Moving with migraine

Moving with migraine

We moved houses again at the end of July despite my deep and abiding loathing of the moving process.  There are a few things that inspired Jim and me to pack up this adorable rental house after just one year to move literally down the street.

  1. We will have two bathrooms instead of one.  Yes, you read that right.  TWO BATHROOMS.  Once, many years ago, friends were trying to get my dad to reveal the secret to a happy marriage (he and my mom have been together for over forty years).  He revealed his answer, however tongue-in-cheek, after lots of his trademark comedic hemming and hawing (“The true secret of marriage is…. oh wait.  Um.  Oh yeah! The true secret of marriage is….oops, I forget. What is it.  Oh, I know!  The true, the truest, the only secret of marriage is….I can’t remember.”). Here’s what he said: “The secret is…having two bathrooms.”  Well, color me a believer. I look forward to no longer bugging Jim with what I call the hair wall in the shower, the place where I clump my long hair together when I condition it so it doesn’t fall down the drain and clog it.  I know this is gross.  I look forward to him having the space to get water all over the counter when he washes his face, and I like that when I wake up crabby, a tiny little thing like the toothpaste cap not being replaced will be my own fault and I don’t have to go to that petty place where I scold my husband in my head, if even for a second.
  2. The new place is the teeniest bit less expensive, and the landlord is a friend of ours who will be very responsive to any repair requests or other issues we have.
  3. The new house has a few hundred more square feet—more room for two people with a lot of stuff. (I work from home so have my office supplies, plus you probably can guess that I am a book and stationery and memory hoarder; Jim is a musician and artist with all the equipment you’d imagine would go along with those occupations.)
  4. After a year of working in an office (aka dining-room-turned-office-space) with no closing door and a few years before that of my office being in the same room as our TV/living room, I will have a separate little room with a door that shuts.  Fingers crossed that and improved communication on my part will allow us to avoid arguments and frustrations that sometimes arise from my not being clear about when I’m working and when I’m home with my partner and free to talk.


Moving can of course be stressful, especially for those with chronic illness (AKA both my husband and me). We are taking steps that will alleviate as many health triggers as we can, including:

  1. Beginning the packing process weeks before we move. It is hard to decide what gets packed up first, but so far we’re doing a good job of not packing up too  many things that we realize we need nearly every day.
  2. Hiring movers this time.  That’s right: a genuine, certified, fully-insured moving company.  It is going to cost a pretty penny, but I don’t have to worry about either Jim or me hurting our backs and necks by lifting things, maneuvering furniture around doorways, or even rolling a piano around the living room.  We also don’t have to recruit friends (who have been so helpful in the past!) and ask them to take a day off to help us lug an entire house full of stuff from one place to another that’s just four blocks away.  Another bonus: over-exertion and overheating are two migraine triggers for me, and if I’m not heaving heavy things around in the 95-degree heat in late July, I can potentially avoid a migraine.
  3. Color-coding and clearly labeling all the moving boxes so the movers know which rooms to put them in—this will avoid our having to move too much stuff around in the weeks following the move-in as we settle in.
  4. Tossing and/or giving away and/or selling a good deal of stuff we no longer use or need or love (sometimes all three). I cannot overestimate how cleansing this feels—I know that sounds really new-agey to some of you, but I assure you the relief is real!

Actually preparing in advance while focusing on the positive aspects of moving only a year after our last move has helped me stay really excited about this next adventure and has kept my stress way lower than it has ever been during previous moves.

How many of you migraineurs have moved or undergone a big change like this?  What steps did you take to minimize the threat of migraine? Has anyone else decided to hire movers? What sort of planning did you do to keep stress low while ensuring your tasks were completed?  Please share your words of wisdom or warning below! 

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Migraine.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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