!)
I feel like I have missed out on so many fun times with family and friends because I am not feeling well. When my little 3 year old proudly came upstairs and handed me his first ice pack he made for mom all by himself – I wanted to cry. It puts into perspective how this affects my family.
I am thankful for all of the treatments currently available, but I wish there was more understanding from the public. When I would rather have shots into the base of my skull and around my head than feel the pain, that should be a great example of how bad a migraine feels. I am so thankful to Dr. Henry and the staff at Foothill Family Clinic for taking care of me and my family (many of whom also have migraines). Let’s spread some awareness and promote understanding about migraines and what we go through on a daily basis!
Debilitating, that is the best word I can use to describe my life with migraines. Living my life day to day becomes such a struggle when a migraine comes into the picture. I can’t play with my daughter or help her with her homework, I can’t accomplish my to do list, work becomes a bigger stress because they only see me as someone with a headache. Having a migraine becomes a world full of can’ts!!
Even those I love start doubting me, wondering how I can really be in this much pain with a headache. So, I doubt myself, I feel like a burden, I feel like I am too much for everyone else, it gets exhausting and I am already exhausted from the pain! It’s a vicious cycle, one that I hope to end. Thank you Dr. Dan Henry for giving me hope, and more pain free days, so I can live a more normal life.
When I’m out in public I always try to be put together. The hours, days, or weeks spent battling migraine are not seen. The constant pain where I’m sensitive to the slightest touch is invisible. The agony and stolen moments from a sickness I cannot control and struggle to predict are hidden. At times I might appear lazy but the truth is quite the opposite, I’m fighting a battle that few can see.
Ever since I can remember I’ve struggled with migraines and headaches. My earliest memory of having a migraine was when I was about 4 years old. But it was just a part of my life. Through my childhood, I was always nervous to go to sleepovers or activities at friends’ houses because if I got a migraine it would ruin everyone’s day/night/plans.
This feeling still keeps me from making too many commitments – because I feel if I say “yes”, and have to cancel because of a migraine, people will think it’s just the “same old excuse” – even though it’s the truth.
In my 20’s my migraines got much worse. I saw many neurologists who wouldn’t even look me in the eye, just asked me what medications I wanted and sent me on my way – I didn’t want medication, I wanted help, some sort of resolution
After many failed neurologist appointments a friend referred me to Dr. Longe at Foothill Family Clinic. He was such a blessing, and a wonderful doctor, and the most amazing thing he did was refer me to Dr. Dan Henry. I’ve been under Dr. Henry’s care for about 8 years now, and although I still experience migraines, they are so much better than when I started seeing him. Dr. Henry truly shows compassion and understanding for and about this disease and his patients that no other medical professional I’ve seen has. He has a passion to help his patients and I am so grateful for all the help he’s given me. I am SO excited for what the future holds for the migraine community with Dr. Henry at the forefront of migraine treatment and research! Thank you Dr. Henry!
I started having migraines when I was a teenager but only once a month. As time went on they became more frequent. About 10 years ago I started having them 3 times a week. After a surgery 6 years ago, I began having continuous migraines. The only difference is in the intensity of the pain throughout the day or night.
My life has completely changed. I used to be active in sports, pottery, and always on the go. Now I often have to sleep during the day or drag myself around to accomplish anything. Most people don’t understand me or think it could not really be that bad. There are doubters all around.
I have to fight off the depression when I tell people I can’t go because I am in too much pain, too tired or exhausted. I keep hoping there will be something in the future and I will get my old life back.
I have benefited from attending the Headache School since it began. Migraine Disease is complicated and needs numerous avenues, modalities, and suggestions from a wide variety of practitioners. The school has provided all of those. Seeing Dr Henry has also helped give me hope and courage to continue in my search to find what can help. Continuing with Botox has lessened my pain. I hope to continue to find new ways to help me in my quest with my migraines.
Since last year’s fundraiser, I have continued to learn how to live with Chronic Migraines. The first three years of living with Chronic Migraines, I adjusted my life in practical ways like testing food intolerances, sleep schedules, staying hydrated, etc. Last year I was learning about emotional triggers such as how to listen to my anxiety and depression. I have learned so much about my body’s limits.
This year I’ve continued to listen to my body but have come to the realization that stress is a huge trigger for me. Living with Chronic Migraines at 21 is difficult because I should be going to school and building my future. Unfortunately, my future has been put on hold until I learn to control my body under stress.
Because of the success of last year’s fundraiser, The Danielle Byron Henry Migraine Foundation has created the Headache School and an adolescent support group. The adolescent support group has been the most impactful for me. The other participants have been amazingly supportive. I love having a group of friends who truly understand what I’m going through. I no longer feel so alone.
I’ve changed my lifestyle and will continue to make adjustments until I’m able to live a life that is as close to normal as possible.
Thank you for supporting me and my fellow migraineurs by coming tonight! You don’t know what tonight means to us.
Migraine disease has affected my life in almost every aspect. I used to be a very physically active athlete. Now, I can barely run a mile without having a throbbing migraine. I used to love hanging out on the weekends with my friends—going to dances, parties, or late night movies. Now, all I want to do with my free time is curl up in bed and maybe watch some TV. At times, I feel like I am no longer myself, and that I can no longer enjoy or do the things that make me happiest. Migraine disease has stolen my youth, my health, and my sanity at times. It has taken things from me that I will never be able to get back.
