Bring your medications with you, in your bag… with you… in the car with you, on the plane with you. Accessible at all times. Even if your medication is Tylenol and a bottle of water. Be prepared during your travels.
Children can cause headaches in so many ways, that so many parents can attest to. The good news is, they grow up. The bad news is, the bigger they get, the bigger the headaches. That’s what my mom would say, anyway. Headaches can be aggravated by pregnancy and childbirth, as well as changes throughout parenthood.
Lots of changes in headaches can occur during pregnancy. Hormonal fluctuations during the pregnancy can tend to worsen headaches in the earlier stages of pregnancy, and tend to protect against headaches during mid and later stages of pregnancy. Childbirth itself is a whirlwind of hormones, stress, sleep disruption and metabolic changes in the body that certainly can bring on a migraine, but often the migraine will wait a few weeks to rear it’s very ugly head. Watch out, though, it could be a bad one!
Newborns and infants disrupt sleep patterns, and if it’s a first, the stress of being a new parent doubles the danger. During this time, many women breastfeed their babies and can’t take medications for headaches to worsen the problem. There are methods that can help, though. You will have to put yourself first, occasionally, taking time to meditate or relax, do some exercises to help ward off those headaches.
As kids grow up, the headaches they induce mostly stem from stress, but there can be some other situations that are less obvious. Having a sick child not only stresses a parent, but often disrupts sleep, and can change many lifestyle habits that contribute to headaches such as dietary changes or changes in exercise habits. Holidays may bring lots of obvious stressors, but the family vacation? To some, a smooth sail. To many, not so much. Take a vacation on your own, or with your adult partner, for a couple of days when you get back!
How ’bout those college applications? Exciting? Yup. Watching your child’s hopes and dreams expand and materialize? Yup. Pressure? Yup. You may think the pressure is all on the kid, but in my experience, the parent is feeling it, sometimes even more. Does your child’s success reflect on you as a parent? Well, if you’re feelin’ that a little too much, the headaches are likely to be a sign to back off and take time to reflect on the stuff that really matters.
So, kids can cause headaches, for sure. But always remember the joy and hope they bring to our lives. There has to be some sacrifice, doesn’t there?
Botulinum toxin injections have been studied for treating headaches for many years. Results of some of the big studies were mixed, but many headache specialists still use it, and here’s why… it works. At least in some patients. For years, we have known that while many patients may not respond to botulinum toxin injections, some do, and sometimes in a dramatic way with near complete resolution of headaches.
A recent study published in the February issue of Archives of Dermatology by Kim, et al., attempted to identify a subtype of migraine that might respond more robustly to this treatment. The study was small, but certain types of headache seemed to respond better than others. This type of study needs to be reapeated with larger numbers of patients to see if this is a real phenomenon. This may help explain, though, the experience of neurologists using botulinum toxin for migraine and other headaches… that some people respond wonderfully, and others get no benefit. Maybe we were on to something. In the future, we may be able to use the individual characteristics of a person’s headaches to choose the best treatment options more reliably.
There may be several different characteristics of headaches that may make you a good candidate for the treatment, so you need to speak to your doctor about it.