It is estimated that over 40 million Americans, and one billion people worldwide suffer from migraine disease. What is migraine disease? And how serious is it? Here to explain from their own personal experiences, this migraine advocate Eileen Brewer and Dr. Joanna Kempner shine a huge spotlight on this terribly common and often debilitating disease.
In this episode, The Two Jess(es) talk with these two incredibly resilient women who have dedicated their lives, work and research to advocate on behalf of themselves and the millions that suffer along with them. The ramifications of living with chronic illness are indeed serious, the frustrations that come with not being taken seriously, and the often debated topic of addiction to drugs as opposed to dependence to find some relief. Also, a lot of talk about psychedelics in this one!
If you, or someone you know and love is suffering from migraine, or any other chronic illness, this episode is packed full of useful information and a feast for your thoughts.
Meet Eileen Brewer!
Eileen is an event coordinator and advocate for those living with headache diseases. She is the President of Clusterbusters, the Director of Special Events for the Coalition for Headache and Migraine Patients, a member of the National Headache Foundation’s Patient Leadership Council, and is a moderator for Move Against Migraine.
As a wife and mother of two, Mrs. Brewer balances her life in the headache community with various personal commitments, including sitting as the President of a preschool, leading a Girl Scout troop, and managing several real estate investment properties. Eileen has devoted herself over the years to many volunteer opportunities including local and national political initiatives, and event planning and advocacy for local charities.
Meet Dr. Joanna Kempner!
I am an Associate Professor of Sociology at Rutgers University where I research, teach, and speak about the relationship between science, medicine, and justice, and the political suppression of science and resistance movements that fight politically motivated ignorance.
In 2014, I wrote the award-winning book Not Tonight: Migraine and the Politics of Gender and Health (Chicago). My work strives to give voice to those who are too often silenced, which means that much of my research focuses on questions that most people rarely think about: Whose pain matters? Why are there so few effective treatments for pain? What are the challenges of living a life in pain?
Over the years, I’ve found that ignorance drives too many decisions about science and health. So I’ve also worked at understanding how and why some topics are never studied, and how certain “forbidden” subjects can reemerge as viable scientific investigations. To this end, I am currently writing a book about the underground research networks responsible for bringing psychedelics back to medicine. You can read more about my work here.
For more information about various organizations mentioned in this episode:
Cluster Busters: https://clusterbusters.org/
Coalition for Headache and Migraine: https://headachemigraine.org/