The worst part about this disease however, is that it is invisible. There is no physical evidence of Migraine, no bumps or bruises, any hair loss or discoloration. Because of the covert nature of migraines, I am often misunderstood. My friends don’t understand why I skip out on activities, or would rather go to bed early than go to a party. My family doesn’t understand why I can be so irritable sometimes, but it is hard not to be frustrated when my head is always always always hurting.
I don’t remember what it feels like to wake up and feel “normal”. Not even good, not even great—just simply normal. I wake up every day wishing that this will be the day that I don’t have a headache anymore, but that day hasn’t come yet. I am hoping that with increased awareness and research, the cure will soon be found! Until then, I would advise everyone not to jump to conclusions the next time someone they know doesn’t want to go out, or seems a little frustrated. You honestly never know what other people are going through—they might even have Migraine disease.
I knew about migraines from a young age. I remember as a little girl staying up all night because my head hurt so bad I could not sleep. Long bus rides for school field trips were very difficult for me due to motion sickness. I was, and continue to be bothered by light sensitivity. Simply going from a dimly lit room to bright reflective snow or sunlight hurts. Several members of my family suffer with migraine, episodic migraine, motion sickness, and light sensitivity. As I continued my education, I had migraines and still continued to live my life.
After graduating with a degree in Special Education, I started teaching. While working with a particularly energetic and oppositional student, I received three separate blows to my head. At first I dismissed it, but this pain was different. They sent me to an ER where I was given narcotics for the pain. When there was no improvement, I was referred to a neurologist. I was unable to return to work due to the concussions and eventually was dismissed from my position. The kids were my world, they needed me, and I could not even tell them goodbye. I was recovering from concussions and trying to remember my routines and now everything had changed. I was scared to say my head hurt because I wanted to see the kids I loved so much. I wanted to as much as possible “put things behind me.” I started looking for a new job teaching special education. I did not want the migraine and trauma to follow me. I had an opportunity to start a new job. I still lived in pain. I was still emotional. I still felt depressed and I was still upset. Even in the summer I was having migraine. I was locking myself in my room for days to cry and sulk, and sleep. Bright lights continued to bother me. I was missing out on life. I was sad because I knew this was not just migraine. This was Chronic Migraine.
My first visit to Dr. Henry was in January 2017. I cried tears of joy knowing there is a doctor who knows about migraine and cares. I attend Headache School and yoga weekly. It has been a huge support for me to learn there are other people like me. I am grateful to learn there is hope. It is difficult sometimes not knowing the exact cause, but my migraine journal helps me track triggers, symptoms, times, and treatments.
I started having migraines in fourth grade. I would have headaches daily and would have to call someone for medication because my school wouldn’t let me bring medicine with me.
Recently they have progressively gotten worse, I have missed more school physically and mentally this year than I have in my entire life and my grades have suffered.
One of my worst migraines ever was in March, I couldn’t move. I was in bed for 36 hours straight taking medication after medication, trying to get it down to a sustainable level. Even after could I get it down to a level at which I could finally get out of bed it would be difficult do things because of the pain in my head.
Living with migraines means every day, every hour, is a gamble. You never know when you’ll suddenly be stopped in your tracks, unable to see or think clearly, prohibited by your own body from working, going to school, or even being around others at all. It means hyper vigilance about the foods you eat and smells you surround yourself with, from air fresheners to deodorant. It means constantly having to explain to people around me that, “No, I’m not being dramatic, or seeking attention, in fact, could you turn that spotlight away from me? It’s making it worse. I do not have a low pain tolerance – it’s NOT just a headache.” It means frustration because of emergency room doctors thinking you’re seeking pain medication, professors that believe you are simply too lazy to come to class, and friends that angrily confront you about missing some planned event.
Worst of all, it means an inherent lack of understanding from most people and an automatic judgment about you. You just want someone who ‘gets it’. In reality, until people don’t have to experience the agony of migraines to comprehend what you’re going through, it’s better if they don’t get it, because you’ve been there, and you wouldn’t wish it on anyone.
In the year since Shine Her Light, Dr. Henry and his treatments have been a godsend. I don’t know how I can ever thank him and the foundation for always being hyper vigilant for those that suffer from the same affliction that I do. Without their constant support, I never would have been able to achieve my lifelong dreams.
The information I’ve gained has helped me to spread awareness and knowledge to those around me. My family, friends, and colleagues now know so much more than they ever did before, and that alone has improved my quality of life immensely. Understanding is key to just feeling that our pain is real – and that means the world.
Even if my migraines are as much a part of me as my eye color, having someplace to direct others to gain information about this disease that will always be a part of my life, has been so important.
Nothing about migraines is good, but they have taught me so much: compassion, understanding, and to savor the good moments, because those moments can change so quickly. Being able to let the people closest to me know what I go through and struggle with makes all the difference in my life. All I’ve ever wanted was someone who understood, and now I have a community that knows.
Thank you for all you do – every single one of you. We are stronger for our struggles, and better for the work the Danielle Byron Henry Migraine Foundation does on behalf of all of us.
I am a mother, a wife, a daughter, a friend, and someone that suffers from migraine headaches. It is often frustrating and upsetting trying to be a good wife, friend, and especially a mom when you cannot even get out of bed from the pounding in your head or the constant nausea. It prevents me from getting healthy and having an active lifestyle.
So many people do not understand how debilitating migraines can be. Dr. Henry helps me get closer to becoming the mom, wife, and friend that I want to be. I will be forever grateful to him and his efforts to help those in need.
