Understanding people with migraine part two

Me: Mom, I’m so miserable I don’t even know what to do with myself.

Mom: You could clean the floors.

Me: Mom! I have a migraine! I can’t clean the floors.

Mom: You could at least vacuum.

Me: Oh my god, Mom, you know I can’t!

Mom: I know, but…


This is a typical exchange between me and my mother. It’s not that she’s unsympathetic to my constant pain, it’s that she just has no concept of what it’s like to live with constant pain, brain fog, and vertigo.

When she has a headache, she can take some ibuprofen and lie down and feel better in an hour or so.

I’m lucky if I feel better in a week or so.

In the throes of a migraine, I can’t bend over or move my head up or down without a sledgehammer beating against the inside of my skull. Climbing a single staircase is almost too much exertion.

Cleaning? Even though I’ve switched to all natural cleaning products, they still sometimes have strong smells–when I’m feeling okay, I like the way they smell (eucalyptus, mmm). But when I have a migraine, I don’t want to smell anything.

Vacuuming? The noise and vibrations would probably make my skull explode.

Even doing passive things like reading are hard. Holding up the book is hard. Focusing on the words is hard. The only way I can read with a killer migraine is to listen to an audiobook and hope it distracts me from the pounding.

And television is right out, what with the light and movement and noise and all.

A migraine is not just a headache. It is pain, it is disorientation, it is despair, it is misery. A headache goes away fairly easily. A migraine bores its way into your skull and sucks out your life force like some kind of creepy alien from a cheesy sci-fi movie.

So there is no way that floor is getting clean, unless you come over to clean it.

Share this page:
Facebook Twitter Email

Leave a Reply