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Nebraska, United States
A would-be stay at home mom working full-time as a teacher. I teach at my old Highschool, working side-by-side with my own teachers. I blog to keep the Texan grandparents updated and chronicle our life for future reference. (In other words, I don't have a real baby-book or diary.) Comments make my day. Thanks for stopping by! kimlepper at gmail.com

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Toddler Migraines

Yesterday from 6pm-on was a complete blur.  I was at Super Saver with Samantha and just as I was getting into line to check out she got a weird look on her face, said she didn't feel well, started to sweat profusely (in the middle of a very chilly supermarket), buried her head in my chest as she sat in the shopping cart and refused to open her eyes... for the next 10 hours.  I was scared as I knew what was coming- 6-8 hrs of puking and lots and lots of laundry while I sat around and waited for the horror of watching my child writhe in pain pass. But what was really scary, was that this was first time that she was able to articulate what was happening to her.

I called Jer as I drove the short distance home and he made a "nest" for her on the couch.  It's really sad that even though this has only happened 3 times in the past year, he still knew the drill: couch covered in towels, lots of rags handy, tupperware for the puke, all lights out and TV ready.  This time she requested an icepack too- for her face. 
She didn't move from this position for 8 hours

I sat with her the whole time, holding her hand, blowing on her sweaty head and asking her to tell me where it hurt.  She just insisted that it was her face.  As the night wore on she'd whisper "I love you mommy" and around 10pm after she puked she smiled under the icepack and whispered, "It's getting better mommy!"

Around 10 hours in I was getting worried as she still was not done puking.  When these episodes stop it's literally like a light is switched and she's bouncing off the walls, making up for lost time.  Finally at 5 am she woke up screaming and demanding yogurt (pretty typical these days) and opened her eyes.  As she did so she stopped, looked at me and squealed, "Mommy! I'm all better now!"  She proceeded to CHUG tons of water and wolf down some saltines (I was way too sleep deprived to fight the whole ease-into-food-and-drink routine) and she puked it alllll up.  This is where Jeremy took over.  He was able to nurse her stomach back to working capacity and allowed me to get some uninterrupted sleep.
When I woke up I talked to Sam about her headache.  I asked why she wouldn't open her eyes (the only question she wouldn't answer during the episode itself).  She stopped and furrowed her brow, "Everything was green.  My whole face was green.*" she said.

After reporting all of this to our amazing nurse practitioner, Kathy Carter, she confirmed my suspicions- classic migraines.  Not too surprising, though, as I grew up with my dad puking from migraines and I still get some now and again that will block out my vision for a few hours. What really made my stomach churn was realizing that my poor baby has been experiencing migrains since she was tree-months-old.

I was quite relieved when she told me there was no need to schedule any MRI or further testing since the migraines only happen very rarely now and she's perfectly fine in between them. The next step is to see if we can curb the nausea during the migraines with some zofran which would allow her to keep down some Ibuprofen for the pain and loooots of Gatorade to keep her hydrated.  (Sam has a bladder the size of a walnut.  If she drinks a tsp of water, a 1/4 cup will come out.  She's ALWAYS peeing.  During the migraine she didn't pee for 9 hours despite us allowing her to sip some fluids).

Anyway, she's pretty excited to drink "Daddy's sick-juice" (Gatorade) the next time she has a migraine. She tried the whole "my head hurts" routine to get some today, but she couldn't keep a straight face and I was able to trick her into opening her eyes while she was playing sick.

So, I'm glad we have some answers now, something to do when another one comes around again and a child with the ability to communicate when a migraine is coming.  Now to figure out the trigger...**

*Kathy said she's getting an "aura" before her migraines
**Current theory is sinus infections.  That's the only constant that we can think of that she's had every time she's gotten a migraine- at least a week of heavy duty sinus gunk

5 comments:

Melissa K. said...

Wow. What a discovery.
So tell me, do you think that dairy was precipitating the migraines when she was younger?

Kim said...

oh, Melissa, you know how it goes- you try and fit things into the way you think it makes sense but you really have no idea! Honestly, I think it did have something to do it with- but not how I thought. I think the high amounts of dairy result in sinus issues (I've noticed this in myself) and the sinus pressure is a trigger. does that make sense?

Kate said...

Wow, Kim! I so feel for Sam and for you! I'm glad she bounces back but how exhausting and heart-wrenching that must be...

Julie said...

Oh I'm sorry Sam has to go through this (and you too). I hope you get some answers and can eliminate them soon. How miserable.

Carol said...

Wow! I'm so glad that you have some answers now. What a great mom you are to be with her through all that!

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