Meet Charity Wittner, of Mobile, Ala., a woman with chronic migraine and one of 15 winners of the Rewrite Your Day contest. As a winner, Charity got to work with celebrity event planner Mindy Weiss to re-create a special moment lost to chronic migraine.
by Charity Wittner
I have experienced migraines and headaches since I was 7 years old, but I wasn't officially diagnosed with chronic migraine until I was in high school. I am one of the 3.2 million Americans who experience chronic migraine, which is defined as 15 or more headache days a month, with headaches lasting four hours a day or longer. Since I experience migraines so frequently, I have missed many special moments with my family over the years, but the most important day I missed due to chronic migraine was Thanksgiving 2009.
Every year, my husband, son and I pack up the car and travel to see my extended family in the morning and then return home for a big Thanksgiving dinner with my husband's family. In 2009, I woke up knowing that a migraine was coming, but I was determined to not miss out on the holiday. I tried to get dressed but could barely stand up because the headache pain and nausea caused by the migraine were so debilitating. After a few failed attempts, I retired to my dark bedroom where I knew I would be spending the rest of the day.
My loving husband decided to stay home and take care of our son while I rested. Not only was I disappointed that a migraine was ruining my Thanksgiving, but my husband and our son were also losing this time with our family. After living with chronic migraine for so many years, I realize that this condition has a significant impact on both myself and those around me.
It's been three years since that Thanksgiving Day, and chronic migraine still takes away moments in my life, but I am now seeing a headache specialist who helps me better manage my condition. I am hopeful that together we will continue to find ways to better manage my condition. I am sharing my story because I want to encourage people who are living with chronic migraine to find a headache specialist who can help them manage their condition.
I was excited to work with celebrity event planner Mindy Weiss to re-create a Thanksgiving celebration similar to the one that I missed because of chronic migraine. As a wife and mother, I have so much to be thankful for in my life, which now included getting the chance to create new holiday memories with my family.
Mindy Weiss created a festive Thanksgiving celebration for my family and me. The dinner included all our family favorites. We even had cards at everyone's place setting to write down something we were thankful for. And this year, I was thankful that I was able to enjoy the food and spend time with my entire family, who I usually only get to see at Thanksgiving.
To learn more about the campaign or to find a headache specialist in your area, visit www.RewriteYourDay.com. For more information on chronic migraine, click here.