Thoughtful Things To Do For People With Migraines 

Sometimes we all need a little help

Migranieagain.com recently shared a post that I couldn’t not share with all of you on my own blog. While I found myself relating to it’s content so easily, it’s more geared toward the loved ones of people who suffer from migraines.

As someone with chronic headaches and migraines, even when I know I need help, I still hate asking for it. It’s very common among spoonies to feel like we are a burden on our loved ones: needing to be taken care of, having to cancel plans with them last minute, occasionally letting our frustration out on them.

It is often hard to ask for someone’s well wishes and good intentions. And I know that many people in my life, even when they try their best to help, still feel helpless. It’s not that we don’t appreciate the help, but often there isn’t much another person can do to help.

This post shows how people can help migraine sufferers in their life suffer a little less, live a little more, and feel cared for even when it’s too hard to ask for the extra bit of care.

(You should go through and read the entire thing, but I will just list a few that really stood out to me)

  • Ask “what would be fun for you?” -Often, certain events like concerts, going to smokey bars, and hiking cause migraines to pop up. Try suggesting activities like yoga, crafting, or seeing a movie instead.
  • Say “no problem” when plans get cancelled: -It’s an awful feeling to have to cancel last minute on a close friend or family member due to a migraine. Try to remember how upsetting it is for the person with migraine (uh, hello FOMO). The guilt is strong. Even if you are frustrated or upset, just saying “no problem” even when a person has to cancel plans on nights like birthdays or holidays shows immense compassion and kindness.
  • Make a migraine care package-So many things are helpful when trying to get rid of a headache. Earplugs, blankets, water, lavender, etc. Why not package them all up for someone for easy access!
  • Make a donation to Migraine Research in their name-Migraine disorder needs much more attention. So many people suffer from migraines and it needs the research and awareness it deserves to prevent the next generation from suffering as well.
  • Drop them a note-Whether it’s an email, handwritten card, or scribble on a post-it-note, getting words of encouragement and good thoughts is so powerful in helping a person continue to fight their daily battle.

(**The post I referenced throughout my own post comes from migraineagain.com )

Headaches Always Steal The Spotlight 

There are many tough truths that spoonies have to accept after dealing with a chronic condition throughout their life. Even when you accept these truths though, they still can be hard to swallow.

One truth that I’ve recently learned to start accepting is that headaches and migraines present themselves whenever they want. Headaches don’t care if you’re at work, a social outing, in class, at a concert, or just hanging at home with family or friends. Headaches don’t care if it’s an anniversary, your birthday, a holiday, or just what you had anticipated to be a relaxing Saturday evening.
How do I know? Experience and the knowledge that headaches have taken over the control room.

This year on Christmas Eve, I got a migraine. Whoopee, right?

This led to a few hours of frustration (but that was already higher than usual due to other health problems) and tears. Yeah, I would admit that I didn’t hold up as well as I would’ve liked to.

My migraine controlled my emotions and mentality for a few hours that day. I thought, angrily for a while, “Seriously? Christmas Eve?” Had to spend a few hours napping, away from my family. I felt isolated in so many ways. Felt like this only would happen to me. “Just my luck.” Felt like I wasn’t able to turn my thoughts from negative to positive ones. Felt defeated and like I had zero control over my life at the moment.

After moping, napping, crying and laughing at my situation,I mentally reminded myself that if this is how bad I have it on Christmas Eve, than I am the honestly one of the lucky ones. I thought how there are so many other people out there who have incredibly worse situations than my own and who are dealing with things beyond my comprehension. I thought about the many people who don’t have a roof over their head, who are enduring illnesses that keep them on bed rest and worse, and people who don’t have family to share their Christmas with.

These thoughts not only humbled me, but gave me the physical and mental strength to get up and move on with the night.While I know I sound dramatic, at the time it didn’t seem possible to get myself out from under the covers.

Even though the head pain was still there, (not as bad as it had started out as, but still there) I was still able to turn my night around and ended up having a wonderful time with my family that consisted of laughs, smiles, and tons of delicious homemade snicker doodles (made from scratch by yours truly.)

The truth is: headaches, chronic pain, or any chronic disorder, etc. will remain in control of your body, probably more than a majority of the time. You, however, can be in control of your mentality and good spirit. Learn to take control and turn your “woe is me” moments into “glad to be me” moments.

