Skip to Accessibility Tools Skip to Content Skip to Footer

“In a word, my family deals with my migraine attacks by _______”

Join the conversation! Post your response in the comments below.

Comments

  • Emily
    7 years ago

    correcting me. Everyone except the soon-to-be ex-fiance just tells me, every time we interact (not as much my mom – we talk all the time, and she’s also got migraines and totally knows the problem, so she’s very careful about when and how she does this), what I’m doing wrong. My migraines have come as part of a huge decline in my health over the last few years, so they’re still convinced I’m just doing something wrong that they can fix.

    Changes in diet are a favorite, because they have a very, very distorted view of what I eat – evidently they’ve decided I still eat the same things as my freshman year of college. They offer treatment advice, as if my doctors might somehow have missed the most basic treatment options or for conditions I don’t have.

    And my sister is the worst of all, who tells me that medicine just makes her feel worse, so I should just stop taking all of mine and I’ll be better (of the migraines, fibromyalgia, Sjogren’s syndrome, and hypothyroid). Or that will alternate with a conviction that I’m going to drop dead at any second because I have chronic illnesses, and an illness must mean chance of death, because there aren’t things that make you sick and just miserable without killing you. “And you can’t trust what doctors are telling you anyway, because how do you know they’re right? You can’t just believe everything people tell you.” I have no idea how she got like this. She’s taken biology classes. She’s an architect, you’d think she’d be analytical?

  • Nancy Harris Bonk moderator
    7 years ago

    It seems some of the smartest people say the silliest things. I’m sorry you don’t have much support. But you’ve got it here!

  • kathyhorton-bishop
    7 years ago

    my husband : was very supportive..he’d drive me to the ER in the middle of the night dress me, clean my puke bucket…rub my shoulders..keep the kids quiet….even when he was going through cancer treatment (unfortunately I lost him to the cancer in April of this year)…my daughters: although they both have had bouts with migraine..they seem to have outgrown them for now they are teenagers and my migraines make their life harder and I miss out on a lot of things with them..but when they can see I’m really hurting they will be quiet, bring me ice water, get my meds cause sometimes I can’t read the bottles because of vision issues..cook dinner etc…other times though they get mad at me because they have to do things for themselves or I can’t be there for them like they would like me to be….it’s new un-chartered territory for me…with out my loving husband….I’m a chronic migrainer so I’m down more often than not…many outsiders do not understand and think it’s only a headache take some medication and get over it…well I’m disability because that has not been possible…I’d be happy to trade places with them for a day or so…more education is the answer to more understanding for us migrainers..

  • Nancy Harris Bonk moderator
    7 years ago

    Kathy,

    I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing your heartfelt experience with us.

  • mrsj
    7 years ago

    siblings: Denial.They think I’m using it as a reason not to do something. That I can’t possible be in that much pain. My husband: trying to fix it. Educating himself so he can help me.

  • Nancy Harris Bonk moderator
    7 years ago

    Yup – that’s what men do, try and fix everything. Good to hear he is educating himself. Sounds like a keeper!

  • Not Carly Simon
    7 years ago

    “blaming me for them.” I have a lot of food triggers which happen to be things that the other people in my family like. Consequentially, I get treated to hearing “Well, we can’t have ____ anymore because it would give you a headache.”

  • Not Carly Simon
    7 years ago

    I cook when I can and after the second or third time that I spent the night puking because someone put a trigger in my food and didn’t think to check with me, they’re usually good with at least asking me first. I still get the vengeful, “We can’t eat ___ anymore” but it’s better than being sick.

  • Julie
    7 years ago

    I use to hear that ages ago, and I didn’t want to do this because it’s already such a chore to cook in the 1st place, but I will cook for them what they can eat then I will cook a couple of things for me what I can eat. And on occassions when I have to go to someone elses house I bring my “own” safe dish so I’m covered. It’s a pain but it’s worth it to stay safe.

  • barbarafiedler
    7 years ago

    My husband: love/support; my sons: indifference; my daughter-in-law: love.

  • Nancy Harris Bonk moderator
    7 years ago

    Quite a range there.

  • SBR1012
    7 years ago

    avoiding me. They are educated about migraines but I really think that they believe I should “just deal with it and go on.” Who WOULDN’T do that if they could? Nobody (I would think) would choose to be isolated and in pain.

  • Julie
    7 years ago

    I’m so sorry. I get the same thing. It’s discouraging. I too live in isolation. What is wrong with people!? I pray they come around for you soon.

