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6 Ways Your Partner Can Help During Migraine Attacks

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As someone who has lived with migraine for over a decade, I have a fairly regimented system I follow to manage my symptoms as best as I can during each migraine attack. Most of the time, I spring into action as soon as I recognize my symptoms without much consideration because it’s just become so habitual for me. However, I’m now dating an incredible person who is willing to help and support me during my bad migraine days.

At first, I didn’t want to worry her or wake her up because it seemed rude and burdensome. Over the past several months, though, I’ve learned that it’s OK to ask her for help when I’m in pain and unable to get out of bed.

If you are someone like me who lives with migraine and has a partner who is willing to help you when migraine attacks strike, here are six ways they can help you.

1. Learn your migraine toolkit.

If you live with chronic migraine, then chances are you have a “migraine toolkit” or list of items you commonly use to treat your symptoms. While you likely know all of the items you use for each phase of migraine, your partner may not have a clue what items help you the most during an attack or what items to suggest you use at certain points throughout the day. This lets them help you when you need it, and sometimes you don’t even have to say a word.

2. Make your space comfortable.

When a migraine attack strikes, it’s usually helpful if the house is cool and dark so you can close your eyes and rest. Unfortunately, that often requires lots of work because you have to turn off lights, draw the curtains, and maybe even adjust the thermostat or turn on a fan or two. This takes time and energy that you may not have to give, but your partner is probably willing and capable of helping out. Once they learn the routine, chances are they will simply start doing this at the onset of your symptoms without even saying a word.

3. Remind you to hydrate.

I don’t know about you, but I never remember to hydrate during bad migraine days. In fact, I rarely remember to hydrate even when I feel great. Yet hydration is important for everyone, especially people who live with chronic conditions like migraine. Luckily, this is something your partner can easily do, and bonus points if they bring the beverage straight to you.

4. Take on tasks around the house.

If you live with your partner, then you probably have all of the household chores divided fairly evenly. However, these tasks can pile up if you take a day off because of your migraine symptoms, and you may feel obligated to complete them even when you feel unwell. If your partner can, it would be helpful for them to take on some of your tasks around the house, such as cooking dinner perhaps, during those difficult days with migraine.

5. Remind you to rest.

Even in the throes of a migraine attack, many of us try to push through the pain and accomplish the tasks on our daily to-do list. However, we all know that “pushing through the pain” isn’t healthy, and many times it can make the symptoms we experience with migraine much, much worse. Therefore, one of the best things your partner can do for you during a migraine flare is reminding you to rest.

6. Love you unconditionally.

Many of us who live with migraine worry that our “bad” days make us a burden or difficult to love. We often feel like we don’t do enough, or we convince ourselves that our illness makes us less worthy. However, none of that is true, and I can honestly say the best thing my partner has offered me during my migraine attacks is unconditional love and lots of care. Sometimes even small gestures of love go a long way towards helping us out both emotionally and mentally.

Living with chronic migraine isn’t easy, but having a partner to support you through the difficult days makes a world of difference. They may not be able to cure our migraine attacks, but they can sure love us through each and every one.

Getty image by Wavebreak Media.

Originally published: November 2, 2021
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