Donna’s migraines began when she was in middle school, but remained undiagnosed until her junior year in college, in part because her family failed to recognize that her headaches weren’t just something to “get over.” She persevered through her pain to become a debate champion, National Honors Society member in high school and received Dean’s List and Mortar Board recognition at Northwestern University while earning Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. The impact of the migraines on her life was profound.
Donna was finally diagnosed during her junior year of college. Fighting nausea along with the pain was a lifelong challenge, and finding sustainable pain relief was a futile search. Ultimately Imitrex provided some relief, but it became available only a few years prior to her contracting breast cancer, too late in her life to significantly alter her course. She spent much of her adult life in pain and depressed. Her ability to function was always a factor in planning family activities. Many were cancelled, or, more likely, determined to be unsafe to plan. Perhaps her greatest disappointment was that her migraines kept her from establishing a speech pathology clinical practice, the work she overcame so much to qualify for. Her migraine-related depression accelerated after the children left for college. Migraines were a big factor in her delaying treatment for her breast cancer, which ultimately claimed her life.
One of the difficulties of having a chronic headache is keeping it a secret. Sharing the truth can lead to more pain, a personal weakness is exposed. Some friends and relatives incorrectly tell the sufferer the likely cause of the headache and what should be done next to cure it; they cast guilt. Spreading the news at work can be a costly mistake; bosses and colleagues see a handicap, opportunities are missed. One may feel as though they are living a lie, faking their feelings, not able to express the truth that they suffer.
Out of the five kids in my family, I was the lucky one, the one whose headaches were easily managed by ice, ibuprofen, sleep, and exercise…and then my luck ran out. In July 2015, my headache pattern changed. Not only did I have headaches when sleep deprived as a pediatrician, but I also had headaches after a great night’s sleep, during a relaxing day, while exercising, working, and out with friends. I felt betrayed by my body that had always allowed me to work crazy long hours, do fun activities, and enjoy life to its fullest.
I tried alternative therapies – massage, chiropractors, PT, TENS, elimination diets, meditation, yoga, but the headache frequency and intensity continued to increase. I stopped planning social events and travel. I cut back at work thinking work stress must be related to the migraines; however that month, I had migraines 28 of the 31 days. It was then that I finally realized I was just like my siblings – a chronic migraine sufferer, and I needed a migraine preventive, too. After some trial and error, we found a preventive and rescue regimen that works most of the time. I recently had 8 days in a row without headaches (AMAZING!) and then the following week had 5 days of headaches.
Though I strongly dislike having to take any medications, I realize that my new shelf full of headache medications is just the way it has to be for now. I am so grateful for the headache free times, and I work hard not to panic or become angry with myself when I realize a headache is starting. Though not at my “preheadache” level, the fun me is making a comeback!
I am a mother of 3, and I suffer from migraine disease! I have suffered for going on 8 years now. There are days when the pain is so unbearable that I cannot perform the simplest of tasks. To say that my migraines are debilitating would be an understatement. They are demoralizing, excruciating, incapacitating, and confining. They leave me feeling depressed and inadequate.
I am so grateful for the compassion of Dr. Henry and his devotion to curing this disease. He gives me hope that one day I might be able to live a normal life. That the pain will someday stop, and I can finally feel relief!
I have suffered with severe migraines since the age of 16, a time when little was known about how to treat migraines. As a teenager I endured severe pain, which usually arrived just in time for big events like parties or dances. As I entered college the pain was more frequent and affected studying, dating, and college exams. I was married at the age of 21, and I made it through three pregnancies with little relief from migraine pain, only being able to take Tylenol and a few times ending up in the hospital with morphine.
As I raised my kids there were many times when I had to call neighbors or friends to care for my children as lay in bed with a migraine. Now after turning 50, I suffer from chronic daily headaches as well as migraines. But I am a successful 3rd Grade teacher and despite daily headache pain, I rarely miss a day of school because of the advances in medications for migraines and because of Dr. Henry’s care.
My life and the lives of my three children, who also suffer from migraines, are not always easy. Migraines affect how we live, what we eat, and what activities we do. But we have great hope that our quality of life will continue to improve with more public awareness and greater medical advances.
I’ve suffered from migraines since I was a teenager; I am now 43. My life has revolved around how my head feels. It has only been in the past five years that I feel like I have had some type of “relief” and some hope.
I have missed more family events, social gatherings, and given up more work days due to migraines than I can count. I have spent endless days in a dark room pushing on the pain in my head praying it would vanish to no avail.
It took me YEARS to find a doctor who finally took the time to help! He understood my migraines and understood migraines are a serious, serious disease. It is only because of Dr. Henry, I continue to improve and continue to survive one more day with migraines.
Migraines and the plague they are need much, much more awareness and attention. We cannot continue the way we are without the continuing support of those health care professionals like Dr. Henry. We cannot survive without them, literally!
Being a 24-year-old college student with migraine disease is often lonely, depressing and painful. Every morning, I wake up feeling weak, tired and uncomfortable. It’s a struggle to get out of bed. On my “good” days I’m still in pain—often hiding the stabbing, aching and throbbing that so painfully remind me, I’m not normal—and I might never be.
In 11 months, I finally graduate from BYU with a degree in communications. Dr. Henry is confident I’ll be healthy enough to commit to a full-time job upon graduation. I’m not as sure as he is, but I’m pretending to be.
