Can You Clean Despite Chronic Migraine? Share Your Story

photo credit: H o l l y. via photopin cc

photo credit: H o l l y. via photopin cc

How many of you chronic migraineurs are able to clean your house? I have great difficulty keeping my house as clean as I would like it. So much so, that I’ve asked my husband on numerous occasions to sell our home and move into a two room apartment that his sister owns. Or let our tenants (who live in our efficiency), move into our house for the same rent so that we could move into the efficiency.

Why is this such a big deal? I am in constant fear of people dropping by to see me. It’s so bad, that someone stopped by unexpectedly one day and started calling at our gate (we keep it locked), and I jumped in the shower to have a “good” excuse not to answer the door. Is that insane? Does anyone else go through this?

One of my good friends, who married and moved away, is now in town visiting family and friends. As I type, I’m dreading her and her husband’s visit. Earlier today my pain level was a 4 so I got up to start cleaning, with the view to cleaning the entire kitchen, living and dining area and the guest bathroom. What I did do is actually less than a drop in a bucket; and now I’m laying down with a #8 headache, thankfully it’s not a migraine headache – at least not yet.

I have a very loving husband who does his best despite a full-time job and other responsibilities, but I still think it’s too much for the two of us to handle. On a “good” day, I’m only able to complete 1 chore and my “good” days, at the moment, are “few and far between”.

Please write in and tell me your experience and/or fill in the survey below. Do you have the same battle? Have you found a way to overcome this challenge? I eagerly await your responses.



13 thoughts on “Can You Clean Despite Chronic Migraine? Share Your Story

  1. While I still live with my parents, I’m responsible for my own space (my room) but I try to help out keeping the rest of the house clean. I’ll clean the kitchen,dining room, the living room, and my own room when I’m feeling well. If I’m not, I don’t even bother. My mom will ask me to help in the kitchen or living room but I’ll tell her I can’t do it if I can’t. My room quickly devolves into a mess when I’m not well for a long time.

  2. I have a hard time cleaning because some of the cleaning items are migraine triggers. I actually just wrote to Clorox and asked them to come up with an odorless bleach. I miss cleaning with bleach products and tried the scented ones but one small itty bitty whiff of bleach and I’m done. It seems to get into my lungs and just hangs making my migraine hang on and on. I clean what I can when I can and hope no one comes to visit. 🙂

    • Same here – I clean what I can when I can and hope no one comes lol :).

      I’m a bleach user too. I can tolerate bleach more than Ammonia. In 2008, I did some classes in a big auditorium. They had a small room where we were. After lunch, the volunteers cleaned the floors with Ammonia. Before it dried, I went out to the bathroom and got an instant migraine from the scent. I suffered through the rest of the class, missed the next day and wore sunglasses on the third.

      I’ve never quit bleach cold turkey. I’ve wanted to, to see if there’s a difference but I can’t let it go lol. Maybe one day. I do have a friend who has chronic migraines who only cleans with vinegar and hydrogen peroxide now. So maybe you guys are on to something.

      Thanks for sharing.

  3. I can do one or two chores a week, so they seem to pile up. My husband does most of the cleaning now. I’m trying to break chores down into smaller piecws so I can get more done, for example just wiping down the sink when I am already in the bathroom instead of trying to clean the whole bathroom at once. Usually I try to take on too much at once and get a migraine. I also use odorless, natural cleaning products when I can so I don’t cause scent-triggered migraines.

    • I like the idea of doing smaller chores like just wiping down the sink. My husband and I have talked about doing that but we keep putting it off. It makes so much sense and it’ll lighten both our burdens.

      My husband does most of the cleaning too. I haven’t tried doorless cleaners yet. I think that’s something we need to look into.

      Thanks for sharing.

  4. Here’s a disgusting migraine/tidying-related thing that happened to me in the night!

    So I had this migraine… blearily found my medicine on my bedside table and found this juice carton by my bed (handy!) and took a swig to wash it down. Back to bed. Not quite gone in the morning but after breakfast things seemed a little better. Decided to rinse out and recycle the juice carton as it was nearly empty and whist washing out came a piece of mould about the size of a child’s hand…………..BOAK!

    I worry this continual TidyFail isn’t even migraine related, I am just a terrible human being……

    • Oh noooo….. You must have gagged just knowing that!!!

      I don’t think you’re a terrible human being. Every migraineur that’s commented so far has trouble keeping their house or bedroom (for the young woman who still lives at home) clean. Migraine disease is debilitating. It’s aggravated by movement, scents, light, … Don’t beat yourself up, we’re all going through the same battle.

      – Skylar

  5. I am completely unable to function. Unfortunately that means that our apartment is only tended to by my loving boyfriend. On my best days, it means that I’ll empty the dishwasher and do some laundry. Even if the migraines are very mild, I can’t do it. I do feel that my depression and anxiety have been getting worse due to having chronic migraines for so many years. I’m 34 and have an amazing boyfriend that is loving and has patience for days. Due to him, I’m able to cope.

    • I’m sorry I’ve taken so long to respond. I took a break from writing. I came off of the diet I was on and my migraines became more debilitating. As a result, I couldn’t write on most days and when the pain was tolerable I was either too depressed, or had to work on my jewelry.

      You and your boyfriend sound very much like my husband and me. We recently started a cleaning routine based on something I found on Pinterest. I’ll post it sometime this week; it may or may not help you. But know you are not alone and not a failure. There are many, many more of us just like you. I haven’t been able to do anything but the dishes if even that for at least 2 weeks.

      Take care of yourself and try not to beat yourself up. I’m personally working on being more positive. My husband always tells me to focus on what I can do and not what I can’t. I’m trying … :).

      – Skylar

  6. Pingback: Cleaning Despite Chronic Migraine | MigrainePuzzlePieces

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