Show the Love to Migraine Sufferers

28 Jan

With Valentine’s Day around the corner, I wanted to write a blog highlighting some ways in which we can show love to people who suffer from migraine. It is never easy to see a loved one in pain, especially if the pain is caused by an invisible illness, which unfortunately are often misunderstood. If someone close to you suffers from migraines, it is very important to understand what they are going through and what you can do to help. Migraine can not only affect the person who has it, but it can have a huge impact on their entire life – it can affect ones ability to work, day to day activities, and relationships. Below are just some ways in which you can show your support for someone who has migraines, and maybe even brighten up their day!

  1. Be Understanding and Supportive

One thing migraine sufferers can feel really guilty about is having to cancel plans and letting down the people we care most about. So take the guilt away, even if you’re frustrated. Simply saying ‘no problem’ when a family member or friend has to cancel plans last minute can make a huge difference. With already being in pain, there’s no need for throwing guilt and stress into the mix over something so small – plans can be easily rearranged! Emotional support can make a world of difference for a person in pain.

2. Ask “What is a migraine attack like for you?”

Everyone who suffers from migraines has different side effects. Most people might think they know what migraine is like, but few without migraine truly understand the severity of the symptoms. Migraine is a genetic Neurological condition, like epilepsy. Headache may be the most common or well known symptom of migraine, however it is a complex brain disorder with many possible symptoms. Some patients can have a migraine with no headache.

Migraine attacks can cause significant pain for hours to days and can be so severe that all you can think about is finding a dark, quiet place to lie down. Some migraines are accompanied by sensory warning symptoms (aura).

“Migraine with aura” is a name for the less common type of migraine headache. Aura refers to feelings and symptoms which occur shortly before the migraine begins. Aura usually develops over 5 to 20 minutes and can last up to one hour. The aura symptoms are most commonly visual, though they can also be sensory or, more rarely, motor.

The symptoms include:

  • Visual resising or reshaping of objects
  • Changes in vision/vision loss
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Nausea/Vomiting
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness/vertigo
  • Partial paralysis/fainting
  • Yawning, cravings and fatigue can be the earliest symptoms of migraine

What many people are not aware of is that there are numerous types of headache and migraine disorders. The International Headache Society (HIS) classifies the various types of migraines and headaches using strict diagnostic criteria.

By simply asking what a loved one experiences, you are showing compassion, support and general interest in their illness. You may be surprised to learn what they feel or go through when they inform you they have a migraine.

3. Make a care package

This can be something big or small – what ever you feel like, but even the smallest gesture can make someone smile. Below are just some of the things you can give someone – might not make their migraine go away, but your generosity will more than likely brighten up their day.

4. Ask: “Is there anything I can do for you today?” 

Something as small as a simple gesture could make someone’s day much more manageable, especially when that person is in a lot of pain, and still has to get on with their day to day chores. Offer to pick up the kids or mind them for a few hours, walk the dog, order in their favourite meal/take away, offer to make dinner, do their food shop, reschedule a catch up. By simply being there, you are offering support and showing you care!

5. Migraine World Summit: March 20th – 28th, 2019

Join 100,000 people online at the 2019 Migraine World Summit, which will take place on March 20th – 28th, 2019. Learn from world-leading experts including doctors and specialists. Book now to get free access. Inform family or friends who suffer from migraine/headaches about this free, online, international event and why not sign up yourself? Learn more about what they are going through, and get advice and knowledge about this invisible illness, so you can continue to show your support to someone who suffers.

Have you any other ideas for thoughtful things to do for those who suffer from migraines? Leave them in the comments section below!


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