My greatest fear is that I’ll never be able to be a mom. Or if I do become a mom, I won’t be a good one. But there is something inside of me that tells me that I will graduate, I will be able to work a full-time job and I will become a wife and mother. That something is called hope. And it’s the reason I’m still here. My hope is fed by the hope of others that love me— my parents, Dr. Henry, my grandparents, my Savior and my Heavenly Parents. This hope gives life to what often feels like a lifeless Amanda. This hope sustains, lifts and carries me. This hope enables me to love, not blame, my Father in Heaven. Above all, this hope is evident of God’s love, awareness and never-ending grace.
Migraines have been a reoccurring nightmare in my life ever since I was 5 years old. Unpredictable, and rearing its’ ugly head whenever it wants to remind me that they are in control of my life and me. No matter what measures I take to prevent them – they can easily be triggered by even the slightest emotion. They have instilled a constant fear and anxiety in my body – never knowing when the next one will come. At times I’m scared to open my eyes in the morning because of the pain I may feel indicating a migraine.
Migraines have robbed me of the life I’d imagined for my family and myself. I’ve always wanted to be a mom, and in 2009 my husband and I were blessed with a healthy baby boy. He is the world to us! After many health challenges and failed attempts at getting pregnant again, we’ve come to the realization that we aren’t able to have any more children of our own. That has been earth shattering for me.
Migraines took my successful career away from, and ended relationships because I’m not always dependable. They steal time and memories from me because I’m unable to attend events. The guilt is insurmountable when I have to explain to my 8 year old that mom can’t come to something special of his because “I’m sick again!”
Migraines can steal a lot of things from me, but it can’t steal my smile or my life – I won’t let it! My fight and stubbornness has become a great strength and power in helping me fight off depression, self doubt and pity. I’ve learned to be easier on myself and to have compassion for the battle I’m fighting, even when others don’t.
Migraines are a lonely disease.
I began getting migraines my senior year in high school. I didn’t think it much of it and began taking Ibuprofen for the pain. The headaches became worse after high school as I started college and life became more stressful. Soon I was taking Ibuprofen and Excedrin multiple times a day EVERYDAY.
The cycle continued for three years, but life was busy and I didn’t think much of it until I developed a stomach ulcer from all the medication I was taking. I hadn’t realized how dependent I had become on the medication and truly how bad my migraines were until I went to see Dr. Henry.
Although I have only been seeing him for 6 months, I am already feeling so much better! I am off of my daily medication regimen and only have to take my rescue medication a few days a week. My overall mood has improved now that headaches don’t plague my daily life anymore. I am so grateful to Dr. Henry for giving me my quality of life back.
I’ve suffered from weekly migraines for 11 years. Not only have they caused so much excruciating physical pain, they’ve also caused so much emotional pain. I’ve missed out on so many important events in life. And, most importantly, I feared I would never be able to get pregnant or be an attentive mother while suffering from these attacks. It wasn’t until I met Dr. Henry 5 years ago that my entire outlook on the future changed. Working with him has restored hope in my life.
I am currently 9 months pregnant, waiting to have this baby any day now! Dr. Henry was by my side the entire way with nerve block treatments so I could have a pain free and medication free pregnancy.
I’m confident I will be able to be an attentive mother because of the treatment and understanding I receive from him. My life and my family’s life are forever changed because of Dr. Dan C. Henry!
I started having chronic headache problems in my 30’s. The only thing I could do to treat them was with over the counter NSAIDS. For the most part this worked. But the headaches persisted and started getting worse. It became a 30-year battle and a personal nightmare. The headaches increased in frequency and intensity each year until I was popping Extra Strength Excedrin like Skittles. Headaches were rebounding and I was killing my stomach.
On a very important business trip to Washington, D.C. a volcano exploded. In a very public setting, I crashed from a three-day nightmare. My wife and I decided it had to end.
We saw Neurologists, Orthopedic specialists, and a long string of doctors. After a visit with Dr. Azarcon, my family doctor, he recommended that I see Dr. Henry who was specializing in treatment of chronic headaches. From the first visit he dug into the symptoms, causes, triggers and spent an enormous amount of time with me. We began a personalized treatment plan and it has taken two years to get the headaches under control, but it is working. I’ve gone from daily headaches to 1 or 2 headaches per month and I can treat them quickly and effectively.
My wife and I decided it was time to retire and eliminate stress triggers from my life. I was old enough to retire but felt a little forced into it. Now we have a home on a modest little farm in Cache County. It’s not a completely headache-free life, but very close to it. Life is good and I feel liberated.
It’s my hope that Dr. Henry and his foundation will be able to produce results for millions of sufferers by providing better education and awareness for patients, primary care physicians, and other caregivers.
I live with migraines. I inherited many wonderful traits from my mother and maternal grandmother, and I take immense pride in that. Unfortunately, I also inherited their migraines. Both my grandmother and especially my mother have dealt with migraines for a large portion of their lives. I would occasionally have a migraine once or twice a year in high school and then perhaps six a year throughout college and the subsequent years. This year, I began having double that amount in a two week span, and migraines have now become a regular part of my life.
Living with migraines is tedious, painful, and isolating. Migraines affect social and professional lives because you to have to cancel dinner plans or miss work. There just isn’t another option. Even going to the grocery store during a migraine cycle can be impossible. There are many times where I can’t even hold a normal conversation because I can’t focus on anything but the building pressure in my head. About every other migraine, I’ll beg my husband to drill a hole in my head because I’m convinced that doing so will FINALLY make my head feel better (obviously, he declines). It can be discouraging to fight something invisible to others while trying to explain that it is so much more than “just a headache”.
