A house sitting on top of hills resembling brains contained in a vacuum-sealed container.

Is Your Home a Refuge From the Migraine Storm?

It can feel as if we are spending our lives navigating the challenge of migraine - muscling our way through each attack. The journey can at times brings us to our knees and we often need a place to refuel and recharge in order to find the strength and fortitude to continue on.

To that end, many of us create homes that offer a refuge from the storm of migraine- a place that has everything we need in order to labor through an attack in private. Our homes can catch us when we fall, cradle us while we are ill, protect and keep us safe and comfortable until we are ready to re-emerge into all of the loud sounds, bright lights, and strong smells the world has to offer.

A counter-measure to the outside world

In response to the many triggers that we can’t control in the world (harsh lighting, extreme temperatures, loud noises, strong smells, etc), many of us design our homes accordingly.

Sight

In response to the flickering florescent lighting we encounter in the world, the painfully overcast skies, or the bright sunny ones, we design seating in our homes such that we aren’t looking directly toward lights or windows. We install light-blocking curtains and/or dimmers on our light switches. Often, the homes of migraineurs are quite dark.

Sound

People with migraine are generally more keenly aware of noises. Sounds can feel louder to us and we can also be more aware of the constant noises that others can drown out. So, when it comes to our homes, we likely don’t have constant music or other noises playing in the background. If there is music or TV playing, it’s likely intentional- either meant to put us at ease or chosen specifically to distract us from the pain of an active attack.

Smell

Whether or not it be a coworker reheating fish in a microwave, or sitting in exhaust fumes while in traffic, people with migraines often smell odors as if they’ve been made all the more extreme. In response to the constant stimuli of smells in the world, we are often careful to have scent-free homes or ones where the scents are intentional and meant to put us at ease. Some of us are aided by lavender or other essential oils and so have those scents carefully placed. We may also be thoughtful about what is cooked/baked in our kitchens as we are sensitive to lingering smells.

Touch

Being surrounded by creature comforts can make an enormous difference when laboring through severe pain. Soft blankets, comfortable pillows, ice packs, ginger ale, medication, loving pets- whatever the ingredients – these are things that help us to feel cared for, and that there is a gentle, calm place to embrace us-where we can be quiet and work on healing.

Homes for migraineurs likely hold far more weight in importance than for most. Have you made any changes to your home to help you manage your migraine disease? If so, what are they? Does your home bring healing comfort to you?

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