Today is Day 6 of National Migraine & Headache Awareness Month (#MHAM, #MHAMBC)!
Our challenge prompt today is:
Linus Pauling said, “The best way to get a good idea, is to get lots of ideas.”
Help us brainstorm ways to create awareness locally, regionally, nationally and globally.
Though I’ve been down for the count with a rough, intractable migraine for pretty much all of June, I am thrilled to share with you the invitation that was recently extended to me by my primary care physician’s office.
I have been asked to come speak to the doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals at Atkinson Family Practice in honor of National Migraine & Headache Awareness Month. In addition to having me as a guest speaker, they’ve invited me to provide them with posters/brochures to put up around the practice and have pledged to dress in purple (our Awareness color) to show their support. Any donations received will go to the 36 Million Migraine Campaign (for those of you unfamiliar with the campaign, click here:
I realize that I am incredibly lucky to have been awarded this opportunity but I also give myself some credit for discussing with my doctors ways to advocate within the community. Just think: if one migraineur from each doctor’s office was able to give a presentation to the medical staff, with their undivided attention and support, how much awareness we could create! As much I would like to be able to go to the big conference on the West Coast (and I urge you to go to that if time/health/money permits), we can all do things on a smaller scale that add up to major awareness!
While facts and statistics are great to share, I think personal experience is inevitably one of our most powerful tools. I mentioned to a friend that I had only the weekend to prepare for my presentation on Monday and her response was “Yeah, but, really, haven’t you been preparing for this presentation for 10 years? You’ve had it ready; it’s just that there are now people who are ready to sit and listen.” It’s true. I consider this upcoming Monday one of the most important days in my life. I realize that it is rare that migraineurs have an opportunity like this and I have a chance to make some real changes and bridge the gap between doctors and patients. On Monday, it will be my physical body up there, but I will have each and every one of the hearts/minds/lives of every Migraine Warrior out there, backing me up. That’s why I am appealing to you: is there a statistic or struggle or personal experience that YOU would like me to highlight in my presentation? What would you say about migraines if you were given the undivided attention of a group of medical professionals? I’m going to make every effort to capture my presentation on video, as well as uploading my graphics, posters, and pictures of the day to this blog. I will be in purple gear, of course, and I’ll be providing the office with purple ribbons for staff and patients.
I urge you to ask around in your community to find out if there is a doctor’s office or a school or even a conference room where you could have your own mini-migraine conference. Make posters and ask local stores if you can hang them in the window. Make an effort to wear purple every time you go out of the house. (It is especially effective if you wear a purple ribbon…people inevitably ask what that means and it can lead to a great open dialogue.) Enlist your family and friends. I got purple ribbon and safety pins at the store for about $2.00 and my friends and family have been wearing them to work and giving them out to co-workers and friends. We aren’t even one week into June yet; there’s still so much time left! Changing pictures on social media sites, sharing and re-Tweeting are more important than we think. My blog, this one you are reading right now, is being read on five of the seven continents. I have readers everywhere from America to Australia to India to Korea to Germany to France to Canada to the U.K., to the Bahamas to the Netherlands to Belgium to the United Arab Emirates and more! Internet advocacy makes a difference!
Feel free to comment on this post and let me know if there is anything you think should definitely go in my presentation on Monday. I’ll keep you all posted!