Teaching your child how to rule migraine
Imagine being 2 or 3 years old the first time a migraine attack hits you. As a young child, you don’t have the verbal skills or the emotional maturity to deal with it all. The best you can do is say “owie” or “boo-boo” and cry inconsolably.
To say that it is traumatizing is an understatement.
Your parents may not understand how sick you are until you vomit. Even then, they are likely to think that you have picked up a virus or ate something that didn’t agree with you. Few parents will assume that migraine is the culprit…
Unless your parent has migraine, too.
Trust me, telling a pediatrician that you think your toddler has migraine is likely to get you labeled “helicopter mom” right quick. Mostly, I was just blown off as a neurotic mother, but I kept insisting until I found a doctor who would listen. She was 4 years old when our family doctor finally referred us to a pediatric neurologist.
Teaching your young child how to rule their migraine is no easy task.
- You don’t want to alarm your child, but you do want to know when attacks happen.
- You don’t want your child to worry or be frightened, but you do want them to be informed.
- You want to protect them from stigma and teach them how to stand up to it at the same time.
Often I was an over-protective momma bear.
Sometimes it was justified. Other times it came from that wounded place inside me that was forged when no one stood up for my needs. Because I had those meltdowns on their behalf, they learned how to stand up for themselves, ask for help when needed, and take responsibility for their own health.
There is one lesson my kids have never forgotten.
Migraine is real.
It deserves to be taken seriously and treated appropriately.
They learned by example.
I didn’t set out to do anything except insist they were believed and had access to early and appropriate interventions. The rest took care of itself because they watched me scratch and claw my way through. Seeing what could happen if migraine treatment were delayed was all the motivation they needed to rule their own migraine disease.