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Powerless

Powerless

As the primary at home caregiver to my wife, I have had quite a bit of experience in dealing with her chronic migraine pain. She has a number of medications to take, a migraine cave to escape to, pain pals to cuddle with and a comfortable bed to rest in. That being said, sometimes those things are not enough to give her some comfort from the migraine attacks.

Hurricane Harvey still stinging

We still have construction going on at the house, both inside and outside from Hurricane Harvey. The heat and humidity of south Texas have been pretty brutal. We have both had difficulties staying hydrated because when you feel like crap, all you want to do is to go lay down and sleep (if you can), so in turn we are not drinking as much water as we should be.

My wife’s struggle

My wife being in extreme constant pain is difficult to watch. She tries extremely hard to stay positive, but when her chronic migraine pain sticks around for extended periods at intense levels, it takes a toll on her. I can see where it chips away at her positivity until it is all gone. It eventually drags her into a depressive state and then completely drains her energy level.

We have been struggling through for over a week now and she is just miserable. Going to an emergency room is useless for migraines where we live. These days calling her neurologist office (or sending a message through their patient portal) is pointless as they do not return calls or messages.

If they are able to figure out the logistics in time, it looks like the new neurologist did get her Botox approved through the new insurance after a gap since October. I am hoping that will give her some relief because it helped quite a bit in the past. She is typically sore at the injection sites and has a pretty bad migraine for a day or two after the injections but then she has much less migraine intensity for a while afterwards.

My challenges

Lately I have not been as much help to her as I feel that I should. I get up and go to work at four in the morning, then I get home and work on finishing the work on the house that is far from being finished until between six and eight at night. It is exhausting and when I do actually come inside to rest or sit with my wife, it is time to take a shower and get ready for bed so I can do it all over in the morning.

I feel like I have left her to fend for herself in all of it, even though I am physically there. I know she doesn’t see it that way, it just stresses me out that I cannot do more for her. Thinking about all of it also strip my own positivity away which makes it hard to keep her thinking positive. It seems like a vicious cycle that we are trapped in.

Do you ever feel powerless due to your or a loved ones chronic migraine? Are there things that you do to keep perspective and stay positive? Feel free to share your thoughts and feedback with us. It is far too easy to fall into the trap of thinking we are all alone when dealing with chronic long-term pain.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Migraine.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

  • petmigraine
    4 months ago

    Steven,
    I just wanted to say, kudos to you for being there for her. It’s great that you are supportive and recognize her struggle. I’m sure she appreciates your caring. It is hard to stay positive. I have chronic migraines and my supportive hubby is so good to me. I wish I could contribute more and be sick less. It is energy draining for both the care-giver and the sick-ee. I have no advice. Keep plugging on, let her know you care every day. Best wishes to you both~

  • Delaney1120
    4 months ago

    Steve,

    I am 46 years old, I have had daily migraines since I was 7 years old. I have been married to the most wonderful and loving man for 26 years.

    Reading your story reminded me of my husband. He will do anything to give me just one minute of being pain free.

    As much as I love him, most times I wish he would just sit there and be quiet. I don’t want to be ask if I “need anything”. I don’t want to have to say “yes, I’m at a #10 right now”. And I don’t want that guilt, terrible guilt that comes from seeing the look on his face because he can’t fix me.

    I am so blessed to have this man as my husband. But… when I am hurting that bad, I wish he would either sit beside me quietly…or find something around the house to do.

    My suggestion, would be to share your story, and these comments with your wife and ask her what she would like when her migraine is a number #10.

    I will pray for you and your family. God has given us migraines for a reason. Maybe it’s to learn patience. Or maybe it’s so we would be blessed with a wonderful spouse like I have, and your wife has.

    I wish you both the best!
    Angie

  • RS1972
    4 months ago

    Steven, let me just share my experience because I can relate to you. I have chronic migraines/headaches almost every day. I also have a husband (JUST retired) and he went to work at 4 a.m. for 44 years. I have to tell you for me, I wanted him gone because I hated the idea of him having the burden of taking care of me. It causes me stress and guilt that he did not sign up for this. That has always added to my guilt!! In addition, there’s nothing he can really do anyway.

    He would totally disagree with this, but honestly, when I am in the middle of a migraine, I want to be alone in a quiet room, lights off, TV very low w/out looking at the screen, just listening. There is nothing he can do for me anyway! I’ve been going on years of this and did try the Botox round, but for me it made everything worse. The effects of both rounds were awful and I will never do it again. I’m happy your wife has had success with the Botox. I wish her well!

    I have found a neurologist finally, but who doesn’t seem to care about the pain I have and I am very disappointed in her. She can’t prescribe any pain medication or other suggestions. She just gives the Botox and told me it take six months to feel the full effects!! So for me, all I thought about were six months of migraines/headache almost every day. Not for me. I’m done with that treatment; not sure treatment is the word I should use. I just want to commend you on your loyalty to your wife because it really does go a long way. I hate this migraine merry-go-round that I have been on, but I hate it more when my husband feels so helpless when it is, like you said, a non-stop cycle.

    You are also in a horrible situation with the hurricane that swept your area. My heart goes out to both of you. Please take care of yourself also because it does take its toll. You’ll end up getting sick and then you’ll both be miserable and unable to help each other.

    This is my very first post, so I am new at this site. But your story came up first and it is so similar to our situation. I understand how hard it must be. I have been at a pain management facility now since 2007. I’ve gotten so many nerve injections that I can’t count. I had a neurostimulator that didn’t work on the left side. It does not work at all anymore for me, but others have had luck. I’m not sure if that’s the best route, but at least to get relief of your wife’s migraines through RX, they do work with the patient on managing the pain. Just a suggestion to read up on it and see what they have in your area.

    I will pray for both of you and I do feel your pain and your wife’s. God bless you both.

    Susie

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