Living with migraine can feel lonely and isolating. Sometimes, people make it worse by saying something insensitive or unkind.
Other times, people surprise you by saying the words you most need to hear — words that validate your feelings, acknowledge your pain and uplift your heart. True friends to people with migraine might say things like…
“Thank you for being here.”
People don’t always understand that living with migraine requires taking risks and making sacrifices. If you agree to join your friend’s birthday dinner at a fancy restaurant, that may mean breaking your migraine-prevention diet. If you show up at your nephew’s fourth birthday party, you know the screaming and bright sunlight might trigger a migraine attack. When a loved one recognizes the effort you’re making to be with them, it’s appreciated.
“Don’t worry if you have to cancel. I’ll miss you, but I totally understand.”
This is one of the best things you can hear when you have migraine. It’s already tough to have to miss important events and occasions because of a migraine attack: kids’ sports and performances, family gatherings and weddings, even just ordinary evenings with friends. Add to that the burden of guilt some people place on you:
- “Are you sure you can’t make it?”
- “Can’t you try to come just for an hour?”
- “The birthday girl will be so disappointed.”
That’s why it’s wonderful to have friends who acknowledge ahead of time that you may not be able to attend an event. It’s reassuring to know that your presence matters to them, but they won’t be mad if you’re forced to cancel.
“I know you’re doing everything you can.”
If you’ve lived with migraine for a while, you’ve heard dozens of well-meaning people say, “Have you tried this? Or this?” You know they’re just trying to help, but you want to scream: “I live with horrendous pain! Don’t you think I’ve tried everything?”
When a friend acknowledges the hard work you’re doing to manage migraine, that’s a welcome affirmation. They’re not trying to fix you. They’re telling you that they see you. It can be nice, however, to have someone ask, “How’s your new migraine treatment working?” This signals that they’re paying attention when you share details about your life and your ongoing challenges.
“How are you really feeling?”
When you live with migraine, you learn how to fake feeling well. Some of us are really good at it! Even if you’re feeling queasy, dizzy, exhausted or foggy from medication, you try to act normal in social or work situations. Sometimes, you really don’t want anyone to know how bad you’re feeling. But other times, you wish someone would notice — and good friends do.
When someone who cares about you perceives that you’re trying to hide the pain, tell them the truth. Admit that you feel terrible, but you’re doing your best. If your friend offers to take you home, or suggests you lie down in a guest bedroom, it’s OK to accept the offer.
“What does migraine feel like for you?”
Obviously, this is not a welcome question when you’re in the middle of a migraine attack. But at other times, this can be the beginning of a positive and supportive conversation. It means your loved one recognizes that migraine symptoms are individualized, and that your experience may differ from what they’ve read about the disorder. It means they’re taking your migraine seriously, instead of dismissing it as something you can get past or get over.
“Let me grab your meds/CEFALY/ice pack for you.”
Good friends ask, “What can I do to help?” Great friends have learned what you need when a migraine attack strikes. They know to look for your rescue medication in your bag. They’ll bring you your CEFALY device so you can use the ACUTE program as soon as symptoms begin. They’ll even run out to the nearest drive-thru to get you a vanilla milkshake, iced tea or anything that helps.
The next best thing to hear when you have a migraine is, “What can I do to make this better?” People who truly care about you hate feeling helpless when you’re in pain. Telling them what you need, and accepting help from them, doesn’t make you weak or dependent. It deepens your relationship and means you’ll have support when you need it.
If you haven’t tried CEFALY yet, now’s the time! You can use your HSA/FSA plan to help with payments. CEFALY also offers you the option to purchase using Affirm, spreading your payments out into a simple monthly payment plan. Learn more about payment options that help you fit CEFALY into your migraine treatment budget.
Try it today to begin seeing the benefits of this innovative, drug-free, clinically proven migraine treatment.