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Dianne Stevens (She / Her)

State: Connecticut

Chronic Conditions: Migraine, Spondyloarthropathy, Hyperlipidemia, Hypothyroidism, Pulsatile tinnitus, Vestibular migraine

I’ve had migraine disease since I was a teenager. I had episodic migraine (< 15 headache days/month) attacks, for years. Left untreated, these episodic attacks morphed into chronic migraine (> 15 headache days/month). Like many other disease, migraine is an invisible disease-and if it can’t be seen, the pain can’t really be that bad, right? WRONG! At its worst, I was having migraine attacks 4-5 times/week making it difficult to function & correspondingly difficult to perform my job. I lost my career to this disease and am grateful for SSDI. Along the way, I was also diagnosed with endometriosis, high blood pressure, thyroid disease, arthropathy/arthritis, & high cholesterol. I’ve learned to adapt to the uncertainty of the next migraine attack, have friends who understand, and two cocker spaniels who are my “kids.”

Migraine disease is a highly stigmatized disease. It is invisible and what can’t be seen, isn’t real for many people. I advocate to reduce the stigma surrounding migraine disease; to increase funding for: research into the cause(s) of migraine, for R&D for new medications & neuromodulation devices; to encourage more medical students to pursue a specialization in Headache Medicine (in 2024, there is one headache specialist for every 60,000 patients); & to educate the general public about this complex, invisible, neurological disease.