In the video below, U.S. Pain ambassador Mia Maysack talks about many issues all patients can relate to – from the struggle of keeping up with medical appointments, to step therapy, to unaffordable treatment options.

The video was recorded as part of our INvisible Project: State Advocacy Virtual Campaign in honor of Migraine and Headache Awareness. (Mia was featured in the most recent edition. You can read her full story here.)

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Maysack celebrating Shades for Migraine

City & State: Madison, WI

Age: 28 years old

Pain warrior role: Advocate and ambassador since 2017

What type of health conditions do you live with: Daily cluster headaches, post-infection chronic mega-migraine disorder, and fibromyalgia

What is your favorite tip for others with chronic pain: “It has become my mission to spread the good word that we are not alone, regardless of how isolated we may feel at times. We’re so much more than any diagnosis or condition, and it’s imperative to navigate ways in which we co-exist with our suffering, all while refusing to surrender to it. I believe compassionate relationship with oneself is not only crucial, but that we’re also worthy and deserving of that as well as the same affection, love and respect that we would give away to anyone else.”

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Throughout June as National Headache and Migraine Awareness Month (MHAM), the U.S. Pain Foundation and fellow patient organizations focused their efforts on educating patients and the public about the realities of life with headache diseases. (And even though it’s July, there are still a few opportunities to learn and take action!)

Launch of the INvisible Project: Migraine & Headache 4th Edition

The month kicked off with multiple launch parties for the newest edition of the INvisible Project, which highlights 10 patients and families coping with varying types of headache diseases ranging from cluster headache to new daily persistent headache. You can download the full PDF of the magazine or order print copies, free of charge, by visiting the INvisible Project website.

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Mind you

By: Mia Maysack

I have never said that mindfulness fixes or cures, that it is easy, looks the same for everyone, or that it should even be referred to by that term.

It would be incorrect of me to make the claim that anything erases discomfort and all symptoms attached to them. Yet instead of exploring this concept for themselves, many want to attack it or remain defensive without genuinely committing, as if tension assists them in feeling better than letting it go would.

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U.S. Pain Foundation has released the INvisible Project: Migraine and headache diseases, 4th edition, just in time for Migraine and Headache Awareness Month, which is celebrated each June. The publication highlights 10 individuals living with headache and migraine diseases and includes articles from experts in the field.

To read the entire edition, click here. To order copies of the magazine, go here.

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Mindfull

By: Mia Maysack

How are we able to go about pursuing or even simply believing in the concept of wellness, while attempting to cope with the opposite of being well?

At a physical therapy appointment a few years back, I met with a provider who used to experience debilitating pain himself after an accident. He’d since become pain-free and had a certain arrogance, as if he’d cracked the code, so I looked forward to working together.

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By Mia Maysack

A loved one recently used the word “suffering” while expressing their thoughts on my situation.  Yes, it does feel like agony at times, but I no longer embrace that word as a part of my personal terminology, therefore, I affirm that by making it known to others.

How can anyone know what our wants/needs are unless we convey them?

Furthermore, how do we go about conveying something we ourselves might not even know??

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Stayin’ alive

By Mia Maysack

There’s no limit to the unconditional amount of reasons a person could be in pain: genetics, an accident, injury, or surgery gone array.

Swimming/diving were my passions.

It has been said, fear wasn’t an emotion I demonstrated often – at the age of 3, I would attempt jumping into the deep end on my own accord.

At 10 years old, you could find me spending my waking moments at the neighborhood pool from open – to close. Until bacterial meningitis robbed me of childhood, little could anyone have known that I’d live with head pain forevermore.

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Attendees Sharon Rose, Heidi Brehm, and Ryan Drozd at the summit. View a slideshow of the weekend here.

Despite challenges often faced when traveling with a chronic pain condition, 19 advocates and a handful of caregivers rallied together in Dallas, TX, for a U.S. Pain Foundation Advocacy Summit. The goal was to help people with pain understand how they can take action at the state and federal level and influence positive change for the pain community. Participants were selected to attend because of their exceptional efforts to engage and speak out about pain in the past.

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