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Old 03-16-2007, 05:42 AM   #1
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My 13 year old daughter suffers with bad migraines

Hi all

My daughter (who is thirteen tomorrow) has been suffering with bad migraines for a few years now. She has had three eye tests, all of which have been clear and my GP just keeps saying it is "hormonal".

I worry because she was epileptic (grand mal and peitit mal) for a number of years - from the age of 3, only coming off of medication and being given the all clear when she was 8 years old. I can recall her neurologist at the hospital, who was treating her, telling me that there is a fine line between migraine headaches and epilepsy and you can be "borderline epileptic" just by having bad migraines regularly. I have also heard that migraines are hereditary and my dad suffers with migraines as did I. I went into hospital with a "mini stroke" or TSI attack (I think that is what it is called) when I was 28 years old (I am 36 now) and this started off as a particularly bad migraine. I still get the odd migraine but that is only when I haven't eaten for a while or am stressed (surprised I don't get them more often!).

I really do feel for my daughter though. She takes strong pain relief and will lay in bed but it leaves her feeling low for days. She is going through puberty at the moment and I know this can be a factor but she doesn't eat lots of chocolate and cheese and all the other "trigger" foods. She is clumsy (but she did have a cholestatoma in her right ear for years and lots of surgeries) and still gets a few, what I can only describe as "absences" where she does go off in her own little world! Other than that she is perfectly healthy, tall and beautiful (I am biased!) and doing very well at school.

Any suggestions?

Kind regards
Babe xx

 
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Old 03-16-2007, 10:21 PM   #2
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Re: My 13 year old daughter suffers with bad migraines

Hi Babe,

So sorry to hear about your daughter. I started getting them at 16 and there is nothing worse than having to deal with a h/a and living life as a teenager!!

I assume that since you meantion you get them from not eating you have told her about that.

Teenagers have weird sleep patterns at the best of times. For me, establishing a 'bed time' and a 'wake up' time and sticking to it as much as possible helped me.

Too much sun.

What medication does she take? I know what you mean about feeling awful for a couple days afterwards. I used to battle with a h/a for 2 days and then recuperate for 2 more days. I attributed it to being in bad pain and clenching my muscles so much for the 2 days that they were actually sore when my h/a went away.

I found that instead of waiting for a migraine to get 'established' and holding off taking pain meds. I would take medication at the start of the headache. Doing this I actually used a fair amount LESS medication and aborted many h/a before they got full blown.

zach..........016

 
Old 03-19-2007, 05:58 AM   #3
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Re: My 13 year old daughter suffers with bad migraines

Hi Zach

Kirsty (my daughter) has a very good routine with regard to food and sleep (all three of my children do - I have been a stickler for routine since they were babies). She eats well and does go to bed and get up at the same times - which makes it so more frustrating that she is getting these headaches! I don't allow fizzy drinks and sweets and as both my girls are wearing braces at the moment it would be even worse! All three of my children eat well and Kirsty will never miss a meal! She eats well! She drinks alot of water also as I know that dehydration or lack of fluids can bring on a bad headache. She is not your typical teenager, she is very well mannered and good tempered and loves fruit and vegetables - she is certainly one of a kind!

She is taking co-codamol for her headaches at the moment. Our GP will not give her anything else. I have had her eyes tested a couple of types over the past few years and they can find nothing wrong. I developed bad migraines at the age of 16 - while I was taking my exams at school - and I went to an optician who completely ripped me off with glasses that I didn't even need - they were clear glass!!! Not to mention expensive. My GP put me on all sorts of medication and took blood tests and just said it was my "hormones" - that word again! Even now if I get a 'bad' migraine - which, thankfully, isn't that often - I am wiped for about three days! Now, I see the flashing lights in my vision and jump on the painkillers and water and sit down for a half hour or so and it passes. Kirsty is the same with regard to her headaches, she doesn't let it get so bad that she is crying but treats it as soon as she 'feels it' coming on. She, like me, gets sick with her migraines, I also used to get a tingly arm - which I have heard is common too.

