Welcome to room 3

The art exhibition

part of The Materiality of Invisibility

This is an open exhibition by artists who identify as and/or work on invisible illnesses and disabilities and explore their materiality.


By Léna

My work is called Borrelia. Borrelia is the lyme disease bacterium that I have been carrying in my body for three years. I printed out the words corresponding to my daily symptoms of the disease becoming chronic using buffers that I engraved in linoleum(fatigue, hypersensitivity, confusion, pain).This garment is made of tea bag paper that I drank and glued together. 

This clothe is therefore the symbol of my resilience, of my body history and allows me to mark an effective transition in my life, like a butterfly moult. I performed it, putting it on a hanger, then on my shoulders and finally putting it on the ground. 

This work is important to me because chronic lyme disease is not recognized in France nor in many others. There is a lot of medical wandering and treatments are not supported .Talking about it through art allows me to advance my cause by also touching people not concerned.

Status Migrainosus

By Caitlin Smits

I hope your headache feels better!”


“You can handle it, it can’t be that bad.”


“Yeah, I get bad headaches too.”


“Have you taken Tylenol?”


“I have some Tylenol for you in my car.”

A common misconception with chronic migraine is that they are a headache.

If only they were that simple. 

A headache is manageable.

Usually a headache is not an indication of a greater underlying problem.

A headache is not altered vision.

A headache is not severe photo-and phonophobia.

A headache does not trigger nausea.

Or dizziness.



The most frustrating thing about living with chronic migraines is cancelling plans because I cannot get out of bed; open my curtains; eat; watch tv to distract me from the pain; speak in coherent sentences.




“it’s just a headache”




It’s not.



As of right now there is no set cure for migraines. Dealing with the pain some days is easier than others. Some days start off seemingly "normal" but then a migraine can be triggered and I can be bed bound for the next two days.



Migraine is a neurological disease with extremely incapacitating neurological symptoms. It’s typically a severe throbbing recurring pain, usually on one side of the head. But in about 1/3 of attacks, both sides are affected. In some cases, other disabling symptoms are present without head pain. Attacks are often accompanied by one or more of the following disabling symptoms: visual disturbances, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, extreme sensitivity to sound, light, touch and smell, and tingling or numbness in the extremities or face. About 25% of migraine sufferers also have a visual disturbance called an aura, which usually lasts less than an hour. In 15-20% of attacks, other neurological symptoms occur before the actual head pain. Attacks usually last between 4 and 72 hours.


Having Migraine puts me at a larger risk of strokes, seizures, heart complications, depression and GAD.



I wish they were just headaches

© 2021  The Lyme Museum by Dr Angela Stienne.

 The Lyme Museum is registered with the UK Association of Independent Museums.