I have been pondering this question for 2 hours now and I can’t pinpoint it to one person so I’m going to write a list of people of give me strength in both the migraine and the iih world. They are people that I have connected with initially through Mission Migraine and then another closed migraine support group and the IIH UK support group on Facebook and I speak to them online daily, sometimes on the phone and some I have been lucky enough to have met or will meet soon. I will give a brief reason as to why they inspire me.
- Kate Bestwick-founder of Mission Migraine; this lovely lady saved my life one day by writing one small entry in a post in another group (where I was not very happy or supported) about her new group that she’d started. She suggested that I started to meditate and I now do so every day. She went through tough times last year but with CBT, perseverance and determination (and a hint of stubbornness) she remains our fearless leader and speaker of many wise words. Not to be stopped by daily headache she goes to the gym, works part-time, looks after her young children and still manages to stay beautiful even sticking her tongue out!
- Michelle McGowan-admin of Mission Migraine; this crazy chick doesn’t let the migraines beat her down: she sticks two fingers up, takes her bitch mints (painkillers) and gets on with her day; unless it’s a killer one! She is always there to check up on you and remembers so many members birthdays it’s unreal. She posts often about her symptoms to raise awareness of all the different symptoms that come with migraine and to ensure that everyone knows: it’s not ‘just a headache!’
- Janey G IIH- this caring and wonderful lady found me through the support group. She has been through tough times lately with dizziness and eye problems (part of the deal with IIH and the meds that come with it). She’s brave and strong and tries to carry on regardless. She shares my blog and shows me constant support. We haven’t met yet, despite living relatively close but we will as soon as I’m well enough to travel. She seems to know everyone in the group (?) and is great at campaigning for rare disease campaigns.
- Suzy Hesketh-this lovely lady runs a closed support group that helps me and many others vent when things get too much. I have been so lucky to have met her before my symptoms got too bad for me to travel. She makes me laugh despite battling many conditions and her strength and courage are admirable. She has been on the other end of the phone when I have had days when I can’t stop crying and she understands life with chronic illness in all it’s entirety but still manages to never give up! Apparently she is coming to stay with me in October! 😜
- Kim Sklinar- a Mission Migraine member; Kim contacted me when my symptoms took a huge turn for the worse in September 2014. She lived about an hour away from me and wanted to visit with her fiancé. We all got on so well, it felt like we’d known each other for years! Mark, her fiancé really helped my husband by sharing his feelings on living with someone with a chronic illness. Kim is inspirational in the way she drives her own business and strives to be a migraine advocate too, being an advocate for one of the British migraine charities. She regularly contacts me to see how I’m doing and I’m hoping to attend her wedding reception in a few weeks, where she has provided a migraine room!
- Katie Mercer- I found Katie in the early days of joining the IIH forum and, although she only lives a short drive away from me, we still haven’t met. She has supported me through every step of my journey of being diagnosed with IIH and understands having migraines too! She supports me by sharing my blog nearly every time I post and she always has a supportive comment to drive me through my tough days. She has recently inspired me by walking from London to Brighton (60 miles) in aid of MIND charity despite still suffering regular headache and migraine symptoms.
- Kath Conway- Kath has supported me through every moment of my journey since I’ve met her. Initially with advice about work and pensions and then more significantly, helping me deal with my loss of mobility and having to learn to use a wheelchair and a stick. Kath suffers from Hemiplegic Migraines that leave one side of her body paralysed and can often leave her in bed for days unable to even talk properly, let alone do anything. Yet, she remains mostly positive, funny and encouraging and has got me through many bad days.
There are so many more names to mention such as Emma Nugent, Julie Donogue, Norma Ann-Dann, Diane Williams etc etc….. This blog is my way to say thank you for all the support, advice, encouragement, care, understanding and friendship you give me. Without you, this blog would not be possible and would never have been started. You inspire me to inspire others. Xxx