Visit our forums any day, and you'll find posts from people whose main problem with Migraine care is Attitude - not theirs, but that of some medical professionals, some media, and much of the general public. Too many people still don't realize that Migraine is a neurological disease. They still stereotype us, consider us "drug seekers," and continue to misunderstand Migraine. When Michael John Coleman, the director of MAGNUM, the National Migraine Association, and the rest of the staff discovered that Elvis Presley was reported to have been a Migraineur, they set out to investigate. The article below is the result of his months of in-depth research.
In the heartland of the country, Migraine
sufferer Jennifer Johnson is rushed to a Wisconsin emergency room. Jennifer, who
suffers from just a few Migraines a year, was not responding to her home OTC
(over-the-counter) treatment regimen and so came to the ER to put an end to the
severe pain and nausea caused from her three-day-long debilitating Migraine
attack. But to her shock and dismay, this Midwest emergency room would only add
to her suffering. The ER refused to give her treatment, and, in frustration and
disabling pain, she went to the only other hospital in the small city. Jennifer,
like so many other Migraineurs, could pass a drug test with flying colors, does
not drink alcohol, and hates smoking. But based upon her 'look' and a health
care professional's misinterpretation of the existence of 'migraine behavior,'
Jennifer was assumed to be a 'drug seeker' and was turned away. This scenario,
unfortunately, is nothing new, as Americans have been misunderstanding the
behavior of Migraine sufferers for decades. Some well-known Americans have had
to endure this misunderstanding, oftentimes negatively affecting their legacy.
The most recent findings reveal the fact that the king of rock and roll, Elvis
Presley, suffered from Migraines and that his condition has been greatly
One of the corner stones of any disease awareness campaign is letting patients know that they are not alone in their suffering, but instead are in good company. Accordingly, MAGNUM, the National Migraine Association, gets very positive responses from sufferers who visit their web site, and communications indicate that Migraine sufferers find great comfort in the knowledge that they are not alone. Knowing that others have accomplished great things in spite of their Migraine disability is empowering. Compiling a list of famous Migraineurs is a daunting task, however, as many have hidden the fact that they have Migraine (or 'sick headaches' as they where known in the past). Furthermore, as pointed out by Dr. Stuart R. Stark, Director of the Neurology & Headache Treatment Center in Alexandria, Virginia, many persons with Migraines are misdiagnosed, further fogging the issue. Many individuals do or did not realize that they suffer from Migraines and instead dangerously blamed their illness on depression or other somatoforms.
Recently, MAGNUM was updating its You Are In Good Company section of its more than one-hundred-page award-winning Migraine awareness Web site when it noticed that its site was the only one to list Elvis Presley as a Migraine sufferer. To the staff at MAGNUM, it seemed obvious that Elvis suffered from Migraines based upon public records and Elvis' observed behavior. It came to MAGNUM's attention that the rumors of Elvis' abuse of unneeded prescription drugs, illegal drug use, drinking, and other intonated but unsupportable behavior, could be attributed to his Migraines. The typical rhetoric so many Migraine sufferers deal with every day, even today, seemed to surround this gifted artist. In response, MAGNUM's Executive Director, Michael John Coleman, spent several weeks investigating to once and for all confirm or deny whether the King of rock and roll suffered from Migraine disease and if his Migraines were treated.
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