Open moving box, containing household items, mimicking a head on shoulders.

Moving Day: A Migraine Nightmare

There are some events in life that are just downright stressful even with proper preparation and planning, no matter how many times you’ve done it. For me, moving is one of those events. Packing, shelling out already scarce money for a truck and moving supplies, getting rid of the old to make room for the new, and deep cleaning.

All of the considerations and tasks involved in moving can make it difficult to navigate...and those are just the parts having to do with stuff. Let alone the possibility of adding a commute to maintain your doctor relationship, changing doctors altogether, or switching pharmacies. Are y'all tired yet?

Extra stress of moving with chronic migraine

I am exhausted just thinking about it all. Moving can be even more stressful with chronic migraines, especially while trying to balance work and the everyday commitments we still often times have to meet despite having to move and despite being in pain. Oh and the driving. Ugh.

When the getting is tough before the going even begins

I am unfortunately in the process of preparing to move to a city about an hour and a half away from where I currently live, and wow! It is a task. I will be heading to a new house and a new town where my partner and I have both found some work, and while I am excited to see a new place, I am also struggling to get everything done in time for moving day. Between finding time to go out and buy supplies when I am finished working, to being stressed about not getting anything done when I am sick in bed, this move is really testing my limits.

I have tried a number of things to try to organize my time and mind, so that I can tone down the stress but with migraines, that can be a feedback loop of pain and anxiety. There have been weeks as of late where I couldn’t pack a single box, and other times when I couldn’t get more moving supplies because I had to pick up my prescriptions instead...moving costs money. As the day gets closer and closer, I am having to really dedicate space to taking care of myself, so I can get it done, but the worry is that I am not totally in control here. I certainly feel that way.

Financial woes

One of the major considerations of moving for anyone is that it is costly, even if moving just down the street. For a lot of folks living with migraine, myself included, we just don’t have a lot of extra money for life’s ‘special events’---it is already difficult affording the normal expenses of medication, doctor’s appointments, rent and food alone. This has been a major stressor, but thankfully I have been able to lean on family and friends for some support, and that has made a difference. Still, for many in chronic pain the cost of moving can be a mountainous barrier.

Bandwidth barriers

Many folks in the community know that living with chronic migraine means that we can oftentimes have very little room for ‘extra’ anything. For those of us who can or have to work, that can be pretty much all we have space to do on most days. Fun and leisurely activities can be difficult to plan, keep committed to, and execute if we are feeling unwell. The sheer magnitude of a project like moving is one that I personally lack much bandwidth for. I am lucky that my caretaker and partner is able to help with much of the logistics and preparation, but I still have to carry a large part of the weight and it has felt, on some days, like I might be working against myself by pushing too hard.

The end is near

Thankfully, moving day is just around the corner. I know that there is still stress involved from this point until then, and even after with unpacking and acclimating to a new city and probably a new doctor (agh), but for now I am looking ahead to just passing one milestone. Taking it one step at a time. I will try to worry about the rest as it comes, but gosh, this one is hard. Fingers crossed for a relatively smooth sailing ship.

Have you had to move while dealing with chronic pain? Did you find help? Do you have tips for the community on moving with migraine? Let's discuss in the comments!

By providing your email address, you are agreeing to our privacy policy.

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.

Join the conversation

or create an account to comment.

Community Poll

When was your last migraine check-up?