I will see how she gets on over the next few weeks and try a different GP and perhaps he can give her something stronger than co-codamol! I also think that it may be developing into a pattern and I am going to diarise her 'attacks' and see how regular they are with regard to once a month or so - that would put it down to pre-menstrual headaches I guess?

Thanks for the advice.
Babe xx

 
Old 03-19-2007, 12:55 PM   #4
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Re: My 13 year old daughter suffers with bad migraines

Hi again,

It does sound like she is not your typical teenager!! Thank goodness eh??

Another thing that I almost forgot about was that I would get migraines AFTER I'd written my exams or done something high-stress. It was when I was relaxing and I really found a pattern. Your diary is a great idea. I have almost 30 years of one and still find it helpful.

Co-codamol I'm not too familar with. I ******d it and can't figure out if he is Rx'ing the one with 8mg. of codeine or 30mg. of codeine? InCanada we can buy the 8mg one over the counter without a prescription but I know they can't in the U.s.. Have no idea in the U.K.?


zach.........

 
Old 03-20-2007, 09:22 AM   #5
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Re: My 13 year old daughter suffers with bad migraines

Hi again Zach

Kirsty isn't your typical teenager no - thank god! I already have one of those (her older sister) and one is enough!!

I mentioned that I started getting my migraines once I started taking my exams at school and I know that you too experienced this and it is very common in teenagers around exams but Kirsty does not get stressed at all! She is sooo laid back! If anyone should get migraines it should be her older sister - she is a walking candidate for them - she misses meals, gets stressed (always) and her sleep pattern isn't brilliant. She also eats alot of chocolate and fizzy drink so I guess that Kirsty is just one of the unlucky ones. I used to get classic migraines and when I felt one coming on I used to get quite depressed as it used to last for hours (the flashing lights then pain and tingling) and left me feeling rung out for days so I knew that I wasn't going to be myself for a while.

I certainly think that, even though Kirsty hasn't started her periods yet, her hormones are at their peak and her migraines have gotten worse over the past year. I think that the migraines intensifying could be the start of full blown puberty. I think that the diary is a great idea too as I can then see if there is a pattern forming and compare this to other things happening in her life and also if it is only once a month then it certainly looks to be hormonal. I think that it may be the best way to try and get my head around it - excuse the pun!

I just worry because of her past problems with epilepsy and I know her headaches can be so bad that she really can't keep her eyes open.

The co-codamol she takes is called Solphadene (paracetamol and codeine)and this is bought over the counter so I couldn't tell you what dosage it is but it does take the edge of her headache but only the edge which is why I am going to demand that our GP give us something stronger for her. There is co-codamol you can get on pescription over here and it is very strong - I was recently prescribed it following a tonsillectomy and it is WOW - like totally takes you out of it!!!

Damn migraines are the pitts aren't they!

 
Old 03-20-2007, 03:35 PM   #6
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Re: My 13 year old daughter suffers with bad migraines

My daughter who is 8.5 has been suffering from migraines since she was about 5. They ahve become recnelty more severe and more frequent also. She had 11 in feb. All of hers come on suddenly, severe throwing up and then basically passes out for the rest of the evening. hers usually happen late afternoon. We have had eeg done to see if there was seizure activity but there isn't. her Ped put her on a daily preventive. She has been on it for 2 weeks now and not a migraine yet!
Also cheese triggers migraines, as well as foods like hot dogs, bologna, foods that are nitrates. You may see how her diet is and maybe changing up diet? My daughter doesnt eat any of those foods, so they don't trigger hers.

 
Old 03-20-2007, 05:22 PM   #7
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Re: My 13 year old daughter suffers with bad migraines

Hey Babe, (I like that!! LOL)

Yes, they really are the pitts. There is so much that goes along with them as well and I'm always amazed when I talk to someone who really HAS gone thru years of real migraines how similar some of the other 'side effects' (for lack of a better term) are.

The worn out feeling many of us get after battling a bad migraine for a while. The "oh, I had a migraine the other day and found that 2 aspirin took it right away. Have you ever tried that?" that we get from our mainly very nice and well meaning friends and relatives - who you know have never had a migraine in their lives!!

And 'migraineurs guilt' which I battled with for years and years!!

