Golden Graine is a play off of my last name and slang for migraine (‘graine). My personal mission is “Living a Fulfilled Life with Chronic Migraine & Pain.” Through this blog, I want to share my experiences with you and for you to share too! I work hard to have, what I consider, a pretty amazing life. It’s not easy living life with chronic pain and intractable migraine attacks. Writing, storytelling, advocating and educating are important to me. I realize I don’t know it all. So I encourage feedback, I want to hear and share your stories, I want to commiserate with daily struggles, but also celebrate victories together, no matter how small.
Whether it’s through video blogs, tutorials, personal musings, sharing resources, chronicling my never-ending insurance woes or posting pictures (both good and bad), Golden Graine will serve as my way to reach those who live in any type of chronic pain to feel like they are heard, understood and supported.
I worked for 15 years in the community banking industry before my episodic Migraine disease became a chronic, everyday occurrence in 2011. After several failed attempts to reverse the cycle, this disabling disease left me unable to return to my beloved job. I instinctively turned to writing, a hobby of mine that I can trace back to a second-grade diary.
I joined the writing team at Migraine.com to share my new-found obstacles with the 36 million Americans who suffer from migraines. You can still find new content from me on the largest online migraine community, which has 500,000 social media hits each week! After several years, I’m surprised people outside of my family reads what I write.
I’ve expanded my writing to reach different audiences with similar messages through Pain Pathways Magazine, American Massage Therapy Association, National Pain Report, INvisible Project, The Mighty, Medium.com and XO Jane. Writing has given me a purpose in a crappy situation. I’m overwhelmed with the response of those who connect with my experience.
A native of West Virginia, I moved in 2016 from Washington, DC to Santa Monica, CA. My long-term boyfriend is a native Californian and we had the opportunity move to the Golden Coast.
I love music, concerts and singing (having sung the National Anthem at several professional sports games). I am passionate about animals and have a special place in my heart for greyhounds. I get a high off the cathartic feeling of connecting with my body through yoga, which is normally rebelling against me. The beach soothes my soul and I am in heaven with a view of the ocean and mountains from my balcony.
I love the laughter of my friends’ babies. I engage in my family’s home wine-making efforts from vine to bottle. My partner in crime is a never-ending inspiration to me to keep searching for new ways to manage my health. I recognize that I have an amazing support system, which is a luxury, not every chronic patient has.
I’m a member of the American Headache and Migraine Alliance (AHMA), National Headache Foundation and a proud Ambassador and Advocate for the US Pain Foundation. I’ve been on several patient panels about “Patient-Centered Clinical Trials,” which is an area I want to help in changing the way pharmaceutical companies engage with the end user…us! I’ve spoken to medical students at Johns Hopkins University about life with a chronic illness and gave a presentation on Migraine.com’s Migraine in America study during Miles for Migraine’s patient education day (see video here).
I participate in lobbying efforts to raise awareness for Migraine research through the Annual Headache on the Hill program. In October 2016, I met a lifetime goal of mine and ran a 5K for migraine research with the Miles for Migraine Foundation, also raising the 2nd highest in donations! I look forward to many more races in the future. In June 2017, I was a recipient of the Association of Migraine Disorders‘ Impact Award.
I believe in a balance of medication, self-healing measures such as yoga and deep-breathing, and other alternative measures to manage my chronic disease. I’m willing to try cutting edge treatments but believe in deep research before I decide to talk to my doctor about a new therapy.
I’m available for speaking engagements, brainstorming, patient advocacy work, stomping on Capitol Hill, raising migraine and chronic pain awareness and panel participation in conference settings. Use the Contact page to send me proposals.
I am NOT a doctor, I only play one on the internet (just kidding!).
Connect with me! I try incredibly hard to respond (depending on my health).
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