by Danielle Mills
Chronic migraine, a neurological condition where I experience migraines more than half the days of the month, has taken many important moments from me over the last 12 years and my wedding was no exception. Most people worry about rain on their wedding day, but I worried about getting a debilitating migraine. Unfortunately, my worst nightmare came true when I experienced a 72-hour migraine that lasted my entire wedding weekend.
I awoke the morning before the big day with the all too familiar feeling that chronic migraine would hinder what should have been my perfect wedding weekend, and I began to cry, which only made matters worse. My soon-to-be husband and I had family and friends flying in from all over the country to help us celebrate, but here I was not even able to get out of bed because of the pain of a migraine. I pushed myself to join my mother and bridesmaids at the nail salon for some pampering, but I was not able to enjoy the experience to the fullest even though I laughed and smiled my way through the pain. Later that evening at the rehearsal dinner, the pain continued. I recall digging my nails into the back of a wooden chair to distract myself from the shooting pain in my forehead as I talked with my guests. Unfortunately, the day of the wedding did not bring any relief from my migraine. The pain forced me to stay in bed, while my mother and bridesmaids started to prep for the big day. I was two hours late for my hair appointment and had to sit alone in a quiet room with a warm-compress across my eyes while I waited for my hair to set; I was so saddened to miss this important bonding time with my closest family and friends. Due to the delayed start, I rushed through applying my make-up and ended up losing some precious photo time with my family and bridal party before the ceremony.
Fortunately, when I walked down the aisle and saw my soon-to-be husband smiling back at me, I forgot about the pain for just that moment. My migraine continued on and off throughout the day, and even into our first dance. My husband's heart broke for me because he knew how I was feeling, especially since I had to endure such pain through one of the most amazing moments of our new life together.
It has been three years since my wedding, and chronic migraine still takes over many days in my life. The good news is that I am seeing a headache specialist who helps me better manage my condition. I am sharing my story because I want to encourage people who are living with chronic migraine to find a specialist who can evaluate and diagnose their condition, and help ensure they don't miss special moments in their lives.
I am looking forward to working with Mindy Weiss who is going to help re-create an amazing day for my husband and me that will make us feel like it is our wedding day all over again. I can't wait for my husband to sweep me off my feet as we "re-do" our first dance; this time, we'll be focusing on the words of our song "Dancing when the stars go blue" and not on my migraine. I am so thankful that I am getting the chance for us to make new memories.
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.