Skip to Accessibility Tools Skip to Content Skip to Footer

There are things I want you to know, friend without migraine

I wrote this for a collective “You,” for the non-migraineur loved ones who might not understand certain things about my illness.

Dear You,

I know you are trying to be the best buddy you can be to me. I know that you realize I have a neurological disease that I would cure myself of if it were possible. I know you’d stand in line for days if you could be the one to get that cure for me

But despite your deep love for me and your wanting me to feel well, I can tell you don’t quite get it. So here are a few things that I just want to let you know.

1. When I wear earplugs in the movie theatre because the previews are so loud they hurt my ears, I really am wary of the sound triggering a migraine. I do not put the neon plugs in to draw attention to myself or to make you ask, “Are you okay?” I am just trying ot quietly protect myself.

2. Sames goes for when we go into a store and there are plentiful fluorescent lights. I do not don my ridiculously huge sunglasses in order to draw attention to myself. I do not think I am a rock star. I merely want to get in and out of there without triggering a migraine.

3. The rules change from time to time. One night I may be able to stay up late, have some wine, and wake up feeling fine. Other times I do that just once and I’m knocked on my a** for days with a migraine. I do not pick and choose when these times are. I am not misleading you or trying to be inconsistent. It’s just the nature of the disease.

4. Finally, I do not yawn because I am bored, and often I do not yawn because I am sleepy. I yawn when an attack is starting, and sometimes too during and after the pain stage of my migraine episode. I am trying not to make it obvious, but I just can’t help it. I really don’t want to offend you.

Much love,

She who wishes you could really understand

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


  • larrystroud
    7 years ago

    I love the article, but you might want to go back in and proof it again for typos – ” just trying ot quietly protect “. Keep up the good work.

  • Not Carly Simon
    7 years ago

    5. Sometimes I don’t even know why I get a migraine or don’t get one. Getting or not getting a migraine is not and exact science. I can avoid every trigger that I know about and still get a migraine. Sometimes, they just happen and I can’t name any one or two triggers that possibly caused them . Likewise, I can take every trigger in the book and still not get one. It’s biology, which is messy.

  • alise
    7 years ago

    this is so true!! (and so maddening!)

  • mrsbrimtown
    7 years ago

    I wear earplugs to the movie theater too! That makes me so happy (but not that you need them of course) I’m not the only one 🙂

    Good letter too. alig0118 is right on about the perfume too.

  • alig0118
    7 years ago

    I may add the following: When we’re out and someone is wearing perfume, I may need to move away from that person so the fragrance doesn’t trigger a migraine. I am not attempting to ‘get away’ from that person or people. I really don’t want a migraine.

  • alise
    7 years ago

    true, I once asked a co-worker to stop wearing her brand of perfume because it gave me migraines… I found it very hard to ask without offending her. I think she understood though…

  • dpeluso
    7 years ago

    Was going to add smells as well! I know my coworkers understand, and only clean the desk when I leave, or try not to spray anything in the work area. But I know sometimes they think I exaggerate, but again its just trying to not aggravate anything and get a migraine, not trying to annoy anyone else .

  • Cathy Cottrell
    7 years ago

    I couldn’t have written or said that any better!

  • Poll