I sure hope that your Dr. will give her something stronger that she can take and go lie down and maybe doze off for a couple of hours hopefully waking up with no migraine. I would find it very frustrating to take something that barely takes the edge off.

Good luck and I hope you will keep up updated!!

Zach016..............................

 
Old 03-20-2007, 06:55 PM   #8
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Re: My 13 year old daughter suffers with bad migraines

Hi again Babe,

I was just reading another thread here and it reminded me of another thing. Mind you, since you are in the U.K. this might sound preposterous but does she spend too much time in the sun? Do you get sun? LOL//zach016

 
Old 03-21-2007, 07:28 AM   #9
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Re: My 13 year old daughter suffers with bad migraines

Hi Zach

No we don’t get a lot of sun – this IS the UK!! Our summers are very hit and miss. Last year when had a heatwave in July and we didn’t know what hit us. Then August was miserable! That’s how it goes. My eldest daughter suffers with heatstroke so its her that we have to keep out of the sun or make sure she is wearing a hat. Kirsty always wears a hat in the summer (and the winter) she is very much a girly-girl!

I know what you mean about people who don’t suffer with migraines just telling you to “take a paracetamol and have a lie down in a dark room” – yeah right! I feel so washed out with mine that even a day or so afterwards if I bent down I would still get a throbbing pain on one side of my head that made me feel quite nauseous. My head feels quite “tender” for days. The aura is the first thing that I notice. I get a blind spot in my vision that leads to big flashing lines and I can hardly see. I then get very tingly hands and arms and then the nausea hits. The aura goes as soon as the headache comes on but the tingling and nausea hang on for hours. I can remember driving once when a migraine came on. First the blind spot then the flashing lights, luckily I was close to home so got home quick but really scary if you are driving and a long way from home. Some people just don’t realise that there IS a difference between a headache and a migraine!!

I ended up in hospital eight years ago (when I was 28) with a TSI attack or a “mini stroke” as they called it. It followed a particularly bad migraine that lasted for three days (I was wearing sun glasses the whole time, couldn’t bear any light at all) but then my whole left side slumped and I couldn’t use it – hence the stroke part. It was only a very mini one but it did scare me. Apparently this happens a lot to women who are on the contraceptive pill (which I wasn’t) and it is more common in women than in men. I think people don’t realise that when you have a migraine it’s the blood vessels in your head enlarging and causing a build up of pressure and can be very scary.

I still get migraines on and off (last one being ten days ago and the one before that around 3 to 4 months ago). When they started when I was 16 I could get two a day sometimes, on particularly bad days. I guess you can grow out of them? Or they become less frequent?

Someone else mentioned food regarding Kirsty’s headaches – great idea too. So I am going to keep a food diary in conjunction with the diary and see how things add up in relation to her headaches and when she is getting them.

Its great to talk to someone who “knows” what you are really going through. Thank you for the support and yes I certainly will keep you posted.

Babe xx

 
Old 03-21-2007, 06:49 PM   #10
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Re: My 13 year old daughter suffers with bad migraines

babe 70: please have your daughter checked for an Arnold Chiari Malformation of the Brain. I have it. It causes many neurological symptoms: headaches, balance issues, memory, swallowing difficulties,neck pain, nausea,vertigo, numbness in the arms or legs...and so on. Someone with Chiari can exhibit many of these or just the headaches. it is OFTEN misdiagnosed as something else, because it is relatively rare. Some doctors miss it on the MRI if they aren't specifically LOOKING FOR IT. Please mention having your daughter tested for it by MRI. Pinkbuckeye NC, USA

 
Old 03-22-2007, 09:08 AM   #11
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Re: My 13 year old daughter suffers with bad migraines

Quote:
Originally Posted by pinkbuckeye View Post
babe 70: please have your daughter checked for an Arnold Chiari Malformation of the Brain. I have it. It causes many neurological symptoms: headaches, balance issues, memory, swallowing difficulties,neck pain, nausea,vertigo, numbness in the arms or legs...and so on. Someone with Chiari can exhibit many of these or just the headaches. it is OFTEN misdiagnosed as something else, because it is relatively rare. Some doctors miss it on the MRI if they aren't specifically LOOKING FOR IT. Please mention having your daughter tested for it by MRI. Pinkbuckeye NC, USA
Hi pinkbuckeye

