geometric face with clear container as the top of the head with a distraught figure inside.

Migraine: Life On The Inside

I began having episodic migraines at age 43. My wife, however, started her journey with migraine in her teens. I have been with my wife since we were 14 and we are now both in our 50’s. We have always tried to be there to support each other no matter the situation, after all, we are partners in marriage!

Family history of migraine

We have 3 daughters and two of them suffer from migraine just as my wife did when she was in her teens, 20’s and 30’s. They are quite accustomed to the various tactics we use to ease a migraine attack as well as seeing the compassion we have for making it through an attack. Unfortunately, that wasn’t always the case for my wife and I in our early years before my migraine attacks started.

You can't just be a spectator of migraine disease

I can blame it on my youth or any other number of things, but the fact is I was not the compassionate, supportive person I am now. I had heard of people having migraines and even my sister had them from time to time. It didn’t really affect me because I was still living outside the realm of any knowledge about migraine. I didn’t care to know about it either since it wasn’t my problem.

I remember seeing my wife in bed or on the couch with ice packs and shielding her eyes from the light as she struggled trying to take care of the kids and keep the home running. I was ignorant and at times just unkind to her situation and the battle she was fighting. I brushed it off as just another headache. If you live with or know someone who has migraine disease don’t be like I was. The condition can’t be fully understood if you are just a spectator.

My first migraine attack was vicious

As the years went on and the children grew her migraines gradually eased up and got farther apart. The doctors surmised the attacks were hormonal. It was great to see the attacks winding down in her life. It was great until I had my first attack. It was a month long, viciously brutal assault on my body. I couldn’t find relief using any of the things my wife and kids used. Medications were so strong in some cases I would be like a zombie for hours at a time.

When the attack finally broke and the migraine hangover faded I knew what I needed to do. Apologize to my wife. Even though many years had passed and I don’t think she would have expected it at all I knew it was long overdue. From that point on I started arming myself with knowledge about migraine disease. To this day I still research and try to educate others about migraine and how invasive it can be to a person’s life and family.

Feeling lonely during migraine attacks

Living with migraine disease is hard. You feel isolated and alone especially during an attack. Migraine presents itself differently with each individual, but among its sufferers there is common ground. My experience went from living on the outside of the migraine circle to being thrust inside literally overnight.

A new life with migraine

Treatment and healing need to come from both sides of the proverbial coin. Arm yourself with knowledge about migraine so you can be a better help to those with migraine and also to yourself. Go to your next doctor appointment with questions written down and have a healthy dialogue with your doctor. If they won’t listen to you seek out another doctor who will work with you. There are so many ways to treat migraine which is promising. The new CGRP injections are now available and many have payment assistance cards or programs as well as Botox and a whole host of oral medications. There are several migraine blogs out there and support groups as well. Lastly please remember to be compassionate to migraine sufferers and be kind to yourselves. Life is hard enough without battling migraine disease!

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