A House of Migraines

Caring for my wife through her chronic daily migraine struggles, I have seen her experience varying symptoms with her pain. Some days she deals with the aura and photophobia, while other times the pain is overwhelmingly intense and leaves her nauseated. These symptoms can change in an instant, especially if we are not home yet.

It sneaks up on you

Living with my own episodic migraines, mostly I just deal with throbbing pain. Sometimes I become sensitive to light and sound. The last episode I had, however, I was caught off guard by nausea. This is not a symptom I live with on a regular basis. Thankfully, my Imitrex pills break the cycle of a migraine. I know that for others, it does not always work, but for me it does.

On a rare occasion, a migraine last more than a day for me. I was a day and a half into this migraine and not feeling great. Other than the pain, however, I had been fine. I stood up to walk across the room. I stopped to kneel and pet one of our dogs and when I stood back up, it hit me all at once. It was all I could do to make it to the restroom in time.

A few moments later, as quickly as it had appeared, the nausea was gone. It was the strangest thing I’ve encountered so far. I suppose there could have been several things that added to it. I am always at least slightly dehydrated and do not always eat when I should. Those things paired with the stressors of work, bills and life in general added up to a few moments of misery.

A funny coincidence

Something I noticed about being in close proximity to my wife throughout her days of really bad pain is strange. I have always heard that women if they spend enough time together can develop the same cycle. Obviously, I cannot speak to whether there is truth in that statement or not, but I have noticed that, coincidence or not, If my wife and I sit on the couch together or try and nap together on her bad days, I typically develop a migraine of my own. We often joke about “being on the same channel” whenever it happens.

Finding comfort in each other

Though our migraines do not always come simultaneously, in some small way it reminds us that we are not alone in our pain. In turn, those scenarios remind us both that when either of us is suffering, there are probably a large number of others who are suffering as well which once again reassures us that we are not alone. It may seem silly, but anything that helps you to not feel alone when you are suffering from chronic pain is a bonus because loneliness can lead to depression and feelings of hopelessness.

On days where we both have debilitating migraines, we try to curl up together on the couch to either watch a show or to let a show play in the background without paying much attention to it. On those days, our dogs seem to tune in to what is going on. One by one, the dogs will join us on the couch and seem perfectly content to just lay there and nap for the day.

Have you ever noticed similarities in your own life with friends or loved ones? Do your pets ever join you or follow you around the house when you are feeling bad? Do you ever feel like you’re alone when you are having an especially rough day? What gives you peace of mind during those times?

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