A few days ago my book formatter commented on Facebook she was suffering from a migraine, and it was hard to work, but she had to keep on working.
I too suffer from migraines, and I do not wish it upon my worst enemy.
A migraine is not just a simple headache! It’s so much more than that! The headache is there, with moderate to severe pain. It is normally felt as a throbbing pain in one side of the head. But it also includes other symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting and increased sensitivity to light or sound.
According to the NHS website:
Migraine is a common health condition, affecting around 1 in every 5 women and around 1 in every 15 men. They usually begin in early adulthood.
There are several types of migraine, including:
- migraine with aura – where there are specific warning signs just before the migraine begins, such as seeing flashing lights
- migraine without aura – the most common type, where the migraine occurs without the specific warning signs
- migraine aura without headache, also known as silent migraine – where an aura or other migraine symptoms are experienced, but a headache doesn’t develop
Some people have migraines frequently, up to several times a week. Other people only have a migraine occasionally. It’s possible for years to pass between migraine attacks.
I usually have a migraine once a month. It’s related to my menstrual cycle, and thus, it is hormonal.
It’s so debilitating! As soon as I pick it up, I straight away take my medication, and usually need to lye down in a dark room, with little or no sound around me, and just stay there as long as possible. Normally pressing against the forehead (where it hurts) doesn’t help, and this is one of the ways I know it’s not a regular headache.
Several times I had to go to work a bit later, because I was in so much pain, and with such sensitivity to light and sound, that I couldn’t even drive.
I’ve been lucky enough to work for companies and with people that understood the issue, and were flexible enough to let me stay home when I needed and put in the hours later, when I was capable of working. I never worked less because of the migraine, I just did the hours at a different time.
I believe this is crucial! It is important for companies to understand the burden of this disease, and to be flexible enough so that the employees can work when they are at their best! You can be so much more effective and productive when you are at your best!
So my message to my formatter, and all other people that suffer from migraines. Take the time to rest! When having a migraine, don’t push yourself to the limit, as your productivity will be lower, and you will need twice the time (or more) to do a simple task. Rest, and when you feel better, you will be able to do what you have to, in half the time!