It’s advice that I need to learn to take more often, myself.

 

 

Chronically Grateful Day 10: What is Something You’ve Done That You Might Not Have Otherwise Done Without Your Chronic Illness/Disorder/Pain?

Simple answer: this blog. 

I would have never started writing this blog had I not been going through this journey. I’m grateful to be writing again, and so often at that, because it’s an emotional release and a creative outlet for me. One that I had a hard time keeping up with in the past. Now though, it’s become part of my daily/weekly routine and I love it. I’m not always able to write about positive results or about getting answers to my headaches, but at least I am able to find positivity and relief from writing about it.

Since I’ve started my blog and my Instagram account (@theheadacheheroine) I’ve connected with some truly inspirational and strong people. I’m motivated by others to keep fighting for myself. Before I started this blog and that Instagram, I felt very alone in this medical journey of mine. Now I know that I’m nowhere near alone. 

Chronically Grateful Challenge Day 2: What Are You Most Grateful For On Your Healthcare Team?

  
I’ve seen a wide array of doctors and been to countless offices. While they all have tried to give me a diagnosis and treatment, I’ve only felt truly attended to and comfortable at a few of those offices. My neurologist and headache doctor is incredibly smart and transparent. Transparency isn’t always comforting in the healthcare world, but it’s so important and crucial to good and effective communication with your doctor. These doctors are exhausting all they can think of in order to help me. They answer my messages in a timely manner and they are able to sympathize and understand (or at least try their best to understand) my concerns, emotions, and symptoms. Patients like myself get frustrated pretty often because I have yet to find any answers, but these doctors don’t take it personally and they do what they can to help ease my frustration. I’d be nowhere without them! 

Song Of The Week: “Lost Stars” by Adam Levine

This is one of those songs that gave me very real chills the first time I heard it. I stumbled upon it while listening to Spotify one day. Since then, it still gives me chills each and every time I listen to it. Those songs are rare for me. Songs that allows your mind to find something new from them every time you hear them.

Every time I listen to this song, I feel like I’ve escaped to this new and different land or place. Is anyone else able to relate to that feeling?

  
Adam’s always angelic voice is the first thing that had me hitting repeat on this song, but it’s the following line that truly captured my heart.

Are we all lost stars trying to light up the dark?

This song reminds me that no matter where our journeys may take us, we must always shine our light on this world. That’s why we’re here: to use our light to light up the dark.

That’s why I write about my journey. I never really talked about it with anyone except friends and family until I started this blog. But I wanted to be able to share my experiences and shine my light in the hopes that I may help light up the dark for someone else. Maybe my words can help light the way for someone else who is having a hard time seeing which way to go.

You all are capable of lighting up the dark in your own unique ways. It’s how we use our light that really matters.

Calling All Spoonies 

Starting this blog and finding more people with illnesses like mine (and just chronic illnesses in general) is already teaching me more than I thought it would this early on. I’ve started an Instagram account (@theheadacheheroine if you feel like takin a gander) and I’ve stumbled upon hundreds of other accounts that show how people are living with chronic pain. But many of these accounts, and accounts similar to them, have the word spoonie in either their handle, bio, or hashtags. I had no idea what it meant, so I overlooked it and kept on scrolling. But the more I saw it, the more my curiosity got the best of me. So I turned to my nearest and dearest friend for answers: Google.

Spoonie is a term that refers to people who live with a chronic illness and identify with Christine Miserandino’s “spoon theory.” To break it down, a spoonie is someone who lives with a chronic illness and theoretically measures personal daily abilities and successes as one might measure the right amount of spoons needed for an event/occasion. Sometimes we have more spoons than we needed, and sometimes we just come up short.

I really identify with this because as a person living with chronic daily headaches, there are some days where I feel better than I expected to and am very productive and truly enjoy my activity-filled day. However, I face many days where I find getting out of bed, doing laundry, running errands, etc to be huge accomplishments.

I think that many people can identify as a “spoonie.” It’s a goofy term, but it’s so relatable. We all have our battles that some days seem to disappear and allow us to live exciting, enjoyable lives while other days cause us to feel like we’re simply coming up short compared to our peers.

When you’re a spoonie though, little victories are what it’s all about!