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5 tips when migraines endanger friendships

Migraines can have a significant impact on life and everyday relationships. There is often a feeling of being misunderstood that can endanger friendships and relationships.

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  • SylvieCDN
    2 years ago

    This is an excellent article and helped put into perspective how I fear others WILL or DO treat me, and in fact — how I’ve treated OTHERS with their chronic diseases. So, educational all around!

    The worse advice I followed was from a very sharp-tongued and ill-informed friend who said, “Girl, this isn’t right. You only are ‘normal’ for about a week or two in a month, and then you have all this hormonal migraine stuff. Go talk to your doctor. Fix it.”

    So, I went to my doctor. The doctors are not like naturopath who look at your body as a system … who will suggest magnesium to strengthen pathways through which migraine pain travels. Who will suggest smoothies in the morning with protein and flax and cinnamon to help regulate your blood sugar to stabilize your physiology to better sustain the passing migraine train, pre- and pro-dromes, right? Doctors will give you a pill or …

    … Mirena IUD to flatline your migraine with synthetic progesterone.

    One week in, severe leg pain. Second week in — joint paint so excruciating on top of other symptoms that I was walking like a 94 year old woman. I was in top shape, health, fit — and now disabled with an IUD full of harmful stuff. Note, as a migraineur I do not take estrogen birth control for fear of stroke.

    So, out came that solution to “fix” my migraine, and … I would rather have my naturally-occurring migraines than a fake solution that disrupts my system.

    I’m no longer friends with that girl. And, I’ve enlisted a therapist to help how I speak about migraine pain and limitations to friends and colleagues at work.

    Surprisingly, the therapist’s advice is along the lines of ME feeling okay with MY OWN disease, and accepting that it’s real.

    I think when people around us do like this article and pictures illustrate, we easily come to think, “I’m imagining this!” Or, “I’m bringing on these migraines.” Or the best — “this is the last one, next month I won’t have any ever again.”

    Not so. Own your migraine, and maybe others will have an easier time NOT disowning … you.

  • MsPiggyknows
    3 years ago

    It is truly unfortunate that those who don’t suffer with migraines lack the compassion for those of us who do. I have always said if we had gaping wounds, other people would not hesitate to be considerate of the kind of Hell we endure. It is not until they actually experience a migraine that they begin to have an inkling what we endure. I have had friends and family tell me that they have a new respect for me and the attitude with which I choose to face the day-I rarely allow others to see my upset or down side because it doesnt help me or them to dwell on the negative. I do however advocate for myself. I am not a shrinking violet anymore who will allow an uneducated physician to tell me that what I am suffering from is all in my head or as in the case of an early fibromyalgia diagnosis-it was called fibrocytis back then-that my emotions and physical body were so closely tied together that when I was upset it made me ill. Think sbout that. I am a hysterical woman is what he just told me. NO! I AM AN ANGRY WOMAN WHO HURTS ALL OVER!!! IF HE WOULD LIKE TO SHARE MY PAIN, I WILL GLADLY RUN OVER HIM WITH MY CAR IF HE SAYS STUPID THINGS AGAIN!!! (i am kidding about running over him-but I might kick him in the shin!) Male Doctors are the WORST! In fact, men in general are bad about migraines! My dog knows when I have one. She will sit beside me in the bathroom while I vomit, and lie very still in the bed with me to make sure I am okay. Now, that is true friendship!

  • miapasquale
    4 years ago

    I was four years old when I experienced my first aura. In the late 1940’s no doctor knew the meaning of an aura. as I age symtoms became worse. I am always determined to overcome the pain, lack of concern or care and obtaining quaility health care. Last year, several of my friends (for at least 50 years) decided to take a trip and made it known to me that I was excluded. The reason – I was unable to withstand a two hour flight. I took it in stride and they have no idea I also have moderate to severe Willis-Ekbom (RLS) along with chronic migraine/clusters/brain injury. My choice, take care of my emotions, soul and move on. Everyone has some sort of challage – Hurt and anger is too negative in my world. I consider myself a “winner” even while I vomit all night long. I am not in denial, just without a family. Determine to the end

  • Not_faking_it
    4 years ago

    Between the migraines and fibromyalgia I have a hard time maintaining relationships. I’m tired of my health getting in the way. I’ve finally reached the point where I’m going to crawl inside my shell I’m tired of people not understanding and I’m tired of explaining my health issues.

  • Helen almond
    3 years ago

    I have fibromyalgia and severe on going facial pain. The worse feeling as if someone has punched me on the nose= it feels like the inside of my nose is aching but the drs seem mythed!

  • SPSwafford
    4 years ago

    My chronic migraine disease has spanned over 20 years so I’ve had many ‘opportunities’ to have to be around people while having one. I would be unemployed and miss many of my child’s activities if I allowed myself to get to recoup at home. This is hard enough however the emotional scars I have from my ex and some of my friends criticizing me about how I ‘act’ during these migraines gets to be unbearable. They are upset that I won’t communicate. (I get aphasia) Upset I have shades and ear plugs in and do not listen to them rattle on about the same $&@ they always gripe about. They do not like my facial expressions. Think I’m crazy because I can’t think, I’m clumsy, I can’t drive, & I couldn’t think of the words. They actually tell me that next time I need to act like this or that as if I have control. And the most painful is that because of these things, they have called me ‘psycho’ when they where mad to hurt me. They have talked bad about me to others telling these things to them in front of me! I want to be able to forgive and not live with resentment in my heart, but I’m not sure anything else has hurt me more. Such a disappointment. I really am a bad judge in character.

  • Jules2dl
    5 years ago

    My ex-husband, a verbally and emotionally abusive person, once told me that MY migraines were ruining HIS life. REALLY???
    In retrospect I understand this now more than I did when he said it well over a decade ago. When I was down for the count he had to care for our 4 children, my 8 parrots, and the 2 large family dogs. Poor man.
    These were beloved family members that I willingly took on the responsibilities of. My responsibilities to them were acts of love which I invested into their futures every single day, except when I was in too much pain to do anything other than lie in bed with an ice pack.
    To my ex, these responsibilities which came with parenthood (not to mention adulthood), were merely chores. Chores equalled burdens to him, and sure enough, he tired of these burdens and wanted out.
    When someone who professes to love you views your migraines not in terms of what they take from you, but instead in terms of extra chores that are added on to his or her own day, it’s a clue that the love they profess isn’t for you, but for themselves. Ditch’em.

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