I had my first migraine around age 8. I would come home from school with all the typical symptoms, intense headache, sensitivity to light and noise, and nausea. My mother didn't recognize them as migraines. She called them "hunger headaches" and assumed they would go away as soon as I ate dinner. As soon as I got home from school, I would climb into my bed and hide from the light. I closed my window shades, and stuck my head under my pillow. I was totally nauseated, so the though of eating dinner was totally gross. I never took any medication that I can remember, and usually after sleeping all night the headache would be gone. My mother just didn't realize how serious my headaches.
I finally started getting treatment at age 13. By then, I was getting jabbing pains in my head, like someone was stabbing me with an ice pick. The muscles connecting from my neck into my skull began to knot up into hard little bumps. This was always a pre-curser to a migraine starting. I was originally treated with Flexeril (a muscle relaxer) and Fiorinol w/codeine (a pain killer). This worked for several years, up until the middle of college.
It's now been 33 years of migraines, and they are now out of control. I've been searching out specialists for the past couple of years, and I've been referred to another specialist, who is a neurologist who concentrates on migraines. He works at the University of Virginia Medical Center, where I've been seen by a pain specialist. I've been through every medication used for migraines, and have gotten to the point where only narcotics will truly take away the pain. This is not a popular method with doctors, which is why I continue to search for answers.
My advise would be to see if your daughter can be put on some kind of preventative medication. Many choices are out there, but I'm not sure what can be used on someone that young. Please stay on top of the doctors, and if they aren't doing an adequate job of managing her migraines, look for another specialist.
Best of luck and let us know how things go.
I took Topamax for several months, and it never did anything to prevent my migraines. However, I had major side effects from it. My brain virtually turned to mush. I couldn't finish a thought or a sentence. I couldn't think of simple words when I was trying to talk. If it were my child, I would absolutely not put her on it. There are many other preventatives that I would try before Topamax. Maxalt works for some people, but it didn't work for me. I hope you can find answers soon, and save your daughter from a lifetime of misery.
There is very mixed views out there on Topomax from what I have heard and read! It is a medication that I was very nervous about taking, but did go on at the recommendation of my doc. It is something that only you and your doctor can decide what is best for your child. I did have side effects with it, but they seem to be gradually going away as time goes on. I haven't been on it for that long, so I am to new to this medication to speak as to the effectiveness of it.
In your post you said that your doctor hasn't treated someone this young with a case of migraines this bad, you may want to try finding a doctor who specializes in headaches or a clinic who specializes in them (it may give you a little more help). I'm not sure where you live, I go to one and there are several others who post that see them..
Best wishes to you and your daughter. Any questions, just ask!!
Post Edited (mommyto3) : 11/29/2006 6:34:28 AM (GMT-7)
Glad you are getting some input from some good people. Most people that are living with migraines have all done a lot of research, which saves "newbies" time in researching the condition. I, too, have gotten a referral to a migraine specialist. When you find one, be prepared to wait to the them. The earliest appointment available for my new Neurologist is MARCH 7th!!!
I looked last night and didn't come up with a whole lot in your area. I found one website that lists a few, but they do not specify if they treat children. Go to helpforheadaches.com (hope I can post this here). Then click on the doctors/clinics link and it will bring up the regions and go from there. If you want, just give them a call and see if they work with children if you think they might be a match for you. Even if they don't another thing you could do is ask them if they know of anyone who does, they may be able to give you some names of who does.
I have been pretty lucky with my specialist in getting in, so hopefully they vary by state/specialist clinic as to the wait (Leigh Ann that really stinks that your wait is that long, I can't even imagine).
This is just my experience, and I hope it helps some. Take care!