By Ed Coghlan
If we’ve learned one thing, it’s good to listen to our readers.
A recent National Pain Report article on a Notre Dame football player who had to end his career because of migraines spawned quite a bit of reaction. Danny Spond was slated to be the starting linebacker for the powerful Irish team this year, but the migraines he suffered from came back — with a vengeance.
“My football playing career is over after suffering another paralyzing migraine,” Spond said. “I’ve received the best medical treatment and guidance possible. Unfortunately, an exact cause of the migraines remains undetermined.”
Spond’s decision received quite a bit of news coverage. Here’s how the Chicago Tribune covered it.
But we were struck with the intensity of the response we received from people who saw it on our Facebook page.
“I’ve suffered from migraines since I was in grade school. I have had some of the same stroke-like problems as I have gotten older,” wrote Mary Krum of South Dakota, who is now in her 60’s.
“I think I spent half my senior year in high school with a headache. Anything from the change in air pressure before a storm or flying can be a problem for me.”
Krum’s observation about air pressure was interesting. Just last week USA Today ran a story on three things that can make migraines worse — and lightning was one of them. Obesity and poor treatment by a doctor were also mentioned
Another reader is finally finding some relief. Sally Staples of Helena, Montana thinks it’s because she found the right medication.
“I have migraines that finally, after years and years of debilitating misery, are now under somewhat control with Topamax,” said Staples who is a nurse.
Staples suffered from daily migraines and they could be “set off” by any scent such as perfume, flowers, car exhaust, paint, smoke, dust, mold or even pollen. She had one hemiplegic migraine that “terrified me”.
“I thought I was having a stroke as I didn’t have a headache until later! Then had to rule out a dissecting vertebral artery. Twelve hours in the ER. Couldn’t walk straight, undress myself, remember my address or phone number, one side of my face drooping and speech slurred. Scary stuff,” recounted Staples.
She said the drug Topamax may not work for everyone, but she is happy to “have my life back.”
And more people are trying to attention to the issue.
New York’s Catherine Charrett Dykes blogs about migraines. She told National Pain Report that she is trying to build awareness.
“I’m an advocate for chronic migraine and looking for public faces to help raise awareness. Jeremy Staat a veteran and former NFL player and I have been communicating in an effort to join forces and help put an end to this crippling disease once and for all.”
What works for you? How do you control migraines?