I’d like to introduce you to one of my favorite Migraine patients. Reni is my three-year old granddaughter. Born into a family full of Migraine patients, Reni joined our ranks almost immediately. Her first year was filled with the daily, inconsolable screams of infant colic followed by the appearance of Migraine before her second birthday.
Treatment options for little ones like Reni are limited. There are no FDA-approved Migraine treatments for children under 6 years old. Fortunately her attacks are not frequent or debilitating. Acute treatment with ibuprofen (Children’s Motrin) and diphenhydramine (Children’s Benadryl) has been sufficient up to this point. As with all Migraine patients, identifying triggers, maintaining healthy sleep habits, getting daily exercise, eating regular nutritious meals, and adequate hydration are essential. In Reni’s case, her parents monitor and maintain these important factors.
Fortunately, Reni’s attacks are infrequent and she’s learned from her granny how to respond. Reni has learned that getting over-heated is a trigger. She is learning to regulate her activity by taking breaks when she feels too hot. She also has her own ice packs and isn’t shy about helping herself to them when needed. When a Migraine attack does start, she knows exactly what to do. She’s not intimidated to ask for help, either. Untouched by stigma, her Migraine-positive attitude radiates a confidence to be envied.
Reni sleeps over at my house frequently. Naturally, we spend a lot of time immersed in children’s entertainment that is packed with life lessons for young and old. It didn’t take long for me to recognize that many of these lessons could apply to life with Migraine. Reni and I would like to share our discoveries with you. It is our hope that you will be inspired, too.
Reni’s Migraine tip
Our first tip is inspired by the 2016 Disney film, Zootopia. Gazelle, played by pop singer Shakira, sings a catchy theme song, “Try Everything,” that encourages everyone to keep trying, even if they might fail. It’s a positive message that everyone living with Migraine needs to hear. Finding the right treatment may require months, even years, of trial and error. When you are faced with repeated treatment failures, it’s easy to get discouraged. Like the lead character, Judy Hops, you may give up and retreat to the comfort of familiar surroundings. Fortunately, it’s never too late to try again. After all, you never know: The next treatment might be the one that works.
Let’s listen to Gazelle and try everything. If little Reni can do it, you can too.
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Headache disorders counselor and advocate Tammy Rome maintains a private practice specializing in treating clients with Migraine and other headache disorders. She also volunteers as vice chair of the American Headache and Migraine Association and as president of The Cluster Headache Support Group. You can read more of Tammy’s work on her website and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Google+.