What can help difficult child's headaches?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Kjs, Sep 28, 2007.

  1. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    For years difficult child suffers from bad headaches. He has Advil, excedrin and Midrin at school. Last year he was going to the office daily for medication. End of the year I had to take him to ER, he thought he was dying, couldn't lift his head off the pillow.

    Only one or two headaches all summer. They're back! School notified me the other day that he has been in quite often for medicine because of a bad headache. Had one yesterday, last night and this morning. He took excedrin..that is his last choice usually.

    Do you think it could be stress related? Is there anything that can help with that? He has a prescription for Ativan, but has never taken it. Doesn't want to.

    I recieved an email this morning from one of the ladies I work with at school regarding him. She said that she really enjoys difficult child, and has a hard time seeing the difficult child that some of the teachers see. She often gets upset over issues at school. Told me not to give up.

    So, could difficult child's headaches be fear of these teachers?
  2. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    My son has had migraines since age 4. Triggers for him include fatigue, stress, bright sunlight, exertion on a hot day, certain foods (mozzarella cheese, for example), not drinking enough fluids. He was getting headaches every day (some led to full-blown migraines if not stopped soon enough). Because Ibuprofen (Advil) and other analgesics can cause rebound headaches, the neurologist felt he needed to be on a preventive medication. Propranolol has worked very well for him for 4 years (we've had to raise the dose twice as he grew). Although Topamax is used as a preventive migraine medication, it may not be the right one for your difficult child or the dose may not be high enough. This is something you need to talk over with the neurologist. Other migraine preventives include Depakote, Neurontin, Amitriptyline and Nortriptyline.
  3. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    That is why he is on Topomax. He only had about two headaches all summer long...Now they are back.

    The neurologist did tell me if the headaches got bad to call him. Will have to do that.
  4. SnowAngel

    SnowAngel New Member

    Monkey suffers from migraines. He started getting headaches at 6yrs. Been through the ER too many times to count. Even had scans done on his head..nothing. My sons are caused by allergies, stress and anxiety attacks. He now takes Imitrex.

    We have tried dimming lights, warm bath, light instrumental/ mood music, resting in bed, wet washcloths to his head & neck, warm fuzzy stories and medication. Not sure what you have tried, but most of these have worked for a bit, then we combined them until he was given the Imitrex.

    Also, it could be as simple as having a pinched nerve or his bones being out of whack...this is corrected with adjustments from a Dr or Chiropractor. Some people don't agree, but my son had improved after visiting one. My son is a stress carrier in his neck and shoulders. I hope I have helped some..Many hugs to your son.
  5. goldenguru

    goldenguru New Member

    My daughter went through this at school (high school). We took her to the GP who said that our daughter had actually become dependent on OTC headache relief. She was taking motrin several times a day (like your son). The doctor prescribed some prescription(sorry can't remember what) for the headaches and absolutely took her off OTC medications. It was remarkable. She was better within a couple of weeks.

    Sounds like some of your sons headaches are possibly stress related. My other thought is does he need glasses? Perhaps the added reading and text books are adding to his headaches?
  6. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Has he ever tried Imatrex?
  7. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    All sound like good ideas. had eyes checked by opthamologist. They are fine. Had an MRI and MRA done, all is fine.
    Dr. had prescribed Midrin for headaches, but he says it doesn't help. (did help at one point)
    Ice packs help him feel better. Does carry stress in shoulders, but I hate having my neck cracked. I think if they crack my neck I will be stuck there. I have headaches almost every day. For the bad ones I take Fiorinal with-codiene.

    I DO know that rebound headaches happen from OTC medications. According to the office, he has been in twice a day all week. This particular headache is pretty bad, started yesterday. Advil relieved it for a few hours then it came back. Advil last night and Excedrin this morning. As of the time he left for school not much releif.

    I have a call into the neurologist. Last time it was bad the ER and pediatrician gave him tylenol #3, had him take two at a time along with Advil. Neurologist said no, no, no...call him. So, I am awaiting a call back.
  8. SnowAngel

    SnowAngel New Member

    A neck massage might relieve some of the built up stress tension. I do hope your difficult child finds relief.
  9. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    :rofl: I should have that written into his IEP.

