Men's Health Week 2022
An interview with Adrian Everitt
Flynn, Head Admin of our Men with Migraine support group and Brisbane Ambassador, interviews Adrian Everitt, a Migraine Australia Migraine Warrior, about his experience with migraine for Men's Health Week.
Let's start with your experience of living with migraine and your migraine journey. When did you first start getting migraine attacks and has it changed much over time?
Back in September 2019, I started experiencing migraine attacks. During this time, I experienced two weeks of vertigo, other migraine attack symptoms and symptoms of burnout. My doctor ran a series of tests that eventually led me to the diagnosis of Vestibular Migraine.
A few months after my diagnosis, my rental lease expired and I was left homeless. It was very stressful having to stay in motels and hotels. During this time, I didn't know about migraine, migraine attacks, the symptoms or the phases of migraine attacks.
My migraine attacks are like a roller coaster ride at times. Sometimes the attacks are under control, but sometimes they're completely out of control and are overwhelming.
A lot of us rely on being able to control our home environment to avoid triggers and manage our attacks so I can imagine being homeless and losing that control would make things quite difficult. What factors do you find the most challenging?
My environment is absolutely a factor. Trying to find that quietness that I need is sometimes tough. Most of my accommodation has been temporary, until April this year, and that has had its own challenges. Whether I was staying in a motel room, at a share-house or with family, getting a dark room & peace to rest hasn't been easy. It's been particularly difficult because I have often had to try and educate people about migraine and my triggers.
Has living with migraine made it more difficult to get back on your feet again?
Yes because I am trying to explain to people what works best for me in managing my migraine & migraine attacks. Some days I struggle to walk down the street and it’s only a 15-minute walk there and back.
Who or what has been your biggest support during this time?
Migraine Australia chat groups have been a good support and the members have been quite helpful. Reading other people's comments and stories, and knowing that you’re not alone is comforting. It's also reassuring to know that others experience some of the same triggers or symptoms. I like that I can just reach out and ask something in the group and I often get a lot of helpful responses.
What would your advice be to someone going through a similar experience to you?
My best advice is to do what works for you when managing migraine attacks. Like using an ice pack to ease your pain. I have experienced many people “trying” to offer their opinions or advice. Take it with a grain of salt and try to appreciate that they are coming from a good place.
I’d love to know a bit more about you outside of migraine. Do you have any hobbies? Or what is something that you are really passionate about and brings you joy?
The hobbies I have, I do in moderation. They are triggers for a migraine attack. Like walking, I enjoy going out and walking in nature, but I now need to take rest stops along the way. I am also getting addicted to those adult colouring in books. I find watching TV, Netflix or a movie enjoyable, but I can't watch something for too long or it becomes a trigger.
Migraine Australia would like to take this opportunity to thank Adrian for his time and for helping us bring migraine #OutOfTheDark