Fighting the stigma of pain,
and the pain of stigma.

Migraines and chronic headaches are agonizing, and when the miracle cures don’t work for you, your options can seem very bleak, especially in our society. I don’t believe it needs to be this way. I hope to change that bleak outlook for someone.

About Me

My name is Katy, I’m 36 years old, and I live in Vancouver, BC. I’ve had chronic headaches for about 23 yrs, and migraine for about 16 yrs. The migraines spiked approximately 6 yrs ago, and I’ve been unable to work since 2003. I was diagnosed with Bipolar Type II disorder just months before having to leave work, so the adjustment was huge. I’m still picking up pieces but I’ve come through it, have learned a lot, and am still working hard. I’m currently looking into the possibility of doing some volunteer/advocacy work in either the chronic pain or mental health fields.

I know how it feels to be told you are at ‘the end of the line’ as far as migraine treatment options go. I thought that going on long-acting opioid treatment would leave me feeling tired and dopey and ‘drugged-up’. I thought they would feel like really strong versions of regular pain medications. They don’t. They work differently.

When I tried to find out information about this treatment, I couldn’t really get anywhere. I didn’t know the proper terminology, and kept finding the wrong information. My doctor gave me some material to read shortly before I had to make my choice, thankfully, which gave me the terminology and the answers I needed. But I was still scared.

I could only find one or two scattered people on the whole world wide web who would even discuss being on this treatment! I hope that I can make it less frightening and less mystifying for at least one person who searches about it and needs to hear someone discuss what it’s like to live this way. The migraines aren’t gone, but I’m thankful for this treatment, and some relief, and the improvement in my quality of life again.


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