Keeping it in the Family

Some of my earliest memories about my grandfather are of him pacing up and down the sidewalk in front of the house I grew up in. It was ritual for him whenever he had a migraine. Which was often enough to make those pacing moments integral in my childhood memory of him. He would just pace the migraines out. Engaged in an all out battle of wills against his migraines; resolutely pacing until they gave up and ran for cover.

Apparently, migraines are genetic. Some of my earliest childhood memories involve me fighting with a migraine. Telling my mom I had a “headick” and her not believing me because “kids don’t get headaches.” So I spent much of my childhood thinking there was something wrong with me because my head hurt all the time, but I didn’t know why. There were several tried and true triggers for my headaches and migraines. The biggest one of all was heat. If I spent even one moment too long in the sun or got just the tiniest bit too hot, I was down for the count with a blinding migraine, throwing my guts up and essentially praying for death. The other big one was stress, which more than picked up the slack when heat was not an issue. I’ve had migraines for as long as I can remember.

And about this time last year, The Boy was diagnosed with migraines as well. We did all sorts of tests to rule out the scary stuff and eventually just came back to the idea that they were just migraines. He was four and a half when he was diagnosed. And his were definitely triggered by stress.

Now I am wondering if The Girl has decided to pick up the familial migraine baton as well. Over the past several weeks, I’ve noticed her starting to tell me her head hurts and her behavior changes radically when this happens. She’s not yet three years old.

I would rather have had my children inherit something else from me than stress induced migraines. They got my blue eyes, button nose and ability to internalize stress to the point where they can’t see straight. Perfect.

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