Thursday, March 06, 2008

The NY Times Migraine Blog... What the ****?

Last month, the NY Times started a new blog in their Opinion section, "Migraine, Perspectives on a Headache."

The blogging world seems to have gone wild talking about this blog, linking to it, praising it. What the hell? Yes, it's wonderful to have more attention paid to Migraine. This blog MAY help raise awareness. Still, I have some issues with it and the response to it:

  • The subtitle, "Perspectives on a Headache," is just plain wrong. Migraines aren't headaches, people! Yes, it's that simple. They're NOT headaches. As I've seen Teri Robert say, "Migraines are a flare-up of Migraine, a genetic neurological disease. The headache, if there is one, is but on SYMPTOM of a Migraine attack. You can have a Migraine attack without having a headache."
  • In "About This Blog," they say, "More than 28 million Americans..." Well, hell! If you're going to start a new blog, why not start out with current statistics. That 28 million figure is at least seven or eight years old, maybe older. Based on WHO prevalence statistics and current US Census data, the correct figure is more than 35 million Americans.
  • Why call it "Migraine" when one of the primary writers, Paula Kamen, doesn't have Migraine disease? She has chronic daily headache. CHD is horrible, but it's not Migraine disease.
  • If this blog is supposed to really address Migraine, there are at least two people missing from the writers on this blog -- Michael John Coleman of MAGNUM and Teri Robert.
  • In all the rush to pay attention to the supposedly all-important NY Times, people are missing out on a great deal of blog entries and articles that are just as good, if not better.

Come on, people! Let's put things in perspective. The new kid on the block shouldn't eclipse all the other players. The NY Times blog is no longer new. Let's get back to business!


Diana said...

I think you make some really excellent points, Abby. The only place where I really (respectfully) disagree is about including someone with CDH on a blog that seems limited to Migraine in its title. While headache is certainly only one aspect of migraine disease, as you pointed out, I think all of us with headache-related disorders are in this together and can benefit from sharing our experiences even though they sometimes greatly differ.

I'm happy that this blog could increase awareness about migraines and headaches. Hopefully it will inspire people to see what other people out here are writing about and learn the realities about these conditions.

Megan Oltman said...

Hi Abi - You and I already chatted about this. I totally get your upset. I just hope the publicity does migraineurs some good. Maybe now that they've made their splash they could start featuring some real advocates? Problem is, we can comment, but I haven't found any way to do a letter to the editor type of thing that maybe could influence what they do with the blog.

And I wanted to say - glad to see you writing again. Hope you're doing well!

- Megan

Anonymous said...

Abi, not only has the NYT blog not included Teri Robert as one of their writers, but on at least one occasion they've deleted her comments from one of the blog posts. That in itself is very disappointing.

Eileen said...

Amen sister!

My thoughts exactly - I couldn't have said it better!

the migraine girl said...


Are you serious? You have to be approved before your comment is posted--so does that mean her comments were initially approved and then deleted?

I am thrilled that the blog has generated TONS of interest. There are a few drawbacks, I know, but all in all I think it's a good thing (and I think you do too).

Abi, I love your energy and fervor! Damn right we should be passionate about this! ;)

Abigail said...

Thanks, Migraine Girl!

I'm revved up about the Yahoo! group Teri started for us bloggers. Will I see you there?


themigrainegirl said...

A Yahoo group? How do I get on this train? I'm in! Let me know details asap.

Abigail said...


Do you have Teri's email address? She said one problem she's having is finding email addresses for the bloggers she likes, and I know she was looking for yours. I don't want to put her email address here, but if you don't have it you can email me at, and I'll give it to you.

The group should be great for all of us.