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Mumsnetters aren't necessarily qualified to help if your child is unwell. If you have any serious medical concerns, we would urge you to consult your GP.

Anyone else's child suffer from migraines?

(18 Posts)
Pleaseputyourshoeson Mon 13-Jul-15 19:53:52

My 9 year old son has had four or so in the past six months and probably half a dozen in the year. Tonights was the first that led him to vomit everywhere before piling into bed in the dark for a big sleep. He has been twice to hospital with them as the first couple of times he seemed to have symptoms of meningitis or something because he gets light sensitive and the first one made him scream if you tried to move him at all and the headache is intense. Each time the hospital has diagnosed migraine.
I am just wondering how common this is as when he has had them or I tell people he has migraine (like tonight when i rushed to get him home from a play date because he was sweating and clammy with the headache and nausea) I feel as if people don't believe me? He asked twice to go to the medical room at school today but the teacher wouldn't let him? It makes me cross as he would have been so much better off if we could've caught the start of the headache early with analgesics. But by the time I got to him he was hours into it hence the vomiting. All I've been advised to do is give him Calpol and let him sleep it off each time. Is there anything else I can do? I've found a cool flannel helps but that's about it. I suffer from them and have done since a teenager and my family do too. But this seems so young? Is it? I am planning to take him back to see the GP as it just feels wrong for such a usually lively boy to suffer from them? Interested in hearing your experience if your child has them. Thanks.

caravanista13 Mon 13-Jul-15 20:00:34

My son was diagnosed with migraines at the same age (and with hindsight had been having them for several years before that). He was incapacitated for 24 hours each time and also had hemi plegia. After a particularly frightening episode our GP referred us to a specialist clinic for children. This was 20 years ago, so although there wasn't much they could offer I think things will have moved on a lot since then. It did mean though that school took it very seriously. The good news is that he eventually outgrew it in his late teens and very rarely has episodes now.

AccordingToOurRecords Mon 13-Jul-15 20:01:21

I feel for you OP, the poor little fella. DS1 had a bad time for a couple of years then they just stopped. DS3 was diagnosed with confusional Migraine ( very frightening indeed, similar symptoms to a stroke ), I made a list of symptoms and gave it in at school with strict instructions to phone me if he complained of any of them. Sleeping it off in a darkened room with paracetamol / Calpol is the best the hospital could advise. Complete silence works for DS too. He hasn't had an attack for a while so fingers crossed. I really hope he grows out of them.

BlackSwan Mon 13-Jul-15 20:01:36

Has he had an MRI? Has he seen an ophthalmologist?

www.headsmart.org.uk/home/ I would be keen to rule out the nasty stuff (having been there myself).

Pleaseputyourshoeson Mon 13-Jul-15 20:42:46

Thanks. Good to hear that they might just be a passing phase. Mine have lasted a lifetime but have got less frequent now I'm older and I've spent many a time lying on a cold kitchen tiled floor or the roadside wet gutter unable to drive my car etc, or puking my guts in a&e with them so I really feel for him. But I was 14 or something when they started. It does seem to be that sleep and darkness with a hit of calpol is the best thing. When they took him to A&E twice with it I kept thinking how cruel it seemed to have him sitting on my lap on a plastic chair for hours under that hideous strobe lighting but knew if there was something worse going on and I'd insisted on keeping him in the dark in bed that I'd never forgive myself.
I've looked at headsmart and really beyond the headaches he doesn't have any other symptoms and the headache isn't weekly, more like monthly. So I guess it's just one of those things. Just horrid to see him totally having to submit to it. Ordinarily getting him to go to bed or lie down etc is impossible. Even if he's sick with flu I have to battle to make him stay lying on the sofa etc. But with this he puts himself to bed. He just walks straight in the door straight upstairs and pulls the curtains shut.

ouryve Mon 13-Jul-15 20:45:40

Both of mine do and both had a big surge in them around their 8th birthdays. And both triggered by cheese and chocolate, though DS1 is also triggered by heat and tiredness.

openthecurtains Mon 13-Jul-15 21:51:30

My youngest started with migraines at 3 years. She was 4 by the time I took her to the doc to get a formal diagnosis. The GP agreed with me that it was absolutely textbook migraine. No-one believes me if I say she gets migraines, they always say "how on earth could you possibly tell when she's only 4?" Anyone could tell if they saw her have one, it's so obvious. Migraines run in the family and I started them about the same age.

I got a letter from the GP for school and anytime I have to put medical stuff on a school form I always write that the migraines have been confirmed by her GP to try to prevent disbelief. The letter is a huge help as it states she should not be excluded for the usual d&v 48hrs if she has vomited from migraine.

Didn't the doctor advise keeping a diary of the 24 hours prior to a migraine? You write down everything he did, ate, etc to try to spot triggers. For me, finding a trigger made it all a hundred times easier. Knowing my trigger hugely reduces the number of migraines I get. It's really worth doing the diary each time he has one, with all the detail you can manage til you start to spot common factors.

If you've only been seen at A&E, then I suggest seeing your GP to discuss it more calmly and get better advice on management. There are drugs available for his age group but obviously you have to decide if that's needed. I was told DD could have meds when she turns five but they would be a daily preventative and at present her migraines aren't frequent enough to justify that to me, although the GP is willing to prescribe. There is usually one GP in a practice who is more clued up on migraine than the rest, try to find out who that is in your practice and book an appt with them.

