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Isn’t Retirement Supposed to be Wonderful?

I’ve suffered with migraine disease for more years than I want to count. With drugs, chiropractic and acupuncture, I felt I was handling them fairly well considering my 2 main triggers are weather and stress.

Then my husband retired. He worked 1:30-10:00 and would get home about 10:30PM. Most of my migraines hit at noon or later. So my being in bed when he got home seemed normal bedtime. He wasn’t here to see me in bed all day. The first 6 months of retirement went pretty well. I don’t get as many migraines in the winter. Then the weather started moderating and the migraines came with a fury. A month with only 9 was a good month. Change of season, spring and summer are my worst migraine times. So he thinks I’m getting more than I did in the past. Not true. He is here now to see them. So he sends me off to the doctor with a note of symptoms and asking for a pill to fix me.Trying to keep things smooth, I went. The pill we tried for 2 weeks was a disaster. Couldn’t function. I decided I would rather deal with the migraines and be functional and productive when I didn’t have them rather than be dysfunctional all the time. Then I decided if he had a problem with my migraines, maybe he should take a pill. Well, that’s easier to say than to live. I find myself not always telling him when I have one, and if possible (depending on the severity) still doing what I’m supposed to be doing. Many days I’m in bed in a dark room feeling judged. This feeling by itself brings added stress which is not good. And I think that simply adjusting to having him here all the time is difficult. After all, we all know our migraine brains don’t deal we’ll with change. So he tells me if I’m happy with the way my migraines are going, then he’s okay with it.


So I spend a lot of time feeling like I’m walking on egg shells. Don’t get me wrong, he can be incredibly loving and helpful; but I feel he is reaching his limit. Yesterday I had a killer migraine triggered by a chemical smell from something he was using and spent the rest of the day in bed TRYING to sleep. Usually impossible with a migraine. This morning he asked what I was doing today. I said “nothing” other than recovering from my migraine. He thought I would get out there and finish mulching the garden for the season. We use 60 bags of mulch and I normally do all of it. Then he wanted me to supervise while he did it. Told him to just do it and if it needed fixing, I’d do it tomorrow. On Saturday we’re invited to a picnic and it’s supposed to rain. Rain usually triggers a migraine. I’m already worrying about his reaction if I get one. I thought retirement was supposed to be wonderful!

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.


  • lk26
    5 years ago

    I have been unable to work outside the home and increasingly at home as well. My husband works hard long hours & my son is at college. I have become very used to spending long hours in my dark, cool bedroom or the “batcave” as my son & husband have named it. A big part of the time in bed. I usually only leave my home for MD appts & grocery store when able. Occasionally I am able to prepare a simple meal, clean cosmetically. I do handle household management (paying bills, schedule repairs, family corresponce, etc). My husband is old school, for him taking care of me is working hard long hours, providing a larger income than my disablity check. He has seen me as bad as bad can get, does not question this illness and supports with grocery shopping as needed, takes me to MD appts when needed and on Sundays, his only day off, he does laundry & prepares several dishes for the upcoming week. We have been married for 25yrs and I lo

  • lk26
    5 years ago

    Sorry, hit the wrong button, again. I love him with all that I am. Even with all that he does to support me, it would be nice to hear him tell, re-assure me of his support. Is that asking too much?

  • Jeanne Flippin
    6 years ago

    Weather is my trigger as well. That makes them so hard to treat, what can we do about the weather? I am also retired but I spend a good deal of my “retirement” time fighting these headaches. I’m sorry you are suffering.

  • YaYa author
    6 years ago

    I keep reading that as I age they’ll get better. Still waiting on that.all we can do is persevere and support one another. Good luck with your battle!

  • Nola
    6 years ago

    Smells and weather are my two biggest triggers. My husband is very supportive – to a point. His frustration level is quite evident at times. I try to be functional at work, but that usually means that by the time I get home I cannot function at all. Now that he’s retired, he seems to think that I’m getting more or that my neurologist is some sort of a quack because she can’t “fix” the problem. Even when I don’t say anything, the pain and fatigue etched in my face gives me away.

  • samamo
    6 years ago

    Your story is so similar to my triggers and what I struggle to deal with everyday also. I work full-time and have to put most of my energy to being able to function for my job. My husband is supportive to a point but I know he doesn’t truly understand what I feel because he has never experienced the pain and thinks I am exaggerating at times. He gets impatient and so frustrated with me that I stopped saying anything also. I push myself to be “normal” but doesn’t always work. I feel guilty and judged when I go to my room to avoid and/or to recuperate

  • Tim Banish
    6 years ago

    Well, it is supposed to be wonderful. Maybe talking to your hubby about the use of chemicals/smells around the house would help. My wife has changed brands of perfume several times to find one she likes and does not bother me. My daughter was the one who constantly poured on the perfume, a nasty musky one, but she has since moved out. Even after she was off to work and I used the restroom the lingering odor would set off a migraine. Like you, the changes in weather seem to be my worst triggers, aside from smells. Good Luck during retirement.

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