Chronic Pain And Toddler Play

Pooh has a migraine (Image: Mandy Horetski)

For nearly a decade, I have suffered from daily chronic headaches. Basically I have had the same headache for that whole time so I am in constant pain. But usually the pain level is low enough that I can ignore it. There are times that the pain gets as bad as a migraine.

I made a decision years ago that I wasn’t going to let this chronic pain stop me from living my life. This is after my doctor had told me, at age 25, that I shouldn’t go to any place that might be loud. That would mean no loud restaurants, no concerts, no wrestling events and more. That really pissed me off and it was at that point that I decided I wasn’t going to let my illness rule me anymore.

So while it may have not been the best idea in the world, my husband and I decided to have a baby. I find that dealing with my headaches when they get bad is easier now that my daughter is a little older. She can understand a little more that mommy isn’t feeling good and not to be as loud.

It is funny how this reality in our lives has affected some of the play she has with her toys. There isn’t any medicine I can take to dull the pain, so I was forced to seek out other ways to help. One of the best is a cold pack that sticks on my forehead. It doesn’t take the pain away but it helps take the edge off. After a few hours though, the stickiness and the coldness of the cold pack decreases and often it falls off, especially if I have been sleeping.

My daughter will find the used cold packs and try putting them on various stuffed animals. She’ll play that her animals have a migraine just like mommy. I found this to be very interesting but I suppose she is just imitating what I do. I hope that she  never has to experience the pain I do on a daily basis, but maybe this early playing will help her have more empathy for people in pain later in life.

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5 thoughts on “Chronic Pain And Toddler Play

  1. I have had debilitating migraines since I was six (that’s 26 years!), so I can understand some of what you experience. I’ve been treating with an incredible neurologist for over a year, and the migraines are finally stepping into the background a bit, but I will always have them. It’s astonishing to people that I can function almost normally when my pain is 7 or 8 (at 9 or 10, I stay home and rest – with a cold pack on my head, just like you). I agree with you that the pain should not rule our lives and I try very hard to keep up with my interests and do everything I would do if I didn’t have this pain. I admire you for pushing through it. I hope one day, there are answers for us and we don’t have to live in constant pain anymore – I can’t even imagine what that would be like.

  2. I’m sorry you have to deal with constant pain too!

    I’ve only seen one neurologist – he was a jerk who thought I was crazy. So I’m a little wary about getting another one.

    I went through hell for 9 months as I was put on every headache medicine on the market at the time. None of them worked and half of them gave me horrible side effects.

    Honestly, the pain is manageable most days so I don’t really want to go through that experience again unless I have to.

  3. I can sympathize. Some of the meds out there have side effects worse than what you’re dealing with. There are some I flat out refuse to take; my mom is an RN, and would also get freaked out by some of the meds doctors wanted to put me on. Have you tried acupuncture? I got some relief from that, and it’s totally natural.

    I’m glad your pain mostly manageable. And you’re not crazy. Just because you can’t see the cause of the pain doesn’t mean it’s not happening. I hate it when people diminish suffering that way; the same with depression. If you can’t see it, it must be imagined, right? I understand your reluctance; I hope you have an opportunity for an amazing experience with a different doctor – they are out there.

  4. Im so glad you posted this! I don’t feel like a freak or shut in. I’m actually writing this with a cut up lidocane patch on my head, I’m sure looking like an idiot ( but who cares its 3am and no one can see). You hit it right on the money when you said that you will not let this run your life, and I am doing just the opposite right now. I am going to take that snibbit of advice and see if I can’t have a better week, if not for me but for my kids too!

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