Although I have watched others suffer unfairly from migraines, I’ve also learned invaluable lessons. I’ve found that those who suffer from chronic diseases are among a rare group of the most kind and understanding people. That group includes the Henry family. Dr. Henry has shown me kindness, support, and a light for the future. He has given me options I previously did not know exist. Because of the Henry family’s work, many like myself can live functioning, “normal” lives with migraines. Within the Danielle Byron Henry Foundation, there is hope for those who feel hopeless and misunderstood. There could be no greater mission for a foundation than that.
I started getting migraines when I was 15, and they’ve slowly become more frequent and aggressive over the years. I’m now 34. My migraines are a constant companion, a part of me I have to think about multiple times per day, even when I don’t have one. I could trigger one at any moment… don’t eat that food, don’t work out too hard, don’t over heat, don’t get too stressed, don’t get sick, don’t leave without your pills, get enough sleep, it’s raining today, etc. When I do have one, they are all encompassing and life literally sometimes has to stop. I can’t be talked to, moved, need the dark and silence, and can never sleep it off, but just lay there until it eases.
I’m lucky to be self employed, else I may very well be unemployable. That doesn’t always mean I can go lay down and relax when one comes on. Often, I have to suffer through them, and when they come on multiple days at a time, depression starts to sink in. It’s really hard living and working through pain. They affect my personality, my relationships, my livelihood and my hope. I know I’m still “me” when they’re less frequent, but when I’m in fog of 10-15 plus migraines per month, I feel like I go away for a while and lose myself in the misery of feeling awful. When people say they get migraines, my heart aches for them. I am desperate for a cure so I can be the happy, successful, driven person that I am when I feel okay.
I have fought chronic migraine disease since ten days before my 16th birthday. I remember the start of an illness so clearly, but it was a change that has impacted every aspect of my life. It took three months to get an accurate diagnosis as the migraine raged on causing pain, nausea, sensitivity to light and sound and many missed school days. In the twelve years I have battled this disease, there have been many struggles. I was able to get a bachelor’s degree with support from the university’s disability center, but was forced to forfeit my position in a fully funded Masters/PhD program, and take two and a half years off to focus on stabilizing my health.
However, there are more things to be thankful for in my life than I can count: my family, students, and Dr. Henry. My family has made great sacrifices to help me survive this disease; their prayers and encouragement have been key to keeping me here on this Earth. I am able to work again and my job gives me a sense of purpose and great satisfaction. My students give me hope that future generations will have more compassion and awareness of migraine disease. In this photo, I am with a small group of my kindergarten through third graders, all of whom have at least one parent who experiences migraine disease. My students question why I often wear a hat and two pairs of sunglasses, my FL-47s and regular wraparound sunglasses, indoors. They wonder what color my eyes are. They exclaim how beautiful I look on the rare occasion that I might take my glasses off. Please do not take for granted your ability to make good eye contact with others.
I have been suffering from Chronic Migraine Disease for 4 years. I couldn’t get out of bed for 6 months and could hardly function for about 10 months. I had to postpone my education, miss out on family and social activities, and give up my hobbies. I visited many different doctors, had multiple MRI’s, and even spent three months in physical therapy hoping I had a neck injury. No one could tell me what was wrong or how to fix it. There were days when I thought I would have to live with the excruciating pain for the rest of my life. Not to mention the emotional pain, which was at times worse than the physical.
Eventually, I found Dr. Henry and have since been able to manage my migraines. I was able to graduate from Utah Valley University last month and am currently applying for graduate school. I got married two years ago and enjoy many of the hobbies and activities I once had to miss out on. I still suffer from migraines but have learned how to take care of myself. I now know that I can live a full, happy, and migraine managed life.
For too long, headache has been the dominant factor in my life. Not the most important thing in my life; that would be my family. Headache disease influences every facet of my life. Every day I awake either with a headache, or wondering how long it will be before that big shoe drops on me.
I have learned to avoid some activities. But I also decide that quite a few others are worth it. I love to play sports with my grandsons, and wrestle with them on the floor. I love to fish, hunt, camp, drive our ski boat for my family. All of these things are worth it to me because they make me happy. My family doesn’t understand my headaches, but they know they are real, and are understanding if I don’t participate.
I am one of the lucky ones among those afflicted with headache disease. Dr. Henry has taught me so much about my headache, and has helped me manage them and handle the pain. He has given me tools with which I live a happy, productive life. I do have some days without headache, at least at a low enough pain level that for me it is a good day. I’ll sometimes string together 2 to 4 or even 5 days like that when I don’t need to take medication. If you didn’t know me well, you would probably not even know that I deal with this health issue. I know there are many who suffer much more than I do with headaches. All things considered, I have to say, like the stick-figure logo on T-shirts and hats states, that “Life Is Good”.
My migraines started when I was around 16, and just getting into high school. I was getting a migraine almost every day, 25-30 a month. It was really discouraging because I had worked so hard in school taking AP classes, playing soccer and varsity basketball, and joining student government. It was hard when my migraines hit. I had to make major changes in order to focus on how to deal with my migraines. I had to quit basketball and struggled to barely get my credits to graduate.
