I think that relationship challenges are one of the hardest things to deal with as far as daily migraines are concerned. We suffer in silence and take medications that make us feel worse but the pain that we put others through and the difficulties that it causes in our relationships are the hardest. I think that being open and really discussing what is going on with us and sharing resources like healingwell as well as other great organizations (National Headache Foundation, MAGNUM, and American Council for Headache Education) are a few of the best things that we can do. It is also really helpful to have our loved ones visit the doctor with us so they can see how real it is.
Recently I have had someone in my life see how expensive medications are, how severely I am affected daily by migraines (as well as body aches and pains from Fibromyalgia, as well as mood "issues" from depression that is accompanied by all of it. I think that actually seeing all of this is a big thing for this person. BEFORE THEY THOUGHT I JUST HAD H E A D A C H E S NOW THEY ARE AWARE THAT THIS IS A DISEASE. This is something that affects every part of my life and every part of my day. It starts the minute I wake up and open my eyes until the minute I crawl into bed and close my eyes at night.
The best advice I have is to share what knowledge you have with the person/people you love and remember that you would want to know what is going on with them if you truly loved them.
Hang in there...and things will get better.
Your long lost Moderator,
Relationships are really hard to maintain when you suffer from chronic pain. My husband and I have nearly lost our marriage a couple of times. He didn't understand why I couldn't just toughen up and deal with my headaches and then the depression that came with it.
Finally a trip to the psychologist with me helped. He doesn't believe in that either, but she was able to explain things to her that I couldn't. I'm not really sure where the change happened, but we stopped fighting each other and started fighting my headaches together. He goes to many of my doctors' appointments with me and helps me try and figure out what's triggering the latest migraine. For example, as I decreased Topamax last week and was plagued by a week long migraine we realized that possibly the Topamax was working. His attendance at doctors' appointments helps especially if I'm not able to remember or process things because of the pain.
I think it took me telling him over and over how much pain I was in for him to understand. He doesn't suffer from headaches. I think he has had 3 in his lifetime. He listens now and does try to understand. I try to explain as much as I can so he can understand and explain how his pressure on me only makes things worse.
I hope this helps, I know that it takes all types and having a supportive spouse makes it a lot easier. I don't know how I would have made it through the last couple of years without my husband.
Good luck getting your spouse's support.
PS Hi Sara.