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Teenage Mutant Ninja Migraine

My 15 yo daughter is a very athletic, sporty type, and basketball, cross country running and martial arts are her favorites. After a few “classic” migraines that resolved within a few hours, she developed a migraine in July 2010 that has not stopped yet. You read that correctly – so far, she has had this migraine, complete with nausea/vomiting and sensitivity to light and sound, for more than 16 months.

We’ve been to a parade of physicians, chiropractors, physical therapists, dentists and even naturopathic doctors. At one point, when she had been an in-patient at Riley Hospital for Children, a neurologist who had never laid eyes on her before examined her for less than five minutes and said, “There’s really nothing left for you but psychiatry.” We picked ourselves up from that devastating comment and found our way to the Diamond Headache Clinic in Chicago, where a radical change in meds helped reduce some of her pain but produced terrible side effects, including not sleeping. Not “trouble” sleeping, but NO SLEEP.

So right now we are changing meds again and my vibrant, glowing teen cannot make it through a full day of school, much less participate in the sports she loves, and cries in pain every single day. She is so brave in the face of all of this and we continue to look for help in hopes that one day soon she will not have pain.

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  • Sarah Joy Stegeman
    7 years ago

    I like to take a flexible ice pack and tie it to my head with a scarf. It doesn’t stop the migraine, but it usually numbs it enough that I’m not so miserable.

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