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Migraines and family life

  • By Wife of chronic migraineur

    Hello, my husband has had chrnonic migraines for the past year. We have two young children. He is an involved and enthusastic father. However , when he is suffering from mirgaines (which is almost always), he becomes extermely moody and irritable, and takes offense very easily. I find small disagreements (or even a benign conversation) can quickly spiral out of control, and he becomes angry. We don’t yell much, but the kids still end up witnessing a lot of very snippy conversations, which I don’t like. The thing is, i think if it was just the two of us it would be tricky but manageable. Having two young children in the mix, makes the situation a lot trickier to navigate. Family life is always hectic, and understandabkly, Ithink my husband finds it hard to cope with when he has a migraine. I feel it would be better if he stayed away for a day or two during the worst of his attacks (we have access to a vacant flat around 10 minute drive away). I have suggested this, but understandably, he is not keen to be completely alone while ill. Lately I have been unwell myself (chronic respotiory infection), and quite sleep deprived as i have been getting up with sick kids. This has made me a lot less able to deal with my husbands moodiness, and equally his illness means that I do not get the support Ineed. I think we need to change how we are going about things (e.g. start getting therapy, and maybe more help with childcare). I’d appreciate any views or advice. Idon’t like our kids constantly witnessing cranky arguments between us, and they also find it upsettiing.

  • By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator

    Hi Wife of chronic migraineur,

    Thank you for sharing your difficult story with us. Migraine and chronic illnes can be frustrating for the entire family. A caregiver plays an integral role in a migraineurs life and sometimes their importance may be overlooked. We have an interview from a caregiver you may find helpful here;

    Chronic illness and migraine is hard, and I personally don’t think we are born equipped to deal with these issues. It may be time for you and your husband to seek out the expertise of a counselor who handles chronic illness. Learning coping skills, tips and tricks can be very beneficial for the entire family.

    Here is information that too, may help;

    Please let me know how I can assist you further.

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  • By beachbumgirl

    Hi wife of chronic migraineur:
    Your story has brought back memories of when my kids
    ( now 28 yo and 24 yo) were young.
    Yes, I can validate how difficult it is to care for young ones when your partner is not well.
    I agree with all that Nancy shared
    With you. Great ideas 💡!
    Do you have any family in the area?
    Would they give you a break once or twice a week even to take a walk or to do something for yourself?
    Do you know any neighbors/friends
    That wouldn’t mind watching the kids or playing outside with them after school finished? Maybe more like a mother’s helper?
    Last but not least, definitely take advantage of the chronic illness
    Counselor that Nancy mentioned.
    Migraines can be difficult to treat but not impossible. It takes time , patience and perseverance. I’m sure the other migraine patients will agree with that. 😁

    Hopefully, some of these ideas help. We are here for support. 👍