As best we can tell, I've inherited the propensity for Migraine from both of my parents. Not surprisingly, then, my brother and I both live with Migraine, since we both have a 75% chance.
We know for sure about the connection on my dad's side. My dad himself had them as a kid, but luckily for him stopped having them as a young adult. I honestly don't know the last time he had one. His mother also had them. One of his sisters has had them and some of my cousins, too.
On my mom's side we're dealing with one of those sinus headache situations. You see, my mom's father lived with frequent, burdensome headache attacks he referred to as sinus headaches. The conventional wisdom in 2013 in Headache Medicine is that in the absence of a sinus infection, these sinus-related headaches are often undiagnosed Migraine attacks.
My mom has headaches as a result of sinus pressure and infections with no other symptoms of Migraine. My brother, in contrast, experiences the same issues with sinus pain and pressure, but his attacks do have other features of Migraine and respond to triptans.
My parents are very supportive people, and my brother is, too. But I do think the prevalence of Migraine in our family makes a difference. To a point. Among my immediate family, there truly is an understanding of how debilitating Migraine attacks are, as well as an understanding of the differences of the burden between episodic and chronic Migraine.
Unfortunately I'm not sure if some extended family members, even those who have dealt with Migraine, really get it. They don't say anything unsupportive to me, but I'm pretty sure some stupid things have been said. That's just kind of how it goes.
But the important thing is having a core group of family and friends who do get it, and I have that. I don't take that for granted. I know many of you reading this don't have that. I know I'm lucky.
Does Migraine run in your family? Does this seem to make any difference in your family's understanding or empathy?
1. Teri Robert. "Sinus Headaches or Migraine: Setting the Record Straight." Migraine.com. April 4, 2013. https://migraine.com/blog/sinus-headache-or-migraine/.
Content by Diana E. Lee.
DISCLAIMER: Nothing on this site constitutes medical or legal advice. I am a patient who is engaged and educated and enjoys sharing my experiences and news about migraines, pain and depression. Please consult your own health care providers for advice on your unique situation.