Chronic Migraine, Coping, Friends & Family

Long- and Short-Term Caregiving With Migraine and Chronic Daily Headache

My friend and I managed to reciprocate caring for each other all weekend. I made dinner Friday; Saturday she made me a pie. I held babies (like that was a sacrifice!); she taught me to make crepes. Since we’re both caregivers by nature, we were both happy.

It was a bad weekend pain and nausea-wise. I shoveled in Advil and caffeine and napped, so I still enjoyed the trip. Although our friends said the twins were particularly fussy Saturday, their cries didn’t increase my pain. In fact, knowing that their needs came first may have distracted me.

Being around babies we love always makes us wonder if we would/could/should have kids. Today the answer is no.

  • Our friends we always nearby, so we never had full responsibility. Whenever it got to be too much for me, a parent took over.
  • We were at our friends’ house for less than 48 hours.
  • We didn’t do any nighttime shifts.
  • I was completely spent when Saturday night rolled around.

These sound like the typical excuses people give for not having kids. Maybe they are, but my chronic illness changes what they mean for me. My migraines are worse than I give them credit for. Lack of sleep is a huge trigger for me. I’m exhausted a lot of the time anyway. The hours Hart and I spend together when I feel good are precious few.

Then there’s the biggest factor. When I met the girls, I thought “Uh, oh, am I going to want a baby after this weekend?” Nope. The girls were wonderful and I loved holding and soothing them. I just didn’t feel a burning desire. If I had, I would certainly find a way to make it work, even at the expense of my health. Right now, the trade off isn’t worth it to me.

3 thoughts on “Long- and Short-Term Caregiving With Migraine and Chronic Daily Headache”

  1. I’m going through the exact same thoughts right now, with the way my migraines are, I can totally relate with the have kids/don’t have kids issue…I don’t know if I want to put myself and my husband through that, let alone how unfair to the children someday…love your website…here’s to pain-free days!

  2. I’m so there with you! Although I like kids, but I don’t regret not having them. As a chronic migraineur, it is almost unbearable being around small children when I am migraining. And the sleep disruptions would surely make my migraines worse (ha! Hard to imagine!) And these days–the days I feel really good are so few and far between. Meanwhile, I enjoy nurturing and spending time with my friend’s children. Thank you so much for this post.

  3. Makes sense to me. I had bad migraines while pregnant (worse with each pregnancy), had 3 kids. Love them to bits, but wouldn’t elect to do it over again because of the migraines. Lots of regrets because I couldn’t manage/handle all the demands. And kids deserve the best. They are taxing for the very healthy.

    Glad I have grandkids for all the reasons you enjoy your friends’ kids.

    As always, so appreciate your candor!

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