My Secret: Exploring pain with child migraine sufferers
I was just six years old when I started having migraine attacks. It was scary for me and for my parents. My dad and his mother were both migraineurs, but no one in my family knew a kid could get migraines. They were afraid something horrible was wrong with me. After testing and examinations I received my migraine diagnosis.
For better or worse, being sick most of my life has defined me. Even though I'm a thirty something who has accomplished things I'm very proud of, part of me is still that little girl who didn't understand why I was suffering with so much pain and sickness and was searching for a way to make sense of it. My answer was that I must have done something to deserve the disease. After all, not very many kids are sick like that. So I must have done something to bring it on, right? Well, wrong. Obviously. But I never shared this idea with my parents and they never knew I felt that way. We didn't know how to talk about what I was going through. We didn't have the words then, but as an adult who is passionate about helping other migraineurs, especially children, I'm so thrilled to be able to point all you parents and grandparents of child migraineurs to a wonderful resource written by one of the most awesome migraineurs I know.
Gretchen Rautman, who blogs at There Be Migraines Here, is truly a life-long migraineur. Her attacks are thought to have started when she was just an infant, if you can possibly imagine how awful that would be both for the child herself and her parents. As a way to help kids who are living with migraine disease Gretchen wrote a children's book called My Secret about living with pain.
I love that this book gives kids information about their pain and tells them it isn't their fault. That it's not their fault is something that seems so obvious to us as adults, but it's not obvious to a child. Children have a way of making everything about them. You hear that so often about divorce, and it's true of physical illness, too.
Gretchen is donating all her proceeds from the book to the Migraine Research Foundation, so you're not only helping your child directly, you're also helping the entire migraine community when you purchase her book. I hope it will be the catalyst for some important discussions with your children or other child migraineurs in your life about living with pain.
You can download the book in eBook format or order a paper copy: My Secret by Gretchen Rautman.
Can you tell when a migraine attack is coming?