Headaches Are The Worst
Me at every check up, “I get headaches a lot.”
My doctor, “How much is a lot?”
Me, “I don’t really know, maybe a few a month?”
My doctor, “How long do they last? How do you treat them?”
Me, “I’m not really sure. Sometimes a little while, sometimes a day. I take over the counter pain medicine and caffeine and sleep.”
It’s really no wonder that my doctor hasn’t really been able to help me with my headaches. They’re nasty and often and I never track them enough to know how much how bad how long to help her help me. I’ve tried to watch for what causes them. I’ve given up drinking beer and wine a few times, thinking maybe that was it. It wasn’t. I’ve gotten more sleep. Sometimes it helps, sometimes it doesn’t. I’ve treated my every-season allergies more consistently. That seemed to help at first, then didn’t. I tried a prescription migraine medicine, but only took it once because my pill aversion is stronger than my headaches. So I just keep getting headaches. They ruin weekends. They ruin trips. They ruin mornings and evenings. They sometimes linger. Headaches are the worst.
And yet I keep ending up at the doctor’s office with nothing to say.
Because what do I think? In those 15 minutes, I will remember all the headache details? I won’t. I never do. Ask me about my kid’s scratch on her face, though, and I can tell you a story with full detail. Ask me about her baby milestones and that 18 month appointment where they asked about her communication. Spoiler alert: Roozle had a lot to say.
I kept notes for her, though. I searched what was expected at each appointment and made lists of the milestones she was meeting and the ones she wasn’t. I wrote down my concerns and questions. And I brought it all with me. Because as a new parent, you make those 15 minutes with a pediatrician cover an hour’s worth of child health and wellness and all the things in between.
Last week, Roozle and I were at her latest wellness visit (pro tip: if you get lazy about scheduling your April child’s wellness visit, you’ll end up with yearly visits in the summer and she won’t ever have to miss school), and her beloved pediatrician told us she’s moving. OH NO. This one was Riley’s THIRD pediatrician in 8 years and goodness I don’t want to do this again.
Then I realized that my own new doctor sees kids! So I moved her. And now I have no excuse. Because when I walk in with 14 pages printed from Doctor Google for my kid’s appointments, you know that same doctor will expect me to be as prepared for my own. I’m done treating my own health as somehow less important than my kid’s.
I’m starting with these headaches. According to the neurologists Dr. Robert G. Kaniecki and Dr. Stewart J. Tepper, the most important focus of headache tracking is threefold: time, symptoms, and impact. This is where I go terribly wrong, as I spend nearly all my headache focus on triggers—trying to just prevent them—and I consistently fail. And apparently, all headaches aren’t the same. Untreated migraines last 4 to 72 hours. Migraines are accompanied by nausea and/or light/sound sensitivity. And for migraines to be considered chronic, headache symptoms of any kind need to show up 15 or more days a month. In order to know any of that, you have to keep track. And sometimes wrap your noggin in a blanket and sleep for a day. Because headaches are the worst.
Time, symptoms, and impact. That’s it. If I can keep track of that in a note in my phone, I can let my doctor do the rest.
If you suffer from horrific headaches like I do, learn how to tell your story and take this survey to be entered to win up to $1,000 in prizes because prizes make everything better.
This post is sponsored by Med-IQ and supported by an educational grant by Teva Pharmaceuticals. All opinions are mine, and Roozle’s. She has so many opinions.