11/5/07 #4 - How can family help loved ones during a Migraine?

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  • Full Question:
    My wife has Hemiplegic Migraines and has recently been unable to break this 2 week cycle. 2 ER visits, 2 MRI's, and an angiogram; It has been very hard to watch her go through this. Not only does she mimic stroke like symptoms, but, shakes on one side of her body. Has a "Lock Jaw" symptom and loss of speech and vision; plus the normal numbness.

    My question is: How can family help support our loved ones while they are experiencing these symptoms? Is there any comfort that we can provide?

    Thank You, Sean.
     

     

    Answer:

     

    Dear Sean;

     

    Good for you for asking this question! There are many things you can do to support your wife. Here are some basics:

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    • Learn about Migraines with her so you can both work better with her doctor.
    • Go to her doctor's appointments with her when possible. It's usually best for two people to her what the doctor says -- better chance of everything being remembered.
    • There may be times when your wife needs to push to get questions answered or advocate for herself in other ways. Advocating for ourselves can be very difficult. So, it's helpful for our significant others to be aware of this, and if it seems that we're not getting the answers we need or not getting our point across to our doctors, speak up and help us advocate for ourselves.
    • Help her remember to keep her Migraine prescriptions filled so she always had the medications she needs.

    What you can do to assist your wife with physical comfort really isn't something anyone can answer very well because it depends on what makes her comfortable. What makes me comfortable may well not be what she needs. Still, here are some suggestions:

    • When she's having a Migraine, darken the room for her, try to keep it quiet. Turn off the ringer on the telephone.
    • Get her an ice bag or warm compress if it would help.
    • Help her be sure to get plenty of fluids so she doesn't dehydrate.
    • Stay with her if she doesn't want to be alone, or leave her alone if that's what she wants, but look in on her periodically. Sometimes, it's nice to have someone you love in the room with you, even if you don't feel like talking to them.

    Sit down some time and ask her what you can do to help when she's not feeling well. Make notes that you can refer to later.

     

    Most of all, just remind her that you love her and reassure her that you don't love her any less because of this disease. It does help us to hear that.

     

    Good luck,
    John Claude Krusz and Teri Robert

     

    If you need to find a headache and Migraine specialist, please see our listing of patient recommended specialists.

     

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    About Ask the Clinician:

    Dr. Krusz is a recognized expert in the fields of headache and Migraine treatment and pain treatment. Each week, he and Lead Expert Teri Robert, team up to answer your questions about headaches and Migraines. You can read more about Dr. Krusz or more about Teri Robert.

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    © Teri Robert and J.C. Krusz, 2007.

Published On: November 06, 2007