Headache on the Hill 2012 in Washington DC

The Washington Monument is on a hill, just not the hill in question

A few months ago I got an email inviting me to participate in the 2012 Headache on the Hill, the hill in question being Capitol Hill. To which you might say, “Jennette, isn’t every day a headache on Capitol Hill?” To which I’d say, “Har, har, har, isn’t that funny? NO, it’s not.” (Ok, it’s a little bit funny, but don’t tell my representatives I said that!) Going to Washington DC and talking to powerful elected officials sounded scarier than Gremlins was as a kid, so I said, “Sure! Let’s do it!” Because I subscribe to the belief that you should do things outside of your comfort zone, which seems like a stupid belief when you’re actually doing things outside of your comfort zone.

Headache on the Hill is a program organized by the Alliance for Headache Disorders Advocacy which is actually 10 headache organizations combined, sort of like two sets of Voltron Lions but without a theme song. Now in its fifth year, the initiative brings together dozens of headache doctors, patients and other advocates (or really, any US citizen who wants to drop in) for a day of appointments with our respective state Senators and Congresspeople. During these brief moments stolen with our representatives and/or their twenty-something staffers, we’ll be asking them to support headache sufferers by:

1) Holding Congressional hearings on headache disorders in Washington DC before the close of the 112th Congress.

2) Renewing funding of research on chronic migraine and post traumatic stress in the DOD CDMR Program.

That’s it! Just two things. That’s not very pushy, right? Constituents are allowed to schedule appointments with their representatives, and representatives generally like to keep their constituents happy, which is why HOH tries to attract people from as many states as possible. We had a training session this afternoon and I’ll be visiting the offices with a group of 3 other people from my state, one of whom has done this several times before, so I know they’ve got my back. We’ll see how it goes!

If you want to do something in support of Headache on the Hill, you can sign this petition in support of the first point I mentioned above regarding congressional hearings on headache disorders. If you don’t want to support Headache on the Hill, you suck and I hate you.

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[...] keep me warm as I walked with the 60-something doctors, patients and other advocates taking part in Headache on the Hill 2012. Considering how numb my arms got, the coat would have been the better choice. (My fiery passion [...]

[...] you’re curious to know more about Headache on the Hill, you can read this entry about the 2012 event in general and this entry about my experiences that day. Basically we’ll be asking our representatives [...]

Michelle • March 27, 2012 at 10:01 am

I’m on my way to dash off an email right now. . .I read this article in the Washington Post last week and it made me think of you . . . . http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/a-mans-persistent-headache-proves-hard-to-diagnose-and-harder-to-treat/2012/02/28/gIQAWbWgNS_story.html

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fd • March 27, 2012 at 12:40 pm

that’s a great way to raise some awareness on a lesser known issue. You have specific demands. You have a memorable personal story to tell. So my guess is that you will do a great job today. Those elected folk, they’re still just people really; busy, overlobbied people, but people nonethless.

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Natalie • March 27, 2012 at 6:44 pm

I’m Australian so I really don’t think your politicians would care what I say. But good luck!

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Tamara • March 27, 2012 at 6:56 pm

I’m a migraine sufferer, although not chronically like you. I signed the petition! What a cool opportunity, congrats.

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Debby • March 27, 2012 at 7:13 pm

I voted twice! But not on purpose. Some glitch happened while my vote was being processed. :-(

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Jenny • March 27, 2012 at 8:09 pm

Signed! Break a leg!

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Kalyn • March 27, 2012 at 9:50 pm

You go girl! I signed the petition (although my data popped in automatically, which made me wonder if I may have signed too many online petitions for various.)

Love your willingness to get out of your comfort zone.

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Eva • April 29, 2012 at 4:10 pm

Hi Jen!

I have migraine everyday from, around 18 years. I am what is suffer too. Well, I have tried almost everything, in hospitals, botox, acupunture, biofeedback, all kind of peels…and if you know anything new, I will prove it, the last thing I have not prove is radiofrecuency of the occipital nerve, do you know something.
Sorry, but I am from Spain and my English is not good.

a hug form Eva

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Chocolate & Vicodin: My Quest for Relief from the Headache that Wouldn't Go Away Half-Assed: A Weight-Loss Memoir

Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, chronic headache sufferer, (former?) weight-loss inspiration, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She was formerly known as PastaQueen. You can contact her if you promise to be nice.

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