This is our second in a series of stories featuring prominent migraine advocates and TheraSpecs customers—as part of Migraine and Headache Awareness Month in June.
Jaime Sanders cannot remember a time where migraine has not affected her life. She literally grew up with it, having been diagnosed at just two years old. And this ultimately meant adjusting to all the challenges posed by the headache disorder."I had to learn early on that I was different and couldn’t do all the things my friends could. I experienced stigma in school and had my pain diminished by teachers and peers. As an adult with migraine, I had to figure out how to manage being a mother and wife who had limitations."
Light was particularly brutal during her attacks.
"Bright light is the devil. The pain inflicted on my eyes would be unbearable. It felt like they were being stabbed by tiny little pins."
As a result, her migraine was made more difficult because of this strong sensitivity to light. In order to cope, Jaime would constantly wear sunglasses, but even then it was tough to escape the pain. Going shopping for groceries or visiting the doctor’s office became trigger traps as a result of their bright fluorescents.
Then she found TheraSpecs precision-tinted glasses and could literally feel the difference.
"Once I bought my pair of TheraSpecs, my life changed completely. They helped to reduce the pain in my eyes and the accompanying nausea and dizziness. They are a lifesaver in the ER and urgent care and make driving easier too. They go everywhere with me."
Jaime wearing her TheraSpecs migraine glasses
TheraSpecs are not the only way that Jaime has learned to better manage her condition. She has worked hard to find balance even when she wants to do everything. And she also realized that she has a direct influence on her own happiness and health.
But there are still times where it is a struggle, particularly in those moments where the pain is overwhelming or otherwise minimized by the outside world. And knowing that others are going through the same difficulties with their migraine, Jaime began to acknowledge the importance of lending her voice for patient advocacy.
One of her primary outlets is her blog, The Migraine Diva, where she shares her experiences of living with chronic migraine. She also attends public review meetings and panel events to advance the conversation on important migraine-related issues. In June, she was recognized for her work as a top advocate by the Association of Migraine Disorders.
And she has no plans of stopping any time soon.
"It is extremely hard to advocate for yourself when in pain, especially when your kind of pain is not taken seriously. I will continue to work alongside like-minded organizations in which I am a stakeholder to help advance migraine awareness and support patients and their caregivers."
Jaime also has a few tips for those that are interested in getting involved.
She recommends joining the 50 State Network, an advocacy initiative that recruits individuals from across the country to share their perspectives related to treatment, safety and care. She also encourages patients to apply to attend Headache on the Hill, an annual lobbying event where patients, caregivers and clinicians all come together to influence congressional action on migraine and headache issues.
We continue to be inspired by the work that Jaime Sanders has done for the migraine community and are proud to have her as a TheraSpecs customer.