For many migraineurs getting the support they need from family and friends falls short. Dr. Mark Green M.D, director of headache and pain medicine at New York’s Mount Sinai School of Medicine points out that people with migraine typically get head pain, but there are other issues as well. They may feel exhausted, experience nausea, and become light or sound sensitive. “What that means is people tend not to be able to do anything,” according to Dr. Green. This can produce fallout within family dynamics when dinner is not ready on time, or the kids don’t get picked up from school.
Its hard enough dealing with the physical pain of a headache… and even harder when you may have those around you confused, or resentful. Dr. Jack David Schim, MD, co-director of the Headache Center of Southern California recommends patients bring their spouse or other family member to office appointments. Hearing directly from the healthcare provider that migraine is a complicated condition can go a long way in helping people with headache get the support they need.
Here are a few resources for those trying to help friends and family understand headache.
“A Guided Tour of Hell:In the Words of Migraine Sufferers” by Kristine Hatak
“Life and Migraine” a 2005 documentary by Edmund Messina, MD
Migraine Notebook: This free app-available for Apple’s iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch was created by the National Headache Foundation and Glaxosmithkline
HEADWISE National Headache Foundation, Volume 1, Issue 2