I’d like to introduce you to my granddaughter, Reni. She’s also my favorite Migraine patient. Born into a family of Migraine patients, Reni joined our ranks almost immediately. Her first year was filled with the daily, inconsolable screams of infant colic followed by the appearance of Migraine without Aura before her second birthday.
Treatment options for little ones like Reni are limited. There are no FDA-approved Migraine treatments for children under 6 years old. Acute treatment with ibuprofen (Children’s Motrin) and diphenhydramine (Children’s Benadryl) has been sufficient so far. As with all Migraine patients, identifying triggers, maintaining healthy sleep habits, getting daily exercise, eating regular nutritious meals, and adequate hydration are essential. In Reni’s case, her parents monitor and maintain these important factors.
Fortunately, Reni’s attacks are infrequent and she’s learned from her granny how to respond. Reni has learned that getting over-heated is a trigger. She is learning to regulate her activity by taking breaks when she feels too hot. She also has her own ice packs and isn’t shy about helping herself to them when needed. When a Migraine attack does start, she knows exactly what to do. She’s not intimidated to ask for help, either. Untouched by stigma, her Migraine-positive attitude radiates a confidence to be envied.
Reni and I spend a lot of time together. Naturally, much of that time is spent immersed in children’s entertainment packed with life lessons for young and old. It didn’t take long for me to recognize that many of these lessons could apply to life with Migraine. Reni and I would like to share our discoveries with you. It is our hope that you will be inspired, too.
Our first tip is inspired by the 2016 Disney film, Zootopia. Gazelle, played by pop singer Shakira, sings a catchy theme song, “Try Everything,” that encourages everyone to keep trying, even if they might fail. It’s a positive message that everyone living with Migraine needs to hear. Finding the right treatment may require months, even years, of trial and error. When you are faced with repeated treatment failures, it’s easy to get discouraged. Like the lead character, Judy Hops, you may give up and retreat to the comfort of familiar surroundings. Fortunately, it’s never too late to try again. After all, you never know: the next treatment might be the one that works.
Let’s listen to Gazelle and try everything. If little Reni can do it, you can too.