Loving Someone With Chronic Migraines

Loving Someone With Chronic Migraines

Teenage girl with emotional problems


Being a long-time sufferer with chronic migraines, I could always identify areas where my spouse could have been more supportive of my condition. I know that I can be an extremely difficult person to love because of this condition.  It has even caused depression in me at times which no doubt affects those around me.  The first thing you can do is learn what you can do to love the sufferer better.

Poker face

Have you ever heard the term, “Ticks” or, “Poker face?”  Well, migraine sufferers have them as well believe it or not so use them to your advantage. Spend time learning those tell-tale signs so you can gauge how your loved one is feeling. Some of the cues we give off as chronic migraine sufferers can be verbal and non-verbal. For example, I used to hold my head a certain way when I was really suffering and my husband was able to pick up on that cue and respond accordingly.  Many of us have other ticks like how we hold our body, having a flush face and more.  There were times when I knew I wasn’t being the nicest person during a migraine episode. I pushed my share of people away unintentionally and even snapped at those I loved because I was hurting so bad.

I encourage our spouses, family, and friends to pay attention to the signs. If we love someone suffering from chronic migraine pain, we owe them this. Chronic migraine sufferers say a lot with their eyes. Our eyes can show you how we are feeling the majority of the time. Our overall demeanor can also be a clue. These are just a few examples of signs to watch for.  Watch for squinting or rubbing of the eyes and if they are rubbing their head or neck. Your loved ones signs will more than likely be different than the next person. The advantage of knowing and understanding these tell-tale signs is that it can help you understand their pain level. My husband was very good about being responsive to me because he could tell when I was in severe pain most of the time. Sadly, it was pretty much every day.

Give space or not?

There is a really fine line between giving the one you love space or coming in closer while they are hurting. I am wired in a way where I always want my family close to me regardless of how I'm suffering from migraines. So, when I am really hurting it can appear that I don’t want to be bothered.  That's usually not the case, it’s just that I’m hurting.  There are times when I just want to be held and comforted and other times I just want to cry. My husband knows when to back off and when to come close and has been so understanding of my migraine ordeal.  It has become a ritual for him to love me by taking care of me.

How to take care of them

For example, as soon as I sit down on the couch his hands went up and he would begin to rub my extremely tight neck and shoulder area.  He would press, poke and prod to try and give me any relief that he could.  Sometimes I felt guilty because he would literally do this for hours and I knew that he was getting tired. I knew that his hands and fingers were sore and numb from all the rubbing and pressing on my head and neck area.  Whether you are a migraine sufferer or not, love those you care about.  Serve those you care about selflessly.

Here are a few tips on how to love and support them better

Run a hot bubble bath for them – this is relaxing to most people

Shut the blinds if the sun is blaring in

Turn off the lights and instead use a few candles to light the room (fragrance-free)

Turn down (or turn off) the TV or Radio

Take the kids to the park and let them have some rest time

Get them an ice pack for the back of their neck

Rub their feet, if they like that – this is a wonderful stress reliever

Don’t talk about subjects that you know will cause your partner to stress about

If you have someone you love who is suffering from chronic migraine pain I understand what you’re going through.  After 30 years, I finally have my life back after discovering URLifeBack Migraine and Headache Support.  I actually live migraine-free these days but can relate to every hurting person out there.