“I’m really worried about her and wonder what I can do to better support her before, (especially) during, and after an attack.” The boyfriend of a woman with migraine sent me this. Since different people want different kinds of help during a migraine attack, I recommended asking her directly. But it prompted me to create a list of the kinds of help that people with migraine actually want during an attack.
I need your help. Here are the questions I’d like to address. Please leave your responses in the comments (or respond to this message if you receive posts by email). Answer as many or as few as you’d like.
- What can someone do to help you in the early stages of a migraine attack?
- During a migraine attack, do you want someone with you or to be left alone? If someone’s with you, what do you want them to do? If you’re alone, do you want someone to check on you?
- What would help you when you’re recovering from a migraine attack (postdrome)? Do you need to take it easy for a while or do you resume life as if the attack never happened?
- Between migraine attacks, is there any way someone could help you make your next attack easier?
In my dual migraine household, we have a different routine depending on who is having the attack. When Hart has one, I put water, ear plugs, an eye pillow, and the remote control for the light/fan beside the bed while he takes his meds. I smooth the bedding, arrange his pillows, and turn on the air filter for white noise. I make sure he has his phone and that my ringer is on so he can reach me if I’m out of earshot. Then I leave him alone. After the worst of the attack, I make sure he’s fed and we usually do something low-key, like watch TV or a baseball game.
My migraine attacks are so varied that we take a case-by-case approach. Sometimes I only need help getting my meds. Sometimes I need help to bed, with gathering my migraine supplies, or finishing up something I was in the middle of doing (which usually means having Hart put food away). Depending on how severe the attack is and if I can sit up, I either spend it alone or watching TV. If I can think clearly (which is rare), we play a game. Same goes for postdrome.
I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts!