Sept 2010 Headache & Migraine Carnival: Back to School

Welcome to the September 2010 Headache and Migraine Disease Blog Carnival.

The Headache & Migraine Disease Blog Carnival has been created to provide both headache patients and people who blog about headaches with opportunities to share ideas on topics of particular interest and importance to us.

The theme of the September Carnival is “Students and headache disorders – How have migraines & headaches affected your schooling? How has a headache disorder affected your school age child? How did you cope with balancing school and headaches or migraines?”

I’ve often reflected on the timing of my increase in migraine attacks and felt lucky I was able to completely finish my schooling before they become disabling. I have had migraines since I was about six years old, but they were manageable until I found myself increasingly impacted by them in the final semester of law school. I was able to graduate, study for and pass the bar exam and work in my dream job for about three years before migraine disease took that away from me. Obviously, I wish I could still do what I loved so much and I miss it in many ways, but this life is pretty okay, too. Some people never get to achieve the dreams I did because of the timing of their illnesses and symptoms. I truly do feel lucky.

I have a few tips to share of things that helped me when migraines took me out of my school/study routine:

(1) Be upfront. I had good results when I confided in professors that I was having a slow day because of a migraine attack. This was a key in smaller classes where you could expect to be called on and asked to intelligently, eloquently respond every single session. Sometimes that isn’t possible when you have a migraine.

(2) Be the kind of classmate others will help. Because I’d cultivated good relationships with classmates and expressed a willingness to help them out with notes and outlines, many of them were willing to do the same for me in return. It helped a lot when I had to miss class. Being a constant taker or competitive beast is not a good way to cultivate these relationships and will probably bite you in the end.

(3) Work your ass off, but work smart. Bottom line, having more migraines left me less time for messing around. I had to put every moment to good use to make up for time spent incapacitated. So this required not only discipline but a good sense of how best to spend my time to get as much as possible done. Having good study skills and knowing the best way to approach your study of a particular subject is essential. It’s not just about how much time you put in.

Please read on for this month’s collection of posts.

Kathy offered Losing Points on My IQ about finding herself unable to learn the way she once could be posted at TMJ and Me.

Jamie submitted Pursuing a Degree with Migraine Agony posted at Chronic Migraine Warrior. She shares helpful suggestions for others trying to go to college while dealing with migraines.

Teri Robert shared Back to School with Headaches and Migraines detailing all the things you need to consider and plan for if your child has migraines from Putting Our Heads Together.

James Cottrill submitted Found: Genetic Link to ‘Basic’ A migraine posted at Headache & Migraine News. His post offers some context about the exciting new research finding we’ve all been hearing so much about.

Thank you all for being part of the carnival!

By the way, the New York Times had a nice article about children, going back to school and migraines a few weeks ago: Migraines in Children are Often Overlooked.

Submit your blog post to the October 2010 edition of the Headache and Migraine Disease Blog Carnival using our carnival submission form or by e-mailing your submissions to me by e-mail. The theme will be “How do your hobbies help you cope with your headache disorder?” Submissions are due by midnight on Friday, October 8. The October carnival will be published right here at Somebody Heal Me on Monday, October 11.