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Explaining migraines can be tricky. This comic helps.

A personal account of a migraine attack, plus why they happen and what you should know.

Explaining migraines can be tricky. This comic helps.

At first, Summer Pierre thought they were just really bad headaches.

"Until one day, I got one of the bad headaches, and Tylenol didn't do anything, and I started throwing up," Pierre told Upworthy in an email. "I mentioned it to my therapist at the time and she said, 'That's not a headache, that's a migraine.'"

Pierre is a comic artist, writer, and teacher. In 2013, she captured a particular experience with a migraine in this comic:



Comic by Summer Pierre, used with permission, adapted for mobile use. Original can be found here.

It turns out that Pierre has been experiencing migraines for more than 20 years.

"I'm pretty prone to them, so I can wake up with the symptoms coming on a couple times a week, but they can be curbed with medication for the most part," she said. "The really bad ones that can't be stopped with medication happen about once a month."

If you're one of the about 13% of our population who experiences migraines, you know what Pierre is talking about.

Migraines can be debilitating. They can last for hours, sometimes days. They usually come in distinct phases and can include more than just pain: Fatigue, nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light and sound, and seeing auras are just some of the symptoms.

They can be so bad that it pretty much keeps you from doing anything but wishing they'd go away, an experience Pierre called "pretty damn frustrating."

There's even a weird migraine hangover phase, where people often feel very tired (although some people, like Pierre, also get a kind of migraine-induced euphoria after).

Some things can help, including medication and avoiding triggers.

Certain things like alcohol or medications might bring on migraines. But the triggers are usually highly variable and unique to each person.

And as a final kick in the teeth, stress can be a trigger, too, because migraines are soooo relaxing already.

Luckily, we're getting closer to figuring out what causes migraines, which could be a game-changer.

Researchers think migraines happen when there's abnormal blood flow to parts of the brain. And while migraines appear to be partly environmental, we're also starting to identify genes that may be responsible too. This is pretty cool because it could lead to more personalized, targeted migraine treatments in the future.

If you're having a migraine, take care of yourself.

And if you know someone who is having one, think of Pierre and summon as much empathy as you can.

"Unless you suffer from migraines or know someone intimately who does, people just don't seem to understand them. Migraines aren't just headaches — they are a full body system that has many parts to it," Pierre said.

"They are not to be ignored, powered through, or taken lightly."

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A lot of people here are like family to me," Michelle says about Bread for the City — a community nonprofit located in Washington DC that provides local residents with food, clothing, health care, social advocacy, and legal services. And since the pandemic began, the need to support organizations like Bread for the City is greater than ever, which is why Amazon is Delivering Smiles to local charities across the country this holiday season.

Watch the full story:

Amazon is giving back by fulfilling hundreds of AmazonSmile Charity Lists, and donating essential pantry and food items to help organizations like Bread for the City provide to those disproportionately impacted this year.

Visit AmazonSmile Charity Lists to donate directly to a local charity in your community, or simply shop smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price of eligible products to your charity of choice.
via Brittany Kinley / Facebook

Brittany Kinley, a mother from Mansfield, Texas, had a hilarious mom fail her and she's chalking it up to being just another crazy thing that happened in 2020.

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True

A lot of people here are like family to me," Michelle says about Bread for the City — a community nonprofit located in Washington DC that provides local residents with food, clothing, health care, social advocacy, and legal services. And since the pandemic began, the need to support organizations like Bread for the City is greater than ever, which is why Amazon is Delivering Smiles to local charities across the country this holiday season.

Watch the full story:

Amazon is giving back by fulfilling hundreds of AmazonSmile Charity Lists, and donating essential pantry and food items to help organizations like Bread for the City provide to those disproportionately impacted this year.

Visit AmazonSmile Charity Lists to donate directly to a local charity in your community, or simply shop smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price of eligible products to your charity of choice.

Editor's Note: An earlier version of this story featured a photo from Camden, South Carolina. It has since been corrected.

One of the most popular calls to action by protesters in America's streets after George Floyd was murdered by a Minneapolis, Minnesota police officer is to "defund the police."

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via UDOT / Facebook

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