My son has suffered migraines since he was at least two years old.
I would regularly get phone calls from daycare to pick him up because he was sick again. We did not know what was happening. We thought that he was getting gastroenteritis, aka “the stomach flu.” Then my sister observed that when we celebrated holidays with extended family or friends – every Christmas, every Thanksgiving, every Easter, every birthday party – he would get sick, that he was over-stimulated and overwhelmed.
He still struggles. He still gets debilitating migraine headaches that land him in bed. Now, though, as a teenager, he can tell us whether his illness is gastroenteritis or migraines.
He can tell the difference. He knows what he needs to recuperate from a migraine – usually sleep in a dark air-conditioned room, with a cool damp cloth over his eyes, sometimes ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
Migraines are still much of a mystery. We have much to learn.
Previously Published on kittomalley.com