My Voice

Migraine Takes. But It Also Gives Sometimes.

July 12, 2017 / 0 Comments

My eyes were full of tears so many times in June for different reasons. Sometimes because of my own pain, but more often due to the stories of others that I have had the privileged to know. I’ve seen the despair of a life with migraine disease, robbing those of the future they had envisioned. Lost with what to do next. I got messages from many who were preparing to enter the hospital, full of questions and anxiety over the unknown. Upon hearing of a suicide in the cluster community, I felt utter despair for the family and a sense my own powerlessness. Migraine takes. I also saw people connect in different ways in the name of migraine awareness. My Facebook feed was inundated with people (and dogs) wearing #shadesformigraine or #haturdayforheadaches. I watched the brightest minds in headache medicine present their research, making me hopeful for the future. I…

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The INvisible Project – Migraine Edition

June 28, 2017 / 0 Comments

You may have seen me post about the Invisible Project, but I don’t think I’ve taken the time to explain it. It’s a magazine that highlights the lives of those LIVING with chronic pain and tells their stories, emphasizing pictures from their personal archives. The main purpose is to make the invisible more visible. The INvisible Project is the flagship program of the US Pain Foundation (go “Like” their page!). Nicole Hemmenway, VP of US Pain and Director of the Invisible Project, conceived this project with the goal of showing the real impact of chronic illness, which is not always pretty. Previous editions covered multiple chronic illnesses. This year was the first time a disease-specific magazine was produced, focusing on migraine. It launched in early June, just in time for Migraine & Headache Awareness Month. The Migraine Edition Nicole and editor Jenni Grover, of Chronic Babe, approached me late last…

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Handy Guide to All Things Migraine & Headache Awareness Month

June 7, 2017 / 0 Comments

Curated by Michelle Tracy and Katie M. Golden June is Migraine and Headache Awareness Month #MHAM. There is so much excitement in the air about many great campaigns, it can get a little confusing. The Migraine Warrior, Michelle Tracy, @chedeco, and Katie M. Golden, @GoldenGraine, have teamed up to break it down for you. Whether you want to just share a post, blog about a given topic, take photos of you in migraine-related apparel, attend an in-person event or participate in a walk or run, there is something for everyone. Follow the hyperlinks for more information on each initiative. It’s kind of like “choose your own adventure!” Share and Make Aware INvisible Project – Migraine Edition– The INvisible Project is a magazine sponsored by the US Pain Foundation. It highlights the personal strength, character, and courage of those living with invisible illnesses by sharing personal stories and photos. The ultimate…

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Understanding the Healthcare and Proposed Budget Plans

May 25, 2017 / 0 Comments

I’m frustrated with what’s happening on Capitol Hill. Proposed changes to healthcare and proposed budget cuts will affect millions, including you.

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Yes, I Wear Makeup in the Hospital

May 24, 2017 / 0 Comments

Four-inch heels, power suits, cocktail dresses, regular hair and nail maintenance and appropriate make-up. That was me in the professional world. Client meetings, networking events and charity functions. They all require the professional look.

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Get Moving After a Migraine Attack

May 17, 2017 / 0 Comments

I’m sitting at the original muscle beach in Santa Monica by the pier. In the middle of the swinging rings, balance beams, ropes and slack lines, there is a large patch of astroturf dedicated to yoga. At times there can be 50 or more people crowding the space- all wanting to practice, learn or support anyone who enters the inner-sanctum. Today, moving seems like an impossible task.

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Light at the End of the Pier: Recovering From Multiple Migraine Attacks

May 3, 2017 / 0 Comments

I know that the saying is- there is light at the end of the tunnel- but I took this picture from underneath the Santa Monica Pier. The light seeping through the cracks in the boardwalk above were too brilliant to ignore. It reminded me of that saying as I was just starting to feel like I had turned a corner in what was weeks of horrible migraine attacks.

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Professional Patient: Skills Learned from Living with a Chronic Disease

April 19, 2017 / 0 Comments

My business card says “Professional Patient.” I get so many questions about this. What does that mean exactly? To me, I have acquired skills and knowledge that “healthy people” don’t have. Having chronic migraine and pain has exposed me to situations that many others never have to face. When your health turns suddenly, a lot comes at you quickly. Questions you never thought about before. What are my treatment options? What if I can’t work? Which insurance plan is the best for me now? Where can I find support? How do I fill out this mound of paperwork, go to doctors’ appointments, keep my job and run my household at the same time?

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The Steel Cables that Lie Beneath the Surface of Those with Migraine

April 12, 2017 / 0 Comments

The Golden Gate Bridge is truly a masterpiece of iconic architecture. The 4,200-foot-long, art-deco suspension bridge is made of cable-spun steel and concrete. It’s quite an experience to drive over the freezing cold waters of the San Francisco Bay. Sometimes there is so much fog that it hides the top of the pillars painted in “international orange.” Every time I cross this bridge, I am reminded of the words from a massage therapist, “you have steel cable under there.” That was the perfect analogy. It’s something that I have struggled with my whole life. I stretch every day, am conscience of my posture, take breaks from the computer and use peppermint oil or tiger balm to keep those muscles relaxed. But when I’m asleep, I curl into a ball and clench my fists, basically to protect myself from the pain. I sleep in odd positions. None of this helps to…

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Advocate on the Loose!

April 5, 2017 / 0 Comments

I’m on a plane home to LA reflecting on the last three weeks I spent on the east coast. Several opportunities came my way and of course it all happened at the same time! I am grateful I was asked to be part of events focused on community building, advocacy, education and collaboration.

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Katie Golden

Katie is a professional patient, writer for Migraine.com, US Pain Ambassador, patient advocate, speaker, and freelance writer.

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