ONE day no headaches

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Kjs, Aug 25, 2008.

  1. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    Well, difficult child had ONE day without a headache. He was so excited. He was invited to a friends for a family picnic. They asked him to sleep over. We let him. Several reasons. He had been home for several weeks battling this headache. He was so afraid of the pain. starts next week and he needs a few days to recover from a sleepover. So now is better than next weekend. I know he will say "but it's the last weekend".

    Then he called last night. Headache. Getting bad. Mood seemed down in the dumps. But didn't want to come home. He took some BC with him, and that worked last time. As long as he has it with him he feels more confident. I made sure he knows to eat and drink lots when he takes this as it is awful on the stomach. Instructed him to call if he needed anything. So at midnight the phone rings. My heart drops...He wanted us to bring his phone charger over....NOT. His head still hurt he did not take the BC yet. He was trying to wait it out. Don't know if that is good or bad. Should he address it right away before it gets worse? Should he wait to see if it subsides without medication? And..I don't know if he can tell if this type of headache will turn bad or not. Sometimes I can tell if a headache will just nag or if it will get worse.
  2. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am glad he got to go to a sleepover. You are quite right about the timing. Most kids need some time after a sleepover to recover. jess is particularly awful the day after a sleepover. It is her brattiest time. (eyeroll inserted!)

    He needs to get into the habit of treating the pain as SOON as he realizes it is there. Part of handling migraines and other headaches is to treat them as soon as they start so they DON'T get worse. If it gets worse it can be there for several days. You have to get ahead of the pain. Even if you learn non-medicine ways to handle it (dark room, exercises to relax you, biofeedback, hot or cold packs, etc) they should be done as SOON as the headache starts. I carry my imitrex in my purse so I can treat a migraine anywhere I am, for example. Jess also carries her midrin in her purse - and the purse NEVER goes to school. She also has midrin at school to treat a headache. Her health plan says she can leave a class anytime to go get ehr medications. (He will need a health plan to handle these also - this will need a doctors note also - but check wtih the school to see if they have a specific form. Some schools do and some don't.)

    Some people have migraines that respond more to cold. Some to heat. I NEVER use cold because it causes problems with other things. So for me it is heat. I know some people use heat on the head and cold on the neck or vice versa. This is usually quite helpful. It can make the medications work much better.

    Please be cautious with the BC powder or any medication with aspirin. I posted a link about Reye's syndrome on the headache medicine post. This is a REAL risk. I lost a classmate to this in Jr. High.
  3. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    Ice works for him. He puts ice on his head, but his neck and shoulder muscles get sore with a bad headache, and the next day. So he uses heat on his shoulders and ice on his head. LOL

    He does have Advil and Excedrin in the office. I am not bringing BC to the office.
    I spoke to the pharmacist about this and they didn't seem to worried about Reye syndrome. More worried of the affects on the stomach.

    Wish there was a magic answer here. Preferably one with no medication. He did have midrin...does nothing.

    For me, tylenol #3 makes my headaches worse. Fiorecet works. Today I am waiting to hear from his pediatrician about the next step of tests. He had to "contact the specialists" to see what he should do.

    I just do not have the money for Childrens HOspital. There is a branch of Childrens here in town. The pediatric neurologist he saw IS part of Childrens. But all previous tests have been normal. The medications, tried didn't work. He is very aware of his headaches, and difficult child needs to get out of the headache cycle and not concentrate on "what if he gets one". This is limiting him very much.
  4. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    So sorry Kjs. But I'm glad he went for most of the day with-o a headache. And it's good that he recognizes that being on medications all the time is not necessarily good. Best to be wary and wise. (Although it does leave him in pain.)
  5. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    It is always hard to determine when to take the medications. Too early too late, didn't need them? I have had migraines since I was a teen... I am still trying to perfect my medication shedule!
    I hope he enjoyed himself. Poor kid.
  6. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    OT1H, I would tend toward taking medications as soon as the headache starts - atleast for awhile (1 - 2 weeks?). Once the headache gets imbearable, the medications really don't seem to help. When he has gone a week or two without a headache, then consider waiting a little longer before taking medications.

    on the other hand, it would depend on if he is having headaches because of being overmedicated. Those rebound headaches. Then I am not sure.

    I am glad you spoke to the pharmacist about the BC - I have never heard that one before. You are doing a GREAT job in looking at and considering everything. Deciding if pros outweigh the cons is a hard job.

    I am glad he did have one good day.
  7. allhaileris

    allhaileris Crumbling Family Rock

    I haven't been around long, but do you know what *causes* the headaches and what type they really are? If they're going down his neck and into his back it sounds like a tension headache. FInding out what type really makes a difference on how to treat them.

    A migraine is always on one side, but can jump back and forth. Tension is on both sides.

