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Living with Migraine

At the end of my rope caring for my teen daughter and her migraines

  • By Anonymous

    I just need someone to talk to, I feel so alone in all of this. My daughter, now 16, has always had headaches and migraines, but starting a few years ago these escalated into full-blown migraines. Last year she missed, besides the random days, one 3-week period of school, followed by many appointments with doctors and health care professionals, etc. etc. etc. She was on Topomax for about 8 months which seemed to get the migraines under control. It looks like we are in the midst of another bad episode, day 8 of her feeling miserable, in bed, not in school. I’m not proud of blowing it this morning, said some things I regret. I just don’t know what to do, should I make her get up and try to go to school, should I start calling doctors again, have her get back on Topomax? I just want someone else to take care of this for a while, I feel like I’m failing her because I haven’t been able to fix it for her.

    How will she be able to finish High School, go to college, go on the school trip next summer that she has been looking forward to? Live the life she wants to live?

  • By heartbrokenmom

    I wish there were an answer. I’m in the same boat. My son is 15, a freshman and only made it to 3 days of school in December and none in January so far. He hasn’t been able to keep up with any of his school work for about 3 months and missed his semester exams. We have a tutor and an IEP plan, but the migraines prevent him from focusing on the minimal of tasks. I don’t know what to do. He’s down to only 2 classes and can’t keep up with that work.

  • By Katie M. Golden Moderator

    It pains me to hear how much your children are suffering. There are no easy answers and I can’t imagine the burden you must feel.

    It sounds like both of you have worked out special arrangements with the school, but here are some helpful forms and information on working with the teachers:

    You may also want to visit this forum, started by our writer Tammy Rome who has had quite a lot of experience in this department:

    I hope some of this helps. Sadly, managing Migraines at this level can be very complicated and take a lot of trial and error. I wish you the best of luck!
    -Katie Moderator

  • By sconesail


    I’m so sorry to hear that you and your daughter are having such a rough time. I got my first migraine at age 12 and they became chronic at age 17.

    I was at boarding school at the time. Fortunately, everyone there was extremely understanding. They allowed me to make up missed work and were lenient with attendance. However, many said, “Do the work when you can. These may go away.” Their support was wonderful. I missed five weeks of school my junior year and 6 weeks my senior year. I saw numerous doctors and it took quite a while to figure out what worked. I went to the Diamond Headache clinic during that time. The doctors there told me that I would never graduate high school and would certainly not be able to attend college. I did both.

    It sounds like both of you are doing all you can for your children. I would definitely look into a disability qualification. I know the whole situation is frustrating for everyone. There is no quick fix, However, I know that they will make it.

    Good luck.

  • By Anonymous

    Your kid must be strong. I know when my migraines started to get bad in high school I had the same stress of not being able to live my life. It was sad and I was so tired of the pain and the worry about getting the next one. I developed a lot of anxiety and depression stemming from the frustrations of my migraines. It got to the point where one doctor told me that some people just get them and don’t know why and can’t do anything about them.

    I almost attempted to put myself out of my misery once but instead I called my brother to help me. I’m 22 now but it’s been about ten years since I started getting them and I haven’t found any medicine that helps them yet. If I were you I would encourage your child to talk to others with migraines. I found this website very helpful to help myself find strength in dealing with this. It gets very sad and frustrating at times but you have to just keep trying and embrace the days that things aren’t so bad. That’s what gets me through the rough patches. Hope this helps.

  • By Shaylie

    I am in high school and I have migraines. I have missed a lot of school, but not as much as your daughter, so I at least know a little what it’s like to be way behind and stressed and having migraines all at the same time. My mom and I talked to my counselor, principal, and all of my teachers individually. We explained the whole situation and that we are trying to treat the migraines and that it is one of our highest priorities right now. Some of my teachers were really kind and understanding and are willing to give me extra time to do some assignments. Some of them, though, were a little less helpful, and won’t give us much wiggle room, but it’s better than no help.
    I am about to graduate, so we went to a few colleges that I was looking into and talked to the student health centers. If your daughter has the chance to visit any colleges, I would go with her and explain her situation to the student health clinic and ask them about their treatment options in case of a migraine attack. Some places will have the “migraine cocktail,” but some places won’t have that option. I would make sure you look at treatment and healthcare as a top priority when looking at colleges. Also, if your daughter has been officially diagnosed with migraines, you can talk to the student disability people, and they will do what they can to help you and your daughter.
    Good luck with your daughter. Hang in there!