Migraine Advocate Profile: Qasim Amin Nathari

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September 7, 2022
September 7, 2022
2
minutes
Migraine Advocate Profile: Qasim Amin Nathari

Neura Health knows that every headache journey is unique and affects each patient individually. This Migraine Awareness Week, we're profiling advocates to shed light on the full spectrum of this disease.

Fact: migraine advocate Qasim Amin Nathari was having a migraine attack during this photo. While Qasim was formally diagnosed in 1998, he began experiencing migraine attacks as a child during the 1970s, when migraine rarely was diagnosed in children. Learn more about how Qasim navigates his migraine disease and what he wishes his friends and society better understood about his condition.

Name: Qasim Amin Nathari

 

Twitter Handle: @aminnathari

Instagram Handles: @qasimaminnathari and @blackmenhavemigrainetoo

 

What is your migraine type? 

Chronic severe migraine with and without aura

 

Are you chronic, high frequency episodic or episodic? 

Chronic

 

When were you diagnosed with migraine? 

1998. And again in 2005, after being essentially intractable from 2003 – 2005, as Chronic Severe. It was then, 2005, when I learned that the headaches I experienced as a child in the early 1970’s were migraine; but medical science at that time rarely, if ever, diagnosed children with migraine.

 

What is the most disabling aspect of your migraine disease? 

In addition to the intense pain and throbbing, I experience a noticeable decline in my cognition just before, during and after an attack. This has impacted me as much as any other aspect of the disease.

 

What is your strangest symptom?
It’s a “tie” between excessive fatigue and intense food cravings

 

What is your favorite acute treatment/hack?
I have two; drinking a VERY cold (almost frozen) Pepsi at the early onset of an attack; and Lemon (with extra) ginger green hot tea with a triptan (even if it is a day that I’ve already taken my preventive).

 

What is something you now know about migraine that you wish you knew early on in diagnosis? 

That there is no cure for migraine, just management and treatment; and as a result, living with migraine is a life journey; a marathon, not a sprint. So be ready to adapt and adjust to an ever changing reality of what is and what may lie ahead

 

What is your favorite way to advocate for migraine? 

Continuing to share my own story and personal journey/reality of living with migraine. And I’m “amazed” (and disheartened) that I seem to be one of the few Black men comfortable being in this space.

 

What do you wish those closest to you knew about migraine?

That every day can be unpredictable, and I have my good days and not so good days. And that sometimes, I just don’t have the bandwidth for “interpersonal communication”. A text or two that that day (or days) may have to suffice in place of a phone conversation.

 

What do you wish society knew about migraine?

The invisibility of the disease doesn’t in any way diminish the serious impact and disabling nature of migraine. And most of all, for me, the common equation of “a bad headache” to “migraine”  (especially as casually portrayed in television and film) is like equating a common cold to cancer! They are no way near one and the same.

 

And lastly, not everyone living with migraine is impacted the same way. So what may be or had been the reality of your cousin, former co-worker, etc., is not the same as the new person with migraine that you meet or engage with. Migraine is not “one size fits all”.

 

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Cannon Tekstar Hodge
Head of Content and Social Strategy
About the Author
Cannon Tekstar Hodge is the Head of Content and Social Strategy for Neura Health. She also is a chronic migraine patient and migraine advocate.

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