  • SPinTexas
    7 years ago

    denial. Mine have recently developed into more serious and longer lasting episodes, so it’s all new to me and to them.

  • hollyadams
    7 years ago

    My family just ignores them and tells me to take something or stop talking about it and it will just go away.

  • michelefalk-worthington
    7 years ago

    After reading the responses, there are very few of us that have support from our families during our “episodes”. I have a boss that is VERY understanding and will turn off the lights in the office for me! My husband is wonderful, he will drop what he’s doing at work and come take me home because Lord knows I can’t drive….can’t see!!! My daughters unfortunately inherited them as well. One not as severe as the other.

    Before I was diagnosed, age 12 now 41, my mom thought I was faking just to stay home from school! She felt bad when she finally took me to the dr. and he listened to me as far as what was wrong….

    It’s hard because I have only narrowed down a few causes for myself. One overexertion, to much chocolate (bummer) and monsoons! The barametric pressure really plays HELL with my head! I’m alot like an arthritis sufferer, I can tell you when a storm is coming by how my head feels!

    Also, suffered very badly with them during my second pregnancy! Every trimester I would have them daily, so bad my dr. put me on Codine and ordered a CAT scan, yes while I was pregnant!

    I’ve half considered filing for disability because there are days I have to leave work or just can’t go at all…..

    I don’t know what it’s like to have a day headache free…..?

    Best of luck and wishes to all of you and if you find anything that makes them disappear PLEASE SHARE!!!!

  • jerriross-stamps
    7 years ago

    support. One word. support.
    My family DOES understand me, my friends understand. The outside world, NO. Still. I have missed many ‘dates’ with my friends, many family obligations, many things planned with my husband. All of the guilt I feel is self induced.
    When I was working, THAT guilt was often met with shame and hostility from my bosses, coworkers, other staff members from other departments. A lot of hostility. I will probably never get over that shame. I hope, in time, THOSE people do come to understand. While I have often said I wouldn’t wish my migraines on anyone, I do wish they would’ve understood.

  • cathyfrost
    7 years ago

    I am happy, sad and envious in reading some of these responses. Happy to read that so many people are getting support. Sad to read that several still are treated with that stigma and it is “just a headache”. And, envious, well for the ones who do get the concern and support. I feel that there are times I get some concern, but mostly the it’s just a headache response – suck it up and deal with it. When faced with a loved one with a chronic disease, I try to research and try to be helpful and somewhat knowledgeable – without being a doctor. But, trying to be there for there and showing concern. I do not feel that I get that in return. Unless, the other person actually experiences chronic migraines and can relate, I know they are not researching or listening to me when I say “hey, it was reported today that….” – I feel it falls on deaf ears and people thing it is just a headache and do not understand that it is debilitating. And, it is not that simple to just take a pill – I wish it worked that way. I have a dog that literally does not leave my side when I have a migraine. It is like he knows that I am sick and I call him my Nana (Peter Pan reference of the dog).

  • marlenerossman
    7 years ago

    I am very fortunate to have a wonderful husband. Although he cannot take many of the tasks that I have to do (due to his work schedule) he often tells me to get back into bed on the weekend.
    He really understands that migraine is a disease not a cute little ‘Headache. He often comes with me to the multitude of doctors who have done NOTHING to help, although they have tried.

    I have seen TWELVE doctors, including neurologists, migraine specialists, internists, cardiologists (all is OK with the heart)
    diagnostic specialists–the list is too long to go on. But he is always supportive. So, at least I have that.

    Migraine has stolen my life. I used to run, lift weights, ride my bike and do countless other wonderful things. Some days I can barely get out of bed, other to make a good breakfast for my
    Labradoodles. I hate the feeling of having to crawl back into bed and be sick. I have always been an active individual and migraine has made me disabled.

  • mrsj
    7 years ago

    I have had the same problem w/ meds not working. My body seems to get used to the migraine med and i’m left in wondering when relief will come. Now I tend to do 4 or 5 things that partly relieve a migraine just so I can last a few hours. Having a supporting husbands makes that easier.

  • marlenerossman
    7 years ago

    I neglected to mention that I have taken over 20 different medications and NOT ONE has helped prevent, ameliorate or stop the migraine, except the abortives ie, triptans, inhaled, Sumavel “taser” shots and pills). I am sure I am rebounding from the meds, but what choice do I have? How does one have a fulfilling life is a good part of it is spent being sick?

