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If Your Loved One Suffers from Migraines
If your loved one is suffering from a migraine or feels one coming on:
- If possible (and with your loved one’s consent), dim/turn off the lights. Migraines cause sensitivity to light and this could possibly be the most important thing.
- If they want you to, help them to somewhere to sit or lay down. Especially when a migraine is in full force, it could be impossible or difficult to walk or to see where you are going.
- Offer to help them take/acquire medication, and provide water.Dehydration is a common cause or trigger of migraines. I suggest to urge them to drink water even if it is hard for them, because it will probably help. It can’t hurt.
- If you are in a crowded public place, offer to help them find somewhere quiet and secluded. For me, being in a crowded public place can bring on a panic attack, and coupled with a migraine, that is asking for disaster. Even for people without anxiety, this is a battleground for a migraine.
- Be quiet. You can talk to ask them how they’re doing or if there’s something they need, but migraines usually cause sensitivity to sound. Normal conversing voice may sound like thunder to a migraine ear.
- Be prepared for nausea, if this is a symptom that your loved one experiences with migraine. They may or may not throw up, but it is good to be near a toilet or have a bucket handy.
- Offer ice or a heat pack, depending on what helps your loved one and what they prefer. For some, ice might help, for others it may hurt, and same goes for heat. A common side effect of migraines is neck pain. Heat or ice can help. And for face-centric migraines, a hot or cold wet towel on the face can work wonders. Ask your loved one what they prefer or if they would like to try any of these.
- Be aware that this can last for hours, or even days. The post-migraine can last much longer than the migraine itself. Know that this isn’t just a headache: it is a major deal and you may need to cancel plans.
- Understand that they might speak, act or react slowly, slur their speech, or be difficult to understand. Migraines can mess with one’s ability to process information and to speak coherently. This happens to me; I sound like I am highly intoxicated when I have a migraine. Be patient and try not to stress them by asking too many questions or urging them to speak clearer.
- Recognize the signs of worse health issues. Migraines can bring on certain problems, such as passing out, or they could be a sign of an underlying issue, such as dehydration or a brain malfunction. I am NOT knowledgeable on anything except for migraines, so I cannot go into more detail. Especially if your loved one rarely gets migraines or has never suffered one before, you should call a doctor or at least look online for some causes. If your loved one does get migraines often, ask them if they can bring on other things, such as passing out, so that you know what to watch for.
If your loved one has Chronic Migraine or gets migraines often:
- Realize that this is a disabling condition. Your loved one may not be able to hold a job, keep up relationships, or even do simple everyday tasks. Getting through each day is a chore. Do not put extra burdens on them unless you know that they can handle it. When they have a migraine, expect them to drop everything. There is no way they can function normally during this time.
- Know that migraines are not just headaches and there is usually a period before and after a migraine in which the person experiences differences in mood and other things. For example, about 1 in 5 people with migraines experience auras, which is certain sensations that occur before the migraine (and usually last throughout the migraine as well). Examples are disruptions in vision and sensitivity to light, sound and smell, as well as a “brain fog” or feeling mentally fuzzy. Migraines can last a few hours to several days (though longer has been reported). After a migraine, it can take days for the person to return to normal. Common post-migraine symptoms are fatigue and depression. They may need to “sleep off” the migraine and spend a day or two only resting. Understand that once a migraine is over, that doesn’t mean that you’re in the clear.
- Keep medication handy if your loved one takes it. For some people, taking medicine quickly can alleviate the migraine or cause it to disappear entirely. Ask your loved one what medication they take. If they run out, you can be their savior.
If I am missing anything or if you have corrections, please add them! This is based entirely off my own experiences.
- THANKS SO MUCH FOR THIS POST! ~Seizonsha https://www.facebook.com/MigraineurMisfits