My Migraine Story: A Lifetime Dance and Suffering!

When my son was 1.5 years old, he came into the bathroom and saw me puking from my migraine. He leaned over his potty training toilet, spit in it and said,” Mommy, I throw up too, just like you.” Little did I know that soon my son would suffer from the same monster I had suffered with for most of my life, migraines.
I had my first migraine on my 13th birthday. I had an aura that completely made my right side paralyzed. I knocked over my cup and because I couldn’t talk, I couldn’t tell my mom what was going on. I was soon diagnosed with migraines.

My slow dance with migraine

This started my personal dance with migraines. My father had “headaches”, but besides that no one in my family had migraines. It became my personal struggle. I learned how to sleep in cars when my family was doing something fun, and I didn’t want to ruin everyone’s day. I learned to take my own meds in the middle of the night and spent many nights and days on the bathroom floor by myself.
As I got older, it became my battle not to let my migraines win. As a teacher, I didn’t want to let my class down, so I taught many days when I could barely stand up. I would push myself and then come home to my bathroom floor. I didn’t talk about migraines much because the pain was mine and it was personal because I got tired of talking about migraine pain with people who didn’t understand.

Becoming a parent of a child with a migraine diagnosis

When I was 29, my husband and I were thrilled to welcome our son after two IVF treatments. Secretly, I was thrilled that I was having a boy because I thought he would never have to worry about migraines.
When he was eight years old, my son woke up and said his right arm was numb. He started talking gibberish and my heart stopped. My son was having his first migraine with aura. My migraines impacted my life in so many ways, but the worst thing my migraine did was pass to my son. He is now 16 and he has had hemiplegic migraines for half his life. Watching him suffer with pain and the ups and downs of trying new medicine that never works is the worst. It is a blessing that I know what he is going through, so I can advocate for him at school and with his doctor but in the dark moments, I feel tremendous guilt and wonder if this gene will be passed on to my grandchildren. I continue to pray for new understandings and research for both our sakes.
My migraine dance continues, now I realize I need to talk about my migraines, take care of myself and show my son he is not alone.

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