Meet Stacy1. How long have you been living with migraine?
I have been living with migraine since I was about 13 years old. I remember clearly migraine affecting my life starting in middle school, but now that I have been doing some serious deep dives into my past I think there were signs much earlier.
2. What do you do for a living and how has migraine impacted your career?
I work in the graphics department of ABC News, specifically for World News Tonight with David Muir and on special events like breaking news and Election coverage. I’ve always been a writer and I wanted to get into journalism for as long as I can remember. The work that I am currently doing involves long hours, staring at lots of screens, sometimes without any breaks. To be honest, it’s not an ideal situation for someone living with migraine. I’ve adapted by getting blue light filtering lenses on my glasses and I drink a ton of water throughout the day. I have my one coffee in the morning and always try to get 7 hours of sleep. I really try to stick to a routine as much as I can, despite my hours being somewhat unpredictable at times. My boss and co-workers know about my condition at this point and for the most part are understanding. When I know there is going to be a quiet period I take time off for my mental and physical health and I make sure I always get my doctor appointments in no matter what.
3. What do you do on your migraine-free days?
I like to take advantage of my migraine-free days as much as possible. I take pilates or yoga classes, hangout with friends, drink white wine, eat good gluten free food, explore different areas of New York, depending on the time of year, go to the beach, watch movies. Oh and run errands because they always pile up when I am not feeling well.
4. How do you explain migraine to coworkers, friends, family?
I try to be as honest as possible. I used to hide it and realized that only ends up hurting me in the end. There are still times when I fail at this. I’m not perfect by any means. I just try to let them know what I’m going through and what I have gone through and I remain patient with their questions. I allow my friends to participate in fundraising and walks I’ve done with Miles For Migraine so they can learn and become educated on their own. When I don’t answer their texts or have to cancel I tell them why. When I’m a grouch to my sister I may not tell her in the moment but I try and explain myself later.
5. What piece of advice can you give for others living with migraine?
Everyone’s experience is different. What works for me may not work for you and vice versa but that’s why I am always willing to try everything because it’s worth if it does. There is not one simple solution to migraine. You have to attack it from all sides. Also remember, even if you’re in a really bad spot right now, I’ve found from living with migraine as long as I have that there are up and down periods to your pain longterm. So if you are in a down period right now it does eventually get better. Don’t give up. There is more awareness now for migraine than ever before and that is something to get excited about.