Through this whole ordeal I was lucky I found Dr. Henry! He was the one who said I would get through it and never stopped believing in me. He has been patient, kind and understanding in helping me find ways to treat my migraines. He was right, and although it has been overwhelmingly hard, I got through it! I am currently on Botox and now only get 1-2 migraines a month! It has been such an amazing change. I am now able to work as a nanny for four kids, and am in college full time. I never thought I’d be here 5 years ago. I finally have my life back.
I’ve had chronic migraines for the past four years. Migraines affect nearly every aspect of my life. I live life at a slower pace than my peers, which has been a difficult adjustment. At the age of 23, I’m still dependent upon my parents, still at university, and still have headaches everyday. However, if given the chance, I don’t think I would trade away these four years. While I have had really rough days (sorry, mom and dad), I have learned to treat others with compassion and empathy, I am learning that God accepts and is pleased with my capabilities, as limited as they currently are, and that God is so much more merciful than we think He is. A big, big thank you to Doctor Henry and his family, my parents, Russell and Angie, and my grandparents for their love and compassion.
My migraine disease has affected my life in two ways.
1. It has been disabling. I have missed out on a bit of life. I haven’t been able to be the person that I believe I think I could be. I am tired of telling people I cannot attend “because I have a migraine.” I miss work. I cannot hold down a job. I am depressed.
2. I am compassionate. I live life to the fullest when I can. I am a good listener. I am patient. I have a soft heart and charity for those who live with chronic pain. I don’t think I would trade this trial, because it makes me who I am, a tender and benevolent person.
My husband and I moved to Park City because we love the outdoors. We wanted to raise our family to play together! We use to ski and bike and hike and go camping. I worked as a children’s therapist at a shelter because I wanted to make a difference in this world.
When I started getting headaches 10 years ago we thought I had a brain tumor or some horrible cancer, I couldn’t believe the pain could be so bad. I went to multiple doctors. I have had allergy shots, sinus surgery, tubes put in my ears, tubes taken out of my ears, acupuncture, chiropractors, hormone treatments, multiple drugs with multiple side effects, multiple injections in multiple places, including 32 shots in my head, all to no avail. I still have migraines. I can’t go skiing or biking or hiking or camping because if my heart rate increases, I get a migraine. I still work some days as a children’s therapist, but I can’t be depended on. I never know when it will hit. I spend most of my time lying down with ice on my head. I just want my life back.
Panic is the best word to describe how it feels. You are so ill that you are rendered paralyzed. How will I take care of my family? Who will take care of me? I used to cry out to my husband, “Please help me”. For all my pain, he too, was suffering. No physician seemed to know how to deal with me. Depression set in, and even though I put on a show of “everything is fine”, I was slowly dying inside.
I got my first migraine when my fourth child was about six months old. My three older children were 5, 3, and 1 ½ at the time. Fast-forward 17 years, and another six children, I’m now in a much better place!
Dr. Dorothy Williams and Dr. Dan Henry became my salvation when I found them about two years ago. These physicians are fully committed to listening, understanding, and responding, in the utmost kind, compassionate, and professional manner. After incorporating a multifaceted approach (with a lot of trial and error with medicine and other treatments), I am, finally, seeing a decline in the number and intensity of my migraines.
I live my life to the fullest, not letting the disease prevent me from doing the things I love – taking care of my 10 children, and living an active life: playing tennis, skiing, singing, hiking, going to concerts, volunteering, teaching, creating art, and spending time with my awesome husband!
“Life is Good” is no longer a clever motto for T-shirts. It’s become my reality following almost two decades of living in a hellish prison inside my head. I’m sincerely thankful that I made it out alive, and I love how it feels to feel good.
I began experiencing migraines and daily persistent headaches at age 17. I spent the entire summer before my senior year lying and sleeping on my living room couch with ice packs on my head, falsely hoping this would relieve my migraines to some degree. My migraines prevented me from excelling in my schoolwork and left me incredibly weak physically. The act of exercising of any sort made my head pound worse, which made me depressed because I missed running, dancing, and hiking so much. Migraines caused me to abandon many hobbies and extracurricular activities. I had to significantly lighten my school load, and miss out on many social activities during my senior year of high school. The time that I would have spent doing the things I love was now spent visiting dozens of doctors where I received no answers as to what was causing me so much pain.
During the time my head migraines sparked, I also began experiencing stomach migraines. At the time, I didn’t know these two were related and I had many medical tests done, with again no answers as to what was causing my stomach such discomfort each time I ate anything. I dreaded eating because of the pain I knew would come, which led to unhealthy weight loss.
Migraines are truly disabling. Dr. Henry has helped me manage my migraines and I now am even able to experience many headache-free days! I am so grateful for the care of Dr. Henry for helping me feel healthy again.
I have had migraines for about 6 years now. Words can’t even begin to describe the depths of gratitude I have for Dr Henry. He has literally been my lifesaver. He has never given up on finding answers for me and has consistently made time to help me in any way.
From consulting with the Mayo Clinic, helping get us into the Jacob’s Neurological Institute to look for additional answers, calling me after hours, to making room in his busy schedule for me. His compassion has carried me through very dark times when I wasn’t sure how I would get through. He’s never given up on me and has continually worked to find better, more personalized solutions.
His continued dedication has lead us to answers that have allowed me to have a full and fulfilling life. With his help, I have gone from having migraines that lasted days or weeks, that left me unable to participate in daily life, and required frequent intervention to minimal migraines due to preventative measures. Our family is forever grateful for the love, compassion, and service Dr Henry has provided to us.
