Today’s #MigraineAwarenessMonth blog topic is: How do you cope with cognitive impairment? Share your best strategies. Since I’ve had chronic daily #migraines my entire life, I really do not know what my brain would be like without them. However, I can tell you that I experienced a very noticeable difference in my mental functioning after I started taking Topamax. I started taking it right at about the time I was finishing my PhD. After this, I lost a significant amount of my vocabulary. This manifests as word-searching problems. For example I will be talking to you and suddenly I cannot think of the word I want to say. Also I often cannot place peoples’ names with their faces. I can still communicate effectively, but I often end up choosing a simpler word or a longer explanation that I had originally planned.

Some strategies I use to help me with this problem are:

  1. If I am giving a talk I make sure I am well-practiced. This means the words are more likely to flow and word searching problems do not affect me as much.
  2. I’ve learned to pay extra attention to my facial expressions when I am having to think longer than normal. I don’t want to get caught with a blank expression on my face just because of a problem related to my migraine disease or my migraine treatment has temporarily hijacked my brain.
  3. I take notes in my phone with names of new people I have met.
  4. I don’t apologize too much. It just draws attention to the problem. #migraineexpert

#Migraine and #Headache attacks impact the ability to focus and concentrate. #MHAM #MHAMSMC