I am an artist, university professor and one of the more than 38 million Americans and an estimated 1 billion worldwide who suffer from migraines, an invisible affliction. The migraines began when I was eight years old. I grew up at a time when migraines were not considered a medical condition, as they are now, but an emotional one. For most of my life, I tried to ignore my migraines and pretend that they had no real consequences. It was not until my thirties when I read Joan Didion’s essay "In Bed," in which she gives voice to her migraine suffering through words, that I acknowledged the effect they have on me. It was a life-changing moment, and the start of a continuing struggle to accept that I have a chronic illness.

In 2009, almost twenty-five years after reading "In Bed," I began to photograph myself with my webcam or phone every time I had a migraine, which can be 10-15 times a month. When I have a migraine, all I want to do is leave my body so I won't feel the pain. My laptop is my escape—it allows me to ignore my body and, by photographing myself, see myself. I can express what I can't articulate and make the pain visible.

100migraines.net launched in 2014 and is the first iteration of my bigger Migraine Register project.

Migraine Register on Instagram and Tumblr contains recent photos as well as more selections from my 750+ self-portraits. A book is also in the works.

Please feel free to contact me for more information: lorie@100migraines.net.

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