My name is Katie Davis. I have been struggling with migraines since I was seven years old.
Thanks to Dr. Henry’s help, I continue to get stronger after my migraines became so severe, they left me re-learning to walk and unable to take care of my kids.
I am happy to report, my migraines are more manageable than ever due to Dr. Henry’s specialized nerve blocks in my eyebrows, forehead and base of my skull. Dr. Henry also provides helpful in office IV treatments as needed as well.
Right now, my biggest migraine related concern is for my daughters, ages eight and ten. They are already battling migraines. It breaks my heart to see them suffer.
It gives me great hope to think of a comprehensive migraine treatment center that could be there to support them through the rest of their lives.
My hope for my daughters is a life free from the ravaging effects of migraine. How grateful I am for the Danielle Byron Henry Migraine Foundation for turning my hope for a migraine managed and pain free life for my girls into a reality!
When I told the doctor that I had had a severe headache for 6 years, she asked when it occurred and I told her that it was constant, all day, all night. It did vary some on the pain scale but it was never not there. Stress and blinking lights were big triggers that made it worse. She referred me to Dr. Henry and I cried when I realized there might be help for me. I had tried all kinds of self-help and over the counter therapies and even gone to doctors, but my headache never went away.
It was not until I felt hopeful that I looked back on the suffering I had been hiding or trying to ignore all those years. I realized that pain takes me away from myself and loved ones because it is impossible to be fully present while a sharp, stabbing pain throbs in my head. Working, my concentration, sleep, even driving felt disrupted. I could not be at my best, ever.
Thankfully, after many months of effort, times of relief from the headache have come. I am so grateful.
I have had headaches ever since I was a teenager, but after I started having children, they got worse. My mother and grandmother had migraines in their medical history and I knew the steps they would take to limit the pain. I would ice it, remain in a dark room, stay away from sound and noises, and was just plain miserable. My husband would take days off from work to help me recover. My life was put on hold every time I had a migraine. It wouldn’t just knock me out for a day. It knocked me out for several days. It wasn’t until I was crawling on the floor unable to speak with my head in crushing debilitating pain trying to form words that my husband and children convinced me I needed help.
I made an appointment with my family practitioner that sent me to a neurologist. I felt like no one was taking me serious. After an MRI and CT, I was told I might have Lou Gehrig’s disease. I sought a second at the U of U Neurology. I was overjoyed when she told me I suffered from migraines and did not have Lou Gehrig’s disease. I was given a new drug, literature, and information on identifying my triggers. After 10 years of suffering, I felt like I had an answer to help me regain myself. My life was better. However, I continued to suffer migraines up to 4 times a week. They were beginning to affect my life again. I thought there was nothing more I could do.
A little over a year ago, my sweet husband signed me up for a migraine study. I wanted to try anything. I met Dr. Henry. He…was…amazing. He was the doctor I should’ve met years ago. He understood my migraine disease. I started the study and had a very successful year with this new drug. I didn’t suffer hardly at all from migraine attacks. I was getting my life back. Once the study ended, I continued to follow-up with Dr. Henry. Through his knowledge and experience, we are getting my life back. We are trying things I never knew existed. I tell everyone I meet who has migraines to see this amazing man and he will change your life. I know I still have a long road ahead, but I also feel like I am more in control than I ever have been. Now, after nearly 20 years, I feel free.
Rebecca started having migraines at the age of 8. She persevered in spite of the pain and nausea, performing brilliantly academically and in the theater. Yet the intrusion of the migraines was undeniable, and by her senior year in college had become stronger than her will to perform.
Becky also suffered from bipolar disorder, which was undiagnosed until she was a senior. Her mother’s death sent her into a 10-year tailspin during which time she couldn’t work, and suffered both from almost constant migraines and reactions to meds prescribed for the bipolar disorder. In 2012, Becky was offered an entry-level job at Western Governors U, and with the support of an understanding supervisor excelled through 2013. This came at a price as her use of NSAIDS, anti-nausea drugs, and prescribed narcotics had begun to affect her general health.
On August 10, 2014, Becky was admitted to the Diamond Headache Clinic in hopes that the specialists could come up with a management plan. During her stay, she suffered from at least a level 7 migraine every day. By August 20, her doctor determined that they had done what they could and that she could go home. The next day she developed a fever and died due to a very rare reaction to haldol, neuroleptic malignant syndrome. No matter what we did, the presence of the migraines threatened her capacity to function, her happiness, her goals, and her very life. In the end, the migraines took it all.
I’m a 30 year old wife and mother of 2 young children. Migraines affect my life greatly causing lost time with my beautiful family. With the help of Dr. Henry, I have been able to control them much better. I have never had a doctor so passionate about helping me find a solution to my debilitating migraines.
I have been to many doctors to help with my migraines for 10 + years. During my first visit to Dr. Henry, I was so impressed by the care I received. I hope this helps others – you are doing great things. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Britten is a 24 years old and has had many diagnoses since early childhood. She screamed and acted out so severely she was placed in a behavior disorder program in spite of our repeated objections. It was obvious that Britten could not attend school. She was diagnosed with Autism due to her extreme reaction to noise, touch, strong lighting and general chaos of a school environment.
During 9th grade, she began screaming, “Help me, help me!” The doctors had no explanation for her inability to eat, attend school, socialize, sleep or learn. The doctors recommended that she be placed in a medical coma long enough to give her body a rest. They were not confident that they could bring her back out of the coma and our family declined this advice.