  • moneypenni
    7 years ago

    Avoidance…unfortunately I sometimes get very mean with my migraines 🙁

  • kathy
    7 years ago

    Waiting. They just leave me be until I feel better. Sometimes they suggest that I “sleep it off”. Lol

  • arden
    7 years ago

    Dear husband always asks the same questions: have you eaten and did you take your medicine? I sometimes would like more comforting but he is right, as usual. He asks about taking meds because it has taken me years to just take the darn pills early and stop questioning if its really a migraine or what did I do wrong or other non-productive fretting.

  • KellyG-SincerelySickStyle
    7 years ago

    Sympathy.

    I’m so lucky that my mom and sister have had a couple, even my boyfriend gets them occasionally, so everyone “gets it.”

  • jerriross-stamps
    7 years ago

    Kelly, that’s why I get the understanding from my family, too. My mom and sister, and my husband, a few of my friends too. It’s still hard. Sometimes I think life is passing me by.

  • Benice
    7 years ago

    I am fortunate to have my second husband be understanding and yet concerned at the same time. He knew nothing of migraine when we first met but asked questions and read everything I gave him. He makes sure I take care of myself and leaves me alone when there is nothing he can do. I have 5 fellow migraineurs in the family so they understand but my son and my husband are the ones around me all the time so their compassion is what helps keep me going. In a former marriage there was none of that just anger and frustration. I am grateful for the men in my life.

  • janenez
    7 years ago

    Dodging me. I don’t blame them.

  • Hatepain
    7 years ago

    Ignoring me!

  • Tmeschmidt
    7 years ago

    Disappointed

  • cathyfrost
    7 years ago

    Terra – I get a similar reaction. Which does not help my migraine situation since I think stress is a contributing factor and all that does is stress me out. Hang in there. 🙂

  • kathy m
    7 years ago

    understanding.

    my family knows that sometimes i have good intentions of joining them but the pain doesn’t always allow it. i know they are disappointed at times because travel is very hard for me.

    i have an alert dog and because he is a doberman, i spent a couple years dealing with legal issues because of some uneducated people where i lived. i know that was very stressful for my parents. we all just get through things as best we can.

  • mwebb1963
    7 years ago

    supportive.

    I nearly scared my husband to death with my last one, which came on so differently than others, I had hearing impairment in my right ear, right sided facial numbness and I couldn’t swallow. As an RN, I thought I was having a stroke. First time ever that I asked my husband to take me to the ER. The migraine came on after I was in the middle of the stroke workup. Looking back, I have had migraines since I was in high school and I honestly thought that I wouldn’t have migraines at my age. Wrong again!! Also found out my mom had them…she never told me. My teenage daughter has headaches now and I am fearful that she will also have migraines. I hope not.

  • lori
    7 years ago

    helping

    My soon to be 20 year old daughter has bore the brunt of my disease, due to it just being the two of us the majority of the time. When family members didn’t understand, she was the describer, protector and navigator. While disappointed that I couldn’t make some things, she knew I would be there no matter what for the most important ones.

    I never realized how helpful she was until my six week migraine when she got up at 0430 to drive me 1 1/2 hours to have an EEG done. And sat in the room with me so I knew I wasn’t alone. She was a senior in high school.

    Last month after coming home to say goodbye to her pets who we were having to place due to my health forcing me to live with my parents (and my three comforters not being allowed). A bad migraine hit and took me to my knees in the short span it took for me to walk from the back door to the dining room. She knew what medication I was trying to get to, how many I needed to take and helped me get them down since my tremors had already taken over. If she hadn’t been there I would have been in the hospital for the 3rd time in a week. I will be forever grateful to her.

  • Amy
    7 years ago

    being disappointed.

    Even tho some of them suffer occasionally as well! They think I’m making excuses or not drinking enough water. Here, take a Tylenol. Ugh… If it didn’t hurt to scream or cry, I would. They just don’t, and won’t, understand.

    My husband is awesome. He takes care of me like I’m a princess. He closes the blinds and shades, gets me snacks if I want, will even leave the house so he doesn’t disturb me. One time he tried to lock the cats out of the room – FAIL. They pawed the door until I had to open it. Besides, the purring was soothing… 🙂

  • Emily
    7 years ago

    @jerriross-stamps: I am about to start the process of breaking up with my fiance of 4 years (no blame on either side, he was amazing as a caregiver, but the stress of the loss of my income + really wanting different things out of the relationship that weren’t initially apparent) and the part of splitting everything between us that’s the worst is the cats. There’s not really a question that they’re my cats (although they love him, and he’d miss them), but since I’m moving in with my mom…they have to stay with him until I come up with an alternate living arrangement. And I hate SO MUCH that, on days when I feel terrible, the only way for me to be able to curl up with them is to get myself into a car and travel to see them.