AgnesDiPesto Mon 13-Jul-15 22:53:13

My 11 year old son has had 2 but am waiting to see if he has any more before going to GP

Bright sunlight can often be a trigger (it is for me anyway) so I have to wear wrap round sunglasses and a hat if its sunny. I often feel totally wiped out the day afterwards so watch for that too.

When I was a teenager the GP prescribed paramax powder - i don't know if they still make that but it was really good and helped with nausea

Pleaseputyourshoeson Mon 13-Jul-15 23:01:05

Thanks, Im definitely going to go back to our GP. The GP agrees with the migraine diagnosis and had said to wait and see if they would re-ocurr before looking into them more but since then he's had enough now that I will go back. I know she will be helpful. I will see if she can write a letter for school to confirm that he gets them and to allow him to go back in if he's been sick from them as I know irritatingly they won't let him back for two days now despite the fact he doesn't have any kind of bug. He's been back downstairs looking a bit 'wiped out and grey' for half an hour after waking after a good 3 hour kip but the headache has subsided after the sleep and he doesn't feel sick any more and just wanted a closed eye bit of cradled cuddling with me on the sofa before going back to bed for the night. But he'll be right as rain I think come morning. But he will have to stay off because school will think I'm trying to send a child with a bug in because I am a working parent and will think I'm trying to avoid taking a day off. I can't not tell them as he was sick all over his friends kitchen and they will tell even if my son doesn't. Its the disbelief that I find irritating when I explain he has a migraine - staff and friends look at me like I'm over protective and exaggerating his illness when its not the case at all because they don't recognise that its possible to have them as a child. Hence today despite asking three times to go to the medical room the teacher told him to carry on in PE. Between PE and after school football club I should think if he had one brewing the exercise would have made sure the migraine hit full blast. I just wish the school had rung me so I could've got some calpol into him earlier and got him in some quiet quicker.

RainbowFlutterby Mon 13-Jul-15 23:01:38

Friend's daughter's migraines were triggered by aspartame - the sugar free stuff. Could be worth eliminating one thing at a time to see if something works? A friend of aforementioned friend had to eliminate bananas!

MadAngryGnome Mon 13-Jul-15 23:06:09

If it helps OP I had migraines as a child with aura and vomiting, dark room needed etc. I know stress is a trigger (and was then too) but I've only actually ever had one as an adult. Hopefully the same goes for your DS.

cestlavielife Tue 14-Jul-15 23:38:27

Keep a headache diary for next few weeks note anything eaten etc . Download from here www.gosh.nhs.uk/medical-information/clinical-specialties/neurology-information-parents-and-visitors/clinics-and-wards/headache-clinic
Get referral to paed headache clinic.
Dd is on preventive meds for migraine.

StarOnTheTree Tue 14-Jul-15 23:57:10

DD1 (18) has had migraines since she was 6 and DD2 (15) was 8 when hers started. It's very obvious when a child has a migraine rather than a headache. DD3 (8) is showing signs (headaches on one side of the forehead) but hasn't had a full blown migraine yet. DD2 is the quickest to start vomiting each time she has one sad

I suffered from severe and frequent migraines until the menopause started I guess that makes up for the night sweats and hot flushes hmm

Lonecatwithkitten Wed 15-Jul-15 18:19:47

DD's migraines started when she was 7 and she started preventative mess at 8 (pizotifen). School were not great until she projectile vomited without warning over a teacher, then they began to take it seriously. We have a school care plan for how to manage her and I have only needed to take her home from school once in the last year.
Stress, dehydration and heat are her main triggers.

LynetteScavo Wed 15-Jul-15 18:41:47

DS (12) get migraines and GP has been pretty useless.

So we give him Calpol and put him in a dark room with a cold flannel ASAP. He's usually sick, but can wKe up a couple if hours later and us perfectly fine.

I can now see they're more frequent if he's over tired and his blood sugar levels go up and down - so school trips etc are triggers, but he's learning to eat healthy foods little and often, keep hydrated and not stay up too late.

I'm hoping he grows out of them, as they could affect his career opportunities.

Primary school were rubbish, but high school know to send him home as soon as he says his head hurts. Unfortunately I'm 45mins away, so he usually voms just as he's getting in to the car.

Tequilashotfor1 Wed 15-Jul-15 18:55:27

open I'm sure my friends son has them but her gp won't diagnose it. He is 4. He has regular bouts of bad head pain and vomiting but they say he is fine hmm I'll mention what u have posted

Lonecatwithkitten Wed 15-Jul-15 19:39:13

Lynette go back and see a different one the first we saw was rubbish the second was fabulous. The NICE guidelines are more than 2-3 per month should be medicated.

Clara66 Sat 18-Jul-15 14:54:47

My dd has suffered with migraines for the past 7 years (she's 17 now), including hemiplegic and severe vomitting. A year ago she was getting them weekly and missing so much school and had tried various medications via the paediatrician, but nothing seemed to help. In desperation we visited the national migraine centre in London - you pay (not cheap)as it's run as a charity - with doctors who specialise in headaches/migraine. They were fabulous and said that dd was probably suffering from medication overuse headache so they helped her withdraw from her prescribed medication and, after a nightmare week or so of withdrawal, she has only had one migraine in the last 7 months. They will also support you to find triggers and work out the best medication for you. My dd's nhs paediatrician really didn't have a clue, but unfortunately there were no migraine specialists for children near us.

Anyway, that's probably not relevant to such little ones with migraine, but if anyone does struggle to get the support they need, then do bear the national migraine centre in mind, I just wish we'd approached them earlier.

However do look at The Miraine Trust website which gives you information about migraines in school, etc. we found it very useful.

Good luck.

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