    Wish I could...and choose the teacher who sends him out the most to do it. :rofl:
  10. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am so sorry your son is having headaches. It really sounds like a visit to the neurologist is in order.

    Midrin can only be taken a certain number of times per day, and only a certain number of days per week. otherwise it will CAUSE horrible horrible headaches. Fiorinal will do the same thing if taken often. Fiorinal is often NOT used for kids because it has a very high addiction risk (NO, I am not saying anyone is addicted, just stating why they often don't use this medication in kids. Also, the very high street value will cause kids problems if any of the druggies find out they have it. I had an entire prescripton stolen in college from my dorm - lovely roomie let them have it - was totally miserable for a month! Lots of problems as I filled out the police report. )

    I have over 30 years of migraines. One of the most common factors that people miss as a cause is flourescent lighting that is flickering - can be imperceptable flickering, but it is there- was a huge problem for me in high school.

    Diet is a big factor, eating the wrong foods, or not eating, or getting dehydrated are big triggers.

    It sounds as though something at the school is causing a problem. Stress is a big trigger. It sounds as though you need to explore other migraine preventatives.

    Beta blockers and calcium channel blockers may be a good place to start. Beta blockers are blood pressure medications. There are lots to choose from, they may make you feela little relaxes or tired at first, though this does go away. Neither beta blockers or calcium channel blockers are new and pushed by pharmaceutical reps, some of htese medications are literally $2 per month at my pharmacy!!ASK rhe neuro about htem and if trialing them would be good for difficult child. Propranolol is about the most expensive beta blocker. There are much cheaper ones, that are just as effective.

    Depakote, Neurontin, Lyrica (next genration neurontin according to my docs) and Topomax are all possibles for prevantatives, but I would want the gentler beta blockers and calcium channel blockers trialed first. We just know more about them.

    It also sounds like you should ask your doctor for a different medication to treat migraines. difficult child should be able to lie down in a quiet room for 20-30 mins at the office after he takes the medications. That is how you get the best effectiveness fromthem. Offices at schools may not want to do this, but they need to.

    Imatrex, zomig and maxalt are all medications to treat the migraines that aren't prevented by the other medications. Your neuro will have reasons why they are good or not good for your child. But you may have to ask him why this medication and not this less expensive option, or this other option?

    Good luck, I really hate to hear so many of our kids have these horrible disabling migraines. I know all of my kids get them.

  11. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    We pay a $9 co-pay for Propranolol every month. That's a lot less than the other medications my kids are on.
  12. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    It could be lot's of things, Karen. Changes in food, changes in air quality, posture changes, sleep changes, and of course, stress. How long has it been since difficult child has been to the regular doctor for a checkup?

    Honestly, I feel a bit like a hypocrite for even suggesting that. I have physical problems that cause pain, and emotional problems from time to time as well. There are some doctors that I have seen in the past that want to recommend therapy for real physical pain. Luckily, the doctor I see now is really good, and listens to what I say.

    I hope that difficult child can find some relief. It's nice that you have the friend at school to keep things a bit more reality based, if you know what I mean.
  13. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    I'm guessing they are stress/anxiety related because they magically cleared up in the summer and have returned since school started.

    Have you ever kept a daily calendar chart to help identify a pattern? I was able to nail my son's anxiety symptoms with a chart, could tell when he was recovering, when the anxiety was getting worse, etc. difficult child had give-aways like moving from bed to floor to sleep, biting cuticles, beginning to chew on shirt, sycomatic symptoms like stomache ache, headache. His first red flag remains a fever blister. It appears 24-48 hours after he's been upset.

    With the calender I could clearly see the patterns. Might be worth a try. You can also add things to a calendar such as foods eaten during the day.

    With difficult child, he'd be better Friday after school and just like clockwork start to fall apart again Sunday afternoon. Not all of his symptoms would disappear, but enough to know he felt less anxious on the weekends.
  14. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    LOL! Kjs, my husband is a chiro and I get my neck cracked AND take fiorinal.
    Don't think I could get by with-just one or the other.
    Your neck will not get stuck there. It's the other way around -- if you don't keep everything moving, it will get stuck. Every heard of a wry neck? Where you wake up in the a.m., with-your head tilted toward one shoulder? I hate it when that happens.
    You and your son can get massages, too, especially since your son carries stress in his neck. Sometimes insurance covers massages.