By Sallie Middleton Parker- “My head hurts,” I said in 1960, as my mother packed a suitcase for our annual summer vacation.
“It’s all in your head,” she answered, frustrated that this seemed to happen every time we planned to do something exciting. She had never had a migraine and couldn’t conceive that a healthy ten-year-old could.
People in general lacked understanding of migraines in those days and this illiteracy continued throughout most of my migraine-affected life. Like an experimental animal, I endured ineffective prescriptions that made me hallucinatory, dizzy, or sleepy. I tried chiropractic, acupuncture, botox, and everything else to no avail.
I kept hoping for a miracle. Surely scientists were discovering newer remedies to help those of us who suffered from this malady. In 2005, I asked my neurologist about research what was happening, who was doing it?
“Unfortunately,” he said, “Not much because headaches are considered to be a woman’s illness.” The words seared into my brain like a white-hot branding iron.
In 2012, my six-year-old granddaughter began having migraines, tripling my determination for research.
Then, the nuclear bomb of migraines blew me to pieces, and after thirty-six hours of blistering pain, I was ready to fight back. I began a campaign to raise awareness of this under researched illness and called it, Migraines Beware!©
I started by making “Head,” a giant papier mache mask that portrays what it feels like to have a migraine. A group of friends helped make signs spelling out facts about the illness, such as:
-6th most disabling illness
-3rd most prevalent disease
-1 Billion suffer worldwide
With the City’s permission, “Head” and her warriors against migraine will go to Pack Square on Saturday, October 28th from 12:00 to 1:30 pm. If you or someone you know has debilitating migraines, please come join us!
We’ll see you at noon! Migraines Beware! © at Pack Square.