“I’m worried this might be the early stages of a migraine. I get this light disruption thing.” Those were the words of Russell Brand a few weeks ago, echoing the concerns of millions of other migraine headache sufferers around the world. Only instead of retreating to a quiet shade-drawn bedroom to stave off the coming migraine attack, he continued his 90-minute comedy act under a bright Hollywood spotlight, migraine, nausea, and all.
Migraines are equal-opportunity destroyers
Disclaimer: Russel Brand was not contacted regarding this blog post. This is a review of news headlines, as referenced below.
First came the light sensitivity; he apologized to his audience for the delay as he halted his routine for a moment, explaining that the bright lights of the stage were probably triggering his migraines.
Next, he revealed that he had terrible pain, and needed painkillers. “I feel nauseous now,” he said. “I feel sick. Sorry about this.”
A stagehand brought him some migraine painkillers, and Russell continued his show, still apologetic.
“I think I’m such a professional showman this is beyond ridiculous stopping to take medication.”
For most migraineurs, getting on-the-spot medical attention for a migraines is like squeezing sugar from a lemon; it’s a long, nasty process with fruitless results.
Why the apologies?
We’ve all been there, yet it’s still hard to watch. When people suffer from chronic pain, they shouldn’t have to apologize for it. Yet that’s exactly what Russell Brand did for his audience when he felt the first symptoms of a migraine attack striking while he was performing onstage, fresh after signing divorce papers for his estranged ex-wife, Katy Perry.
Such is the dilemma for all people who get frequent migraines, celebrities included; once you feel the telltale signs of an approaching migraine, your only thought is to escape by whatever means possible. Locate your nearest exit, retreat, and apologize profusely along the way. (Except when you can’t.)
By the way…
Imagine anybody else calling 911 and explaining that he was hung over from a giant Hollywood bash, and was suffering from a killer migraine, and could somebody please take him to the hospital; or strolling into ER, wanting attention for a migraine headache that was triggered by too much partying.
For most migraineurs, getting on-the-spot medical attention for a migraine is like squeezing sugar from a lemon; it’s a long, nasty process with fruitless results.
Migraines are disabling
Fortunately, Russell Brand only had to endure 90 minutes of work time before being allowed to go home and wait out the migraine storm. And most likely, his job prospects are still good. Not to begrudge him his well-deserved fame, but for millions of blue-collar migraine patients, that is not the reality.
Most migraine patients have only three options regarding migraines and work:
- suffer the migraine attack in silence until 5:00,
- miss work, or
- miss work while trying for months or years to qualify for disability insurance, which is always a gamble.
Please share your thoughts…
- Do you think media attention on migraines will bring us closer to getting a cure?
- Have you been denied disability, even though your migraines keep you from working?
- What migraine treatments do you currently use, and how satisfied are you with their results?
- As always, we welcome your comments, suggestions, and questions!
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