Thank you so much for the tip. I spoke to my daughter when she got home from school and she said that she has a headache every day and even though they are not really painful they constantly ache (even though its always there I think she has learned to 'live with it'). I asked her where the ache was and she said her head and neck and over her eyes. She said that it feels like someone is thumping her in the back of the head. She does get migraines but not on a daily basis. I know when its a migraine as she will take to her bed and goes a horrible colour in her face - like the blood has drained from it. She said that she does get dizzy (I know that she has complained of dizziness before) and this has left her unsteady on her feet and she has fallen on occassions. She said sometimes she gets tingly hands and arms also and she feels very sick. I simply asked her about her symptoms and she ran off a list of things! She has always been clumsy but we put this down to the cholesteatoma. Like I said before, she did have epilepsy as a young child and I do worry about things like this coming back. The tingly hands and arms and nausea etc combined with a headache you would put down to classic migraine symptoms.

I am going to make an appointment with my GP and mention Arnold Chiari Malformation of the Brain to him. I will push for an MRI (I know she had one when she had epilepsy and a few EEGs but they probably wouldn't have picked this up, had she of had it, because they weren't looking for it?). We hae been back and forth to the GP with her headahes quite a few times now and I have had her eyes tested more than once. Trouble with the UK is that GPs are reluctant to refer you to a specialist. I had to really push mine before Kirsty was diagnosed with epilepsy - he told me that she had SAD! It goes without saying that we have now changed doctors!

How do you get on with Arnold Chiari Malformation of the Brain? Do you have type I, II or III? Is surgery an option for you? Sorry for the twenty questions but I have never heard of this before. Thank you for pointing it out.

I will keep you informed.

Babe xx

 
Old 03-22-2007, 10:29 AM   #12
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Re: My 13 year old daughter suffers with bad migraines

Hi Babe,

I'm sure you are aware of this but jsut in case, if she is getting a h/a every day is she taking any type of analgesic every day? Just wanted to mention MIH or 'rebound' headaches??

Zach

 
Old 03-22-2007, 11:27 AM   #13
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Re: My 13 year old daughter suffers with bad migraines

Hiya Zach

Kirsty does have a high pain threshold and so only takes analgesics for her migraines. I know only too well how dependancy on pain medication can actually worsen pain! I also used to get bad headaches with recurrent chronic tonsillitis and the more pain medication I took the more prolonged my pain would be! I know all about medication induced headaches - the withdrawal is just as bad! She doesn't take medication everyday only for her migraines, so she will feel some benefit from them. The daily headaches have almost become a fact of everyday life for her and she is just putting up with them. Obviously she knows that if it got too bad then she could come to me and I would give her something but I know how dependant people can become on pain relief.

Thanks again Zach. Hope you are keeping well yourself.

Babe xx

 
Old 04-07-2007, 01:17 PM   #14
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Re: My 13 year old daughter suffers with bad migraines

I too have been a long time sufferer of migraines. My doctor put me on depakote 6 weeks ago and I have done wonderful. Depakote is actually for epileptic seizures but is used also for migraines. Also does she use Maxalt for relieveing a migraine?

 
Old 04-07-2007, 08:23 PM   #15
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Re: My 13 year old daughter suffers with bad migraines

Dear Babe,

I had migrains around 13 also. I haven't had migrains for about a year now. I learned that drinking a lot of water helped me. I haven't really changed my diet though, so it didn't really have anything to do with eating certain kinds of foods (in my situation). To help those migrains when I did get them though I was prescribed Tylenol 3. It's very strong, but it really does help instead of forcing two regular asprins down. My doctor told me it had to do with hormones, too. I had to go in because mine got bad to where my parents thought I had a serious disease. So, first of all make sure she's keeping dehydrated.

Hope this helps somewhat.

-Kira

Last edited by kiraann17; 04-07-2007 at 09:22 PM.

 
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