One year ago, we met with Dr. Henry. Britten had a pain disorder, and he had many options to help her improve the quality of her life. Within 2 minutes of a nerve block, she said, “I have never felt this way. My head has always had stabbing pain like ice-picks going through my brain non-stop day and night.” When I asked why she didn’t describe her headaches to anyone, she said she thought everyone felt this way and they handled it fine. She thought she was weak.
I will be indebted to Dr. Henry forever. Britten is in physical therapy, exercising and practicing for the Ice-skating Olympics. She has hope for her future. She is planning to work. Dr. Henry and his remarkable staff gave Britten a quality of life that most of us take for granted.
My children and I get migraines. Unfortunately I have passed these down to my children. I inherited migraines from my father who got them from his mother. I started getting these as a child and have had them since. I now watch my children struggle and suffer from this same disabling disease.
I am so grateful for Dr. Henry and the help he has given to my children and myself. He is a great man and so kind to my children, they think he is pretty great.
At 17 the sky wasn’t the limit, it was the starting place for me. I thought my body, and mind where invincible. My dream life took a backseat on June 3rd, 2012. I started feeling overheated, which was unusual for me. My body was sweating, I was shivering; my head was pounding, my left side was numb and tingling and I had blurry vision. I went to the hospital and was diagnosed with heat stroke and they sent me home with Vicoden. The symptoms did not subside. After seeing countless doctors and having thousands of tests, I was diagnosed with Complex and Hemiplegic Migraines. My senior year was vastly different from anyone else I know. I was so hypersensitive that really anything could make my migraine worse. Towards the end of the year, I began to get better because I learned my triggers, and found the right medications and treatments. I started college at Westminster so that I could stay close to my family and doctors.
I excelled my freshman year, and I was stage manager for the theater department. I was taking care of myself by taking my medications and sleeping 10 hours. Sophomore year I overcommitted myself and started getting sick again, missing the entire year of school. I cut as much stress out of my life as possible, and after a few struggles, I finally finished my sophomore year. I have learned a lot about my body, but the biggest thing I have learned is that being a migraineur is walking a tightrope that is constantly changing.
I have had migraines my entire life. At 19 they became more frequent. At 23, I gave birth to my son, and began having 3 migraines per month. It was really disrupting my life. In 1995, I was 28 years old, working as an RN on a surgical floor. I had a migraine that did not respond to Tordol, and I felt like I might die. The pain had not decreased; I had a rapid heart rate, shortness of breath and extremely high blood pressure when I finally sought help in the ER. I felt like I could have had a stroke if I hadn’t sought treatment.
At 36, it was no longer a question if my head hurt, but a constant question of, “How bad is my head hurting right now?” I avoided daylight, extreme heat, direct sunlight, and noisy restaurants. My job required travel, which was difficult, and I became increasingly neurotic about my medications. By 47, it was rare that I did much more than work and go home. I had a headache for about 16 straight years. I was miserable and almost hopeless. Although my son was an adult, giving up completely was not an option.
Dr. Henry changed my life, which is an understatement. For the first time in 15 years, I came away knowing I was going to get the best treatment available. Nine months later, we found a combination of treatments that worked – it was nothing short of miraculous!
I am 50 and continue to do well, traveling, enjoying my weekends with family and friends and working. I am so grateful for the care and compassion of Dr. Henry.
I’m 18 years old. I’ve been suffering with chronic migraines for six years, but didn’t know it wasn’t normal until three years ago. Until then, I thought it was normal to have headaches everyday, some debilitating. I thought everyone felt like I did and suffered the same kind of pain. When I realized they didn’t, my world changed drastically. I saw why people looked at me funny when I talked about my pain and why they reacted so much when I said I got a headache everyday. I realized why I was so surprised whenever people told me they only got headaches once or twice a year. I thought they were superhuman.
Migraines have taken away my ability to be in noisy situations. Migraines have taken away my willingness to travel by plane, because the altitude and tight space makes my head feel like it’s near exploding. Migraines have decreased my school performance as well as attendance, and now work performance. It has decreased my motivation and made me want to do nothing but sleep. Migraines have limited my ability to be social, physically active, and do things I want to do. Migraines have given me mood swings that make people like me less, and instead have to learn to tolerate me. Migraines have decreased my self-esteem and self-worth, as well as increased my depression immensely. But I will never stop looking for a solution because I know I’m not the only one. And migraines are more than serious; they’re a disabling disease. They took away my ability to be a normal teenage girl even though I look it on the outside.
For as long as I can remember I have had a headache every day of my life. I have gone to numerous doctors and specialists who would write me off almost immediately when I would tell them about my headaches. I went to a cardiologist and they found a hole in my heart, and I was excited because I finally had an answer!
Who gets excited about heart surgery?
It was not until recently when I went to Dr. Henry that I was informed that I have chronic migraines. Every day. I am a mom and a wife and have the most patient husband and children. My children are missing out because I don’t have the energy to play with them after I have worked all day plus fought a migraine all day. It breaks my heart every day that I am not able to be the person I want to be. Dr. Henry is the first doctor who wants to figure out what works for my migraines and get me the relief I have searched years for and in turn give my family the mother and wife they deserve.
The Community Foundation of Utah
Attn: Danielle Byron Henry Migraine Foundation
2257 South 1100 East Suite 205
Salt Lake City, UT 84106