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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?

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.


  • DianeJo
    2 years ago

    I have daily migraines that were finally starting to go down in frequency and intensity due to the Botox treatments. Unfortunately, I had to stop the treatments because I developed neuromuscular problems…weakness; falling that landed me in the ER with a broken bone twice, a head injury, and a sprain.; poor balance and gait;difficulty swallowing, etc. I was all prescribed oxycodone because that is what was found to work for me. Now it is no longer prescribed and I am back to where I was six years ago when this all started. Wake up every morning or in the nine with a migraine at pain level 8 to 9. My baseline is a 4 regard as a great few hours. I have four neurologists and have been told that there is nothing left for me to try. I have decided to try medical marijuana. It is legal in my state. I was supposed to go today, but was too sick. I have Cefaly, teas, heating pads, and every other home remedy recommended. It is so difficult when people are treatment resistant. Or cannot get the medication that works for them. We are all different.
    On a lighter note, my cat was labeled “the worst behaved cat” the vet had ever seen. Despite 16 years of loving care, he remains incorrigible, EXCEPT when my migraines or Crohn’a disease are at their worst. Instead of knocking everything off of my night table onto the floor and performing Olympian feats on top of me, he will gently wrap his front legs around my upper leg and purr. It is very calming.. I am so thankful for that. I cannot believe it is the same cat that terrorized every teen boy who came to see my son.when he was in high school,…and these guys were not wimps.

  • Steven Workman moderator author
    2 years ago

    It’s always great having furry pain pals around. Our dogs do the same thing. Behavioral quirks aside, they seem to be able to sense that something is wrong and they respond accordingly. It’s definitely tough dealing with medications that don’t work or when a doctor refuses to prescribe certain things. Between modern prescription guidelines and limited migraine specific medications, all we can do is be hopeful and patient. Hopefully research will find newer better medications in the future.
    Steven Workman (Contributer, author)

  • Arivor
    2 years ago

    Thankfully for me Imitrex works very well and will abort my migraines within 30 minutes orally. I’ve only had it IM while in the hospital and it felt like it took an act of god to get it. After a couple of miserable migraine filled days, I finally did get the shot and the speed that it worked suprised me. I didn’t think it could work that fast.

  • Steven Workman moderator author
    2 years ago

    That’s great that immitrex helps. And yes there is a crazy difference in how fast imitrex works as a shot versus oral medication. Some doctors will even prescribe imitrex shots you can take at home. Hopefully you have some relief. Migraines that last for days can be extremely draining.
    Steven Workman (contributor, author)

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