Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Am I Causing My Daughter's Headaches?

Last week, we took Alise to see a local pediatric neurologist for her migraine headaches. Her first visit was about three years ago and after consulting with Dr. P, we decided to treat the headaches as more or less a food allergy and took her off cokes, tea, hot dogs, other processed meats, and pizza.  Well, that didn't work.  As Alise has grown over the last few years, we've finally determined that lack of sleep or exhaustion is her trigger.  Anytime her sleep pattern is messed up, that day, or even a few days later, she has a migraine, has to throw up, and sleep it off. This has become routine for us and her, too.  Nothing breaks my heart more than to see my child laying in bed with a cool wash cloth on her forehead, writhing in pain and crying, "Mommy, please make it stop!  Make it go away!"

For the first two months of this year, Alise has had four migraine headaches. She also hasn't been sleeping well. She's been waking up in the middle of the night after about four or five hours, and can't go back to sleep.  I was even giving her melatonin and that wasn't helping.  So I knew it was time for another visit with Dr. P.

After the examination, Dr. P. said Alise was normal {oh, really?} and healthy. Then he proceeded to ask her a series of questions: Alise, what's going on at school?  Are you having any problems?  Is anyone bullying you?  Has something happened to cause you stress?

Alise's answer to all these questions was, no, yet I couldn't help thinking, Oh my goodness!  What if I'm contributing to my daughter's headaches?  What if I'm the reason she has them?  Am I putting her under too much pressure with my expectations of her grades and school in general?  Am I the one stressing her out?  What if I'm to blame? 

My gut tells me I'm not to blame.  Alise never acts like she's stressed out at home.  We study {and study and study} and then she has her freedom to play with Jack or use her ipad {unless she's grounded from it}.  We may ask her from time to time to fold a load of clothes or unload the dishwasher {to which you would have thought we asked her to move mountains}, but she really doesn't have any "chores."  But then I remember what Ms. O said at our parent/teacher conference back in January about Alise second guessing herself on tests and asking her teacher if she had the right answer.  Is that a sign of stress?

My head and my heart tell me that it's her aim to please.  She doesn't necessarily want to be "perfect" - she has a little OCD - but she wants to please Wayne and I. Especially me. And I feel so guilty about this. So guilty. 

My concern is that the migraines will begin to really effect her school work and extra-curricular activities.  They already have.  She missed a few softball practices last year because of headaches.  She loves cheering and I don't know how in the world she's going to make it through a football game, in Louisiana, in August, outside in 110% heat and humidity.  So I worry.

The good news is that Dr. P gave us a nasal spray - of all things - for Alise to use as soon as she feels a headache coming on.  He also prescribed something to help her relax and sleep when she has a big test or something important going on at school the next day.  So now I feel guilty about having to drug my kid, so she will sleep, so she won't get a headache the next day at school.

Being a mother is so hard.  And being a "helicopter mom" is so exhausting. There.  I've said it.  I hover.  I expect. But it's because I'm scared.  I'm scared of losing her.  I'm scared of her going off the deep end and taking me with her! Ha!  I say that I don't want her to be perfect - I know she's not perfect - but maybe my actions prove that I really do want her to be perfect. But where do you draw the line? You hear all the time about parents who aren't involved in their kids' lives turn to drugs and all the other nasty stuff in the world.  Where's the line?

A special thank you to my friend, Renee, for sharing her own daughter's experience with me.

Do you not know?  Have you not heard?  The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.  He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.  He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.  Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength.  They will sour on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. - Isaiah 40:28-31
  
                                                    Thoughts for Thursday

11 comments:

  1. You're so welcome. Please know I'm praying for Alise and you too. You're right - it is difficult to know where is the line. As a mom, you just love and want the best for your daughter. The verse you posted is perfect - "He will NOT grow tired or weary" - Amen! Amen!

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    1. Thank you, Renee, for your prayers. No, the Lord will not grow weary, but this poor Moma is worn out!

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  2. We need to "talk"!!! As you know Katie suffered from them terribly. We heard and did everything you are doing. We were convinced and told it COULD NOT POSSIBLY be food. Boy were they and we WRONG!! Yes, there are other factors...stress, lack of sleep, dehydration that can bring them on. Who knew that a food reaction could trigger one 3 WHOLE days later than the day you ingested said food. I will email or call you soon!!

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    1. Lauren, I'm nearly at my wits end. Even after the sleeping pill (which I think is nothing more than a muscle relaxer) on Sunday night, she STILL came down with a headache yesterday and we had to give up on the rest of homework so she could go to bed. She had to end up using her new nasal spray yesterday, the headache went away and then came back when we got home in the evening. The good news is that she ate supper and she never got physically sick. She carried a water bottle to school yesterday, too. We'll keep trying and give the medicine more time to {hopefully} work.

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  3. Migraines are the worst! Hoping she feels better soon. My husband gets these a lot too, but only during the week when he gets stressed. It's interesting how our body deals with things. This verse is such an encouragement too.
    Ginny

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  4. Parenting is so hard Laura! Don't be too hard on yourself. Alise needs to know that her success is hers alone and she needs to be proud of her work for herself and not for you or Wayne. Letting go is hard but with each stage from childhood to adulthood it doesn't really get any easier. We all want what's best for our kids and we all want to do everything possible to insure they are successful but sometimes our hovering gives them a false sense of security and they really do need to opportunity to make their own decisions and even experience some failure here and there. At the end of the day I would turn it all over to God. I will add Alise to my list...and momma too.

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    1. Thanks, Shelly, for your sweet words! I needed to hear them.

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  5. I love your honesty and transparency! Being a Mom is hard, and letting go is even harder. I am so thankful that the Lord gives us strength because I sure do need an awful lot of it! :-) Following you and looking forward to seeing more great things! I would love for you to share this on my new party Making Memories Mondays going on now! :-)
    Cathy@ three kids and a fish {dot} com

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  6. Migraines are the worst! I've suffered from them since I was a teenager, and unfortunately my son gets them as well. I'm not sure how old your daughter is, but my doctor has decided that mine are hormone based. They definitely get worse at different times during the month. Just a thought. Hope you find some relief soon! And don't worry about feeling guilty - it just comes with the parenting territory. Sounds like you're a great mom :)!

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  7. I'm so thankful we have connected! This is one of my favorite Scripture passages~ So glad you joined us for "Tuesday Talk"! Looking forward to getting to know you better~

    Elizabeth
    allkindsofthingsblog.com
    Home of "Tuesday Talk" and "Pincrazy Thursday"~

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  8. I am dealing with quite a stressful time with my daughter too. It is so hard to be a parent and make the right decisions all the time. We try the best we can and that's all we can do. Thinking of you!

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