How often is the person with mild migraine dismissive of the one who has it much worse? How often has someone with severe, life altering migraine, heard a version of: “I don’t understand, when I have migraine and I take 2 excedrin and an espresso, and I’m fine?” This is outrageous. Imagine the person who had a lumpectomy, no radiation, or chemo, and was cured telling the woman with metastatic breast cancer in her bones and liver that “breast cancer isn’t so bad.”
But to the ones who know them very well — they know! An observant husband might tell a wife: “you’re a six (out of ten) aren’t you?” And they are probably right. Sometimes the loved one will know there is a headache, even before the patient has registered it for themselves. But for the rest of the world, it is hard to empathize with a thing they can’t see.