    If they're migraines, he really needs to act within the first 10 minutes if he wants them gone. Destressing is a biggie for both. Watching his diet will help. Nitrates are a big trigger for my migraines, quite a few foods can be. Massaging his scalp with his fingers will help. With a migraine the blood vessels either get bigger or smaller. If ice is helping, then they get bigger for him (same with me). Caffine helps, which is what is in Exedrine for Migraines. But I doubt you want him chugging cokes.
  8. allhaileris

    allhaileris Crumbling Family Rock

    I just read the other post, and it appears the doctor thinks it's migraines. I spent 2 months of my Jr year of HS at home with a big fat migraine. It *****.

    But I still wonder if it's a migraine based on the neck pain. Does he get naseaous? Does he see little lights off to the side of his vision?

    If it is, cut out the lunch meats and/or hot dogs. NO processed meat. I think cheese is on that list, but I never had a problem with it. There are other foods but I can't remember them as nitrates was my issue.
    Massage the scalp with fingertips, really work that scalp and get the blood moving. It's the blood vessles on the scalp, not inside the head. You can do this for him, start at the front of the head and go back towards the neck.
    Dark rooms are great. Often my migraine will make me fall asleep so I can heal. Have him lie down. Make sure he wears sunglasses outside all the time. Avoid bright flashy lights as a preventative.
    As others have said, too many drugs might trigger it again. Because they can be stress induced, he needs to "think them away" and unstress himself. It's hard, but he's going to have to learn to deal with them and let them no overrule his life. If he's up to it, have him try yoga or meditation.
    Put the cold pack on the back of the neck. This is where the blood comes in so it'll help cool the entire head.

    Quite honestly the only thing that works for me isn't legal in every state and he's too young. If he were 18 I'd tell you to make him some brownies :)
  9. allhaileris

    allhaileris Crumbling Family Rock

    Why do stars appear where I wrote s.u.c.k.s? It's not even close to a bad word. What gives?
  10. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    The censor won't let us use many words. I use hoover for the word you chose.

    Just a note: Migraines come in many types. They do NOT have to be one side only. They CAN include neck pain, even pain that radiates down the arms. Migraines can also be on just the top of the head. Migraines can even cause strokes, which is why it was important to get teh MRI done when you saw the neuro.

    A new MRi probably won't be needed, unless a number of years has passed. Can you get the records and MRI film from the neuro, or from the hospital and labs who did the work? Showing the new pediatrician that the tests ahve been done might get him closer to being useful. It woudl also be good to take them to a new doctor if you decide to see one (and I would).

    Please please please start a food diary for difficult child. have him write down what he eats at each meal and snack. he can do it after school, or in his planner. Or if he eats school lunch maybe you can print out that menu so you have it and then just ahve to add what he eats for breakfast and dinner and snacks. make sure he knows he won't get yelled at or fussed at for anything that is on the diary. This is important to figuring out what is causing his migraines. It will also show any doctor you see that you are serious about getting this disease under control.

    Any doctor who blows you off about these migraines should be fired and replaced with a doctor who is informed and willing to help.
  11. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    On the subject of the site censor - it also, for some weird reason, censors "p*o*l*i*t*i*c*i*a*n". OK, I think a lot of them are obscene also, but not perhaps in that way...

    With taking strong medications for strong pain - it's possible you may need to get difficult child referred to a pain specialist, Kjs. They mightn't be able to fix the underlying problem (although they're not above trying) but they canat least find ways to manage it in the meantime.

    Also, the best advice I ever got from doctors about managing pain - hit it hard and fast, and chances are you will end up taking LESS strong medications because you won't have to keep taking it for as long, with that particular episode.
    For example, if I'm having a really bad day with pain, I am authorise by my pain specialist to take an extra tablet early on, to try to knock the pain back to manageable levels. Then if the pain begins to get bad again, it's easier to knock it back down with a smaller dose.

    I don't like taking pills. But I REALLY don't like being in pain. I found tis to be the best compromise. If I wait until the pain is unbearable, often I'm in too bad a state for the medications to work and I end up taking a lot more than I would have, if I'd got onto it early.

    It's like darning your favourite jumper when you see a tiny hole - get the wool and needle out at the first sign of a hole, and the mend is almost invisible. But if you delay, the hole can sometimes be too big to repair easily, and it leaves a scar in the jumper. AND uses more wool!

  12. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    The *** are an effort to keep the site a respectable and soft place to land. We also discourage using the *** in between letters - although I do understand why it was used above. It helps in making a point, but is not what is intended to be the solution to using certain words. Marg's word is censored probably because the topic can get heated so we do not allow the topic to be discussed here.

    KJS, I don't understand why the pediatrician doctor is the one contacting the specialist. Your son should be going directly to the specialist. He might need to visit the specialist all his life, might as well get him a relationship with him/her now.

    Have you looked into any trials or research grant projects on headaches? Your health insurance does not cover medical testing at Children's?

    I am really glad he got a sleepover in before school. That is really cool for him! LOL - at the cell phone charger. My silly difficult child would attempt that same request, with the same answer from me. What are they thinking??!!