Q: How can I involve my family in my migraine care?
A: Involving family members in planning and shopping for your migraine-friendly diet will give everyone an opportunity to spend time together. It will also ensure that everyone finds foods they enjoy. Preparing meals together will reduce stress; the rest of your family do not have to avoid all the foods that you need to, but they can help by not eating these around you. Everyone can benefit from a routine exercise program as well. Spending time together during exercise is healthy, bonding, and can encourage you and help you maintain your routine.
Q: How do I match my migraine treatment to my family’s lifestyle?
A: This requires planning. By reviewing the family calendar in advance, you will be able to integrate your treatment schedule with their activities. Initially, everyone will need to make some sacrifices to help you accommodate your treatment plan. By sharing information about migraine, you will help your family understand the changes needed to make your treatment a success. In time, they will see the difference their sacrifices have made and will come to enjoy your headache-free time as much as you do.
Q: How do I manage the stress of household responsibilities?
A: Ask your family to help with the various household responsibilities; this will give you an opportunity to do your relaxation techniques and will reduce stress. You may want to have a family meeting to discuss household chores and to develop a plan. By assigning chores, you can eliminate the stress of trying to do everything by yourself. If you live alone you may need to ask friends or family members to help you.
Q: I am able to control my migraine attacks until the weather changes. Is there anything I can do during such times?
A: When there are uncontrollable migraine triggers such as weather, season, or hormonal changes, you need to be especially careful to follow your treatment plan rigorously. You must continue with your exercise and relaxation program, and it is very important that you avoid fatigue and all other triggers during these times.
Q: How important is it that I have a written treatment plan with stated goals?
A: When you formulate a treatment plan with identified goals and objectives, you will be able to assess your progress. You can review it every week to determine if any changes are needed. If you find areas that are causing difficulty, then you can seek help. Your plan needs to remain flexible since life circumstances are always changing.
Q: How do I manage my dietary changes with everything else I have to do?
A: Initially you will need to plan your menus in advance. You can use them to make a shopping list. By planning menus, you can avoid migraine triggers and save time by shopping for food in advance. You will need to invest time in making dietary changes, but the return will be more migraine-free time.
Q: How do I make time for exercise and relaxation?
A: Make a commitment each day to spend time, even a short period, on exercise and relaxation. It is important that you establish a daily habit. Once your routine is set, you can increase the time. The key to success is consistency. You will need to stay dedicated to your treatment program.
Q: How do I convince others that my treatment program is important?
A: Unfortunately, you may not be able to convince everyone that exercise, relaxation, and “special food” is necessary for treating your migraine. This can be frustrating, but if people simply refuse to recognize that migraine is a “real” disease, you may be better off saving your energy.
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