Saturday, March 6, 2010

Parenting through the Pain

I truly believe that unless you have had a migraine, you just don't understand.

Childbirth without pain meds? I'd rate that pain about a 6 or 7.

Elbow fracture in three places? Now that was a good solid 8.

But migraines - oh, mine go to 11.

I try to keep going, but sometimes I can't. I move my head, I puke. I can't open my eyes. I can't move. At my worst, all I can do is wrap my head in a blanket to block out all light and noise and lay perfectly still. I can't even sleep because it just hurts too bad.

Elise told me the other day that she likes Erik better because he does fun stuff with them. Marc added that it was true and I was always missing the cool things because I was sick and just wanted to sleep all the time.

And my heart broke into a million little pieces right there. I wanted to make sure they understood that I hate to miss those things. I wish I could be there. Marc wanted to know why I didn't go to the doctor to get better.

But it just isn't that simple, so I tried to explain it - I am trying, I am going through all these tests, I am trying different medicines. There is just no magic solution.

Even Erik was really shocked when he realized there is NO CURE for migraines. I can try to control them. I can try to raise my threshold. I can try to avoid triggers. I can try to shorten them when I get one.

I am now on daily preventive medicine. But even with this - the best I can hope for is instead of 10 migraines a month, I will only get 2 or 3.

But how do I explain this to my kids? All they know is that I missed the trip to the aquarium and I missed the camping trip and I didn't go with them to see Grandma and I can't play cards with them because I was sleeping and Marc can't practice the drums right now because it hurts my ears.

And now, Marc has started having migraines too. He vomits, lays in bed with the covers over his head, and tells me it looks like his animals are vibrating. So far he seems to respond well to just ibuprofen and a coke and some sleep. But when he has them he begs me not to send him to school - he says the lights in the school are torture.

I am taking him in a few weeks to a pediatric neurologist. I don't want this for him. I feel horribly guilty about my crappy genetics.

For now, still going through all the diagnostic steps. Bloodwork is fine, eyesight is fine, neurological exam was abnormal but that might just be from the medication, MRI is done - should get the results next week, next up is an EEG.

Avoiding aspartame, MSG, alcohol, and trying to narrow down other triggers I might have. Keeping my sleep schedule the same, even on weekends. Have a yoga program for migraines that I am starting.

I am trying to take advantage of my good days to spend time with my kids doing fun things. Even when I have a migraine, I try to at least spend some time with them, cuddling and quietly reading. They are learning to help, bringing me an ice pack, closing the blinds - they even know which meds are which when I can't get out of bed to get them myself.

Still. It just pretty much sucks.


Jennilyn said...

I am so sorry you are suffering with this. And hadn't realized Marc is going through it, too. Emma inherited those same genes, and says she is pretty much in constant headache pain. We ask what number-average is 4-5, but goes up with stress and 8-9's often. Testing just seems to send us in circles. If you do find a good combo of meds/food-avoidance/behavior, please share! We love you, and hope we can be more supportive-cousin play time when you need it. Kids can come over anytime. Well, Max threw up at his concert last night, I am down today, so is Sam, but I suppose we've already exposed you this week. Hang in there. I think you are plenty fun. It is sobering when kids are affected by our weaknesses, and you are right, it hurts.

Emmalyn said...

This just made me want to CRY! poor marc... poor you!