  • jerriross-stamps
    7 years ago

    My fur babies are my biggest comforts. We took in 3 strays, all out of the same litter, so we’re all they have ever known, 12 years ago. They don’t know they’re cats, they’re little fur ladies. They cuddle up with me when I don’t feel well, and my husband will see that, and he knows, because the animal spirit and human spirits often meld together, that mama just needs to be. I’m lucky that way with my husband, He understands.

  • Teri-Robert
    7 years ago

    supporting.

    I’m so incredibly fortunate to have such a supportive family. My husband is retired and our children grown, so it’s just the two of us at home now. Hubby is always as supportive and helpful as anyone ever could be.

  • Ellen Schnakenberg
    7 years ago

    Helping.

    My immediate family all kicks in and helps each other out during our attacks. It’s the only good part of this disease being genetic.

    Confusion.

    Extended family still has a hard time with Migraine disease and the attacks that come with it. You can see by the look on their faces they don’t really understand, although most of them really want to help.

  • Diana-Lee
    7 years ago

    helping.

    My husband does so much. Everything from working very long hours to cleaning the house to caring for the yard to pitching in with my pets, whom we wouldn’t have if they weren’t such good companions for me.

    My parents help us financially with my medical expenses and by helping me get to appointments and taking me to an out of state specialist.

    Even though we all clash sometimes, by and large, I’m very, very lucky.

  • casrak
    7 years ago

    In a word, my family deals with my migraine attacks by _______”
    concern. Although my wife is very understanding, she is very concerned by how many attacks I have. She does know, when I am having an attack to not expect too much from me.

  • jerriross-stamps
    7 years ago

    This is awesome. This is the first post I’ve seen from a man. My husband gets migraines, too, probably 1 to my 10. But I know when he gets one, he just wants to be left alone. He does have that ability to just go to bed and shut down. And for the flip, my husband gets concerned by the number of attacks I have. But we both understand each other. Many blessings to both of you!

  • Jane
    7 years ago

    In a word, my family deals with my migraine attacks by “respect.” They have come to live with my migraines as part of their lives as much as mine. I am very fortunate, but it has taken years for them to fully understand just how much my life is taken up with this dreadful disease.

  • rhondagrensberg
    7 years ago

    In a word, my family deals with my migraine attacks by denial. If I can get out of bed to go to the restroom, and get water, then obviously I can do things like stand outside in the hot, humid air bent over at the waist, use strong smelling chemicals, to clean furniture. It is a given, that if I take a pill that knocks me out for 8-12 hours and they give me 2 hours of rest, I should be over it. Hyperactive dogs, loud noises (from the dogs), strong smells, bright lights, heat, and humidity. How many of my triggers were hit last night? While I have a migraine.

  • Julie
    7 years ago

    rhondagrensberg-smith and terri. Sounds like the three of us are all in the same boat. My family too is in denial. No support. Im on SSD so basically while “they” are away in their words “hard at work” and I’m at home “DOING NOTHING” all day I can cook, clean, do the laundry and kep up w/loud dogs (2 belong to my daughter who I’m stuck dog sitting) so they think I have the meds to deal with it and be over it and go about my merry way and then help my husband out in his smelly garage helping him put his hobby car together w/all those fumes or mow his rotten almost 2 acre yard w/an old loud mower w/an exhuast in the front that ALWAYS blows in my face, which I will always run into trees and my vertigo and aura will compound the issue. It’s no wonder I haven’t tipped myself over yet or drove out in front of a car!!! But all those triggers compound it millions of times over and they wonder why I feel even worse and the depression worsens and why I withdraw even more. DUH. Even ear plugs on top w/those ear mufflers do not block the noise. And when it’s dinner time they have to turn the TV up as loud as possible and I have to leave the room. It’s pure hell around here. Just hell.

  • terri
    7 years ago

    rhondagrensberg-smith! Do you live at my house? Unless it’s a headache that’s so bad I can’t move, talk, or even get up to go puke, I have to beg/ask permission to take some time out. I’ve learned to use ear plugs and an air purifier and hide. They still hunt me down, grown people! The rest of it, i have to depend on Imitrex. I’m sooo grateful it works.

  • Poll