Saturday, June 2, 2012

Two for Tea (Day 2)

If I were able to invite any person with whom to have tea and truly get them to understand Migraine, I would not choose somebody famous or who I know personally. There are enough talking heads out there already. Instead, I would like to have tea (chai,  please) with the faceless parent of a child suffering with Migraine. This is because I've been on the Other Side, as the suffering child.

I'd want to help the parent understand what their child is going through. It's scary to be a chronic kid, and having an invisible condition such as migraine is even harder, because there's nothing to "prove" that there's something wrong. I thought pain was the standard in life, because I've had migraine all my life. However, for the parent to see their child suffering is hard. I understand that the parent wants to help their child; this is practically a given, but what is not a given is how best to help said child.

The onus lies on the child to be their own advocate, with increasing responsibility as they grow up. The parent can hold the chronic kid's hand, but in the end, only the child can be responsible, as they are truly the only one who knows exactly what is happening with their body. Charting from an early age is important. For the very little kid, they could mark each good day with a sticker, but remember to give the child  a different sticker as an award for surviving a bad day as well.

I would strongly urge the parent to keep a sharp eye on the painkillers that their child takes, and how often. I unfortunately believed that as long as I only took the recommended doses of OTC painkillers, I was fine. Well, I wasn't. I developed rebound migraines to acetaminophen, aspirin, and ibuprofen, as I now get migraines from them.  My mom was unaware how much I was taking, and I didn't know that I was doing anything bad, just treating the pain as it came. And now I can't take any of the three.

Another very important thing that the parent and child equally need to take to heart is that the migraines are not their fault. Migraine is a disease, and while it can be treated, and occasionally outgrown, they have done nothing wrong. It's just a fact of life.

Therefore the chronic kid and  parent need to work as a team to treat the pain, and deal with the frustration, fear, and uncertainty that the migraine pain brings. 

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