Migraines and Motherhood- Is It My Fault Again?

Nancy Harris Bonk Health Guide
  • Last Sunday, we celebrated Mother's Day, and I have to tell you it was lovely. My children (teens really) planned a great dinner at a very cool restaurant with some good friends. We ate foods that were prepared in ways we've never had before and really enjoyed it. It was wonderful to see my daughter and son laugh have fun in a relaxed, happy atmosphere. They even got me a lovely pair of earrings!


    When I got home, I started to think about my beautiful children and what life has in store for them. My daughter is a composed, bright, compassionate, talented young woman. Her artwork is truly special; a painting and two of her photographs were selected by professors at her college to be in the end-of-the-year student art show. There are times when I'm not sure she knows the scope of her talent. But she's had a rough go of it. Nothing seems to come easy, and she works very hard. And she has Migraine disease. Her Migraines center mainly around her menstrual cycle, but under the right - maybe better said wrong - circumstances, such as not enough sleep, or not drinking enough water, she may get a Migraine attack. Take a look at what's the role of hormones in triggering Migraine. In fact, during her freshman year, she went to the ER for the first time to be treated for a Migraine.

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    My son is a percussionist, plays football, and throws shot-put and discus for the school track team. He is a muscular guy, but quite soft on the inside. But he too, has Migraine disease. He has to be extra careful when he is participating in sports, making sure he stays hydrated and not eating too much chocolate because, for him, chocolate triggers a Migraine. His sleep schedule is important too. If he doesn't get enough he will most certainly suffer the consequences of an attack. I found this out by keeping a Migraine diary for him. He was too young at the time to due it accurately himself. He clearly has more triggers than my daughter does. How will Migraines impact my "babies" during their lives? How has my contributing genes affecting their lives affected me?


    Typically, if one parent has Migraine disease there is a 50% that their children will get it, if both parents have Migraines, the risk goes up to 75%. I guess there must be Migraine on their father's side we aren't aware of. At any rate, both my children have Migraines. Most of the time, I truly understand that it is not my "fault" because I have no control over my gene pool or what I pass down to my children. This is my rational side talking, the side that understands that diseases and conditions get passed down from parent to child. But does it make me feel better about it? Not really. But I guess here's the thing, there is absolutely nothing I can do to change the fact that my children have Migraine disease. I will not torture myself about the why's, or feel guilty that they "got it from me,"" rather, I will help them learn all they can about Migraine disease and how to be a good partner in their own health care.


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    Be well,





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    © The HealthCentral Network, 2010.

    Last updated May 19, 2010.

Published On: May 19, 2010