Migraines and Little Kids {giveaway closed}

***Congrats to Lindsay C.****

If you’ve been around here long enough, you know I’ve shared my sordid journey with migraines over the years.

It’s really difficult to explain to people who have never had one, just how miserable it can be.  In fact, I often wonder if my husband and loved ones think I’m just being dramatic and looking for an excuse to nap.  (Kidding.  Kind of.)

My grandma has told me that she remembers me being a very little girl and coming home from Kindergarten in tears and refusing to play, instead, choosing to lie on the couch trying so hard to keep light out of my eyes and be so so so still.

Years later, I witnessed my younger brother deal with the debilitating pain when he was as little as 5 or 6 years old.  I remember alternating wet wash cloths to fold across his little forehead and listening to him moan on the couch.


And now, even more years later, I’ve watched Henry fight them too.

It breaks my heart right into two pieces.  Maybe, and especially because, I know exactly how he feels.

How the slightest movement can send him spinning.  Light can feel like a spear gouging your eyes out.  Sound can almost knock the wind right out of you and send you reeling.  And nausea.  Oh the nausea.

Not only is it excruciating to watch, but as a parent, I feel so helpless.  After all, I know that giving him acetaminophen or ibuprofen is about as effective at combating the pounding as eating a jelly bean.

So I encourage him to lie ever so still.  Don’t move, Honey.  Try not to cry, Love.  Just relax and focus on breathing.  It will go away and then, yes, you can go back outside and ride your bike.  I promise.  I know it’s not fair.  Just lie still.

It’s a bit of dejavu to apply the compresses to his tiny head.  I’ve done this before for a different little boy.  I remember praying that my own children didn’t inherit this awfulness too.  But he has.  And I think Jill has too.

Luckily, it isn’t a super common occurrence, but I did take advantage of asking our neurologist (because Jill sees one regularly for her epilepsy) about it.  I wanted to know if I needed to bring him in too.  She said that so long as it wasn’t a regular thing, he was fine and to just work on relieving pain in the most natural way possible.

When Medical Arts Press (a subsidiary of Staples) asked me to review and give away a set of migraine relief products, I immediately thought of my sweet 6 year old boy.


migraine kit


BioFreeze is amazing stuff.  Have you ever tried this?  It’s an all natural gel that you apply to any point of pain (externally of course).  I was actually given some of this by a chiropractor years ago for some crazy back and shoulder pain I was experiencing, and I’ve been a fan ever since.  It basically makes the area super ultra icy cold and feels fantastic.  I had never thought of using it for migraines but I can TOTALLY see how it would feel amazing.  It’s approved for anyone over 2 years of age, so I will definitely be trying this out the next time EITHER of us has a migraine.  (For a video on why/how it works, see here.  It’s really quite fascinating.)

Pain Relief Mask Eye Pillow.  At 6 years old, Henry has a hard time blocking out sounds and wants to look up constantly.  This mask will solve three issues simultaneously for him: 1) it will keep his eyes closed and therefore painful light out; 2) the pressure of the mask will help (because anyone with a migraine knows that pressure is a God send); and 3) it can be put in the freezer/fridge to add yet another layer of cold, pain inhibiting relief.  I know he’s going to feel silly wearing it at first, but I’m actually really excited about it.  I really think it’s going to be hugely helpful.

Massage Roller.  Have you ever tried one of these?!  We actually already have one, and yet again, another thing I had never thought about using on Henry.  Maybe I can get him to relax, ever so slightly, if I run this over his little back?

The biggest issue (beyond the migraine itself, obviously) with a young child is keeping them still and quiet enough to not make things worse.  Frankly, even just keeping them from moaning and crying is a huge task.  Because the poor little guys are just hurting and you have to remind them that to feel better, they have to lay as quiet and still as possible.

While I’m not excited at the prospect of his next migraine episode, I do feel a little better about having some tools that might help him (and leave me not quite so helpless!).  And yeah…totally gonna try it on myself too next time.

Medical Arts Press primarily serves practitioners offices with supplies, but they have lots of consumer products too, like the ones listed above.

And they’d love to give one of these migraine relief kits away to you!

To enter to win, just leave ONE comment telling me about your history with migraines.  (And it can be “I’ve never had one!”).  (one entry per person)

I’ll select a winner on Monday, April 14th.


*Disclosure: I was compensated to share with you about Medical Arts Press and also received a migraine relief kit of my own.  But my stories are real, as are my opinions.  Also, that picture of Henry is from a million years ago, but he was actually sick, so it worked.  ;)


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I'm a mom to four. A wife to one. I believe in story. I love telling you about mine and would love to hear yours. There's really no sense in wasting our suffering and not sharing in each other's joy. We're all in this together...even if it doesn't always feel like it.

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  1. 1
    Janice Douglas says:

    I urge you both to March immediately off to a chiropractors office. When I was younger I went to work for one. My mom suffered from serious migraines and literally would spend t least 3 days a month in bed from them debilitated. She started coming into the office and after a period of continual adjustments she was no longer suffering. She would periodically start march right in get adjusted and that was the end. It happened for my then 2 year old with earaches too. All of my children after that were adjusted at birth as well as my grandchildren. None have ever had earaches. My mom was pain free for the most part until she died and my sister and I never had them because we too received adjustments. Just suggesting.

  2. 2

    I get some bad headaches but I don’t know if they are officially migraines. Sometimes I have to use an ice pack and I end up laying down and sleeping in hopes by the time I wake up the headache is gone or at least diminished.

  3. 3

    I actually never had headaches. .. only occasionally. Two years ago I started having headaches that would come everyday for the whole day, only on the left side of my head and constant throbbing. I don’t know how they started and couldn’t figure out any triggers. They finally bothered me enough to go check them out. To this day my neurologist hasn’t been able to figure out what is going on, but the meds he put me on have helped a lot (after several dosage changes) to the point they have almost disappeared. If I do win the package, I’ll let my hubby try it. He does get migraines and its not pretty.
    Robbin´s last blog post ..Sunday Hope

  4. 4

    I used to get them. They were completely debilitating and miserable, and triggered by hormones and physical activity. Ugh. Now my sweet Kaitlyn (7) gets them, regularly, and I feel HORRIBLE for her! Just about the worst feeling ever as a mama.
    Brianna´s last blog post ..7 Quick Takes through Instagram Friday {4/11/13}

  5. 5

    I, too, am a sufferer of migraines and have been since the age of 14. When someone tells me they had a migraine and fixed it with Actifed, Tylenol, or some other OTC, I just keep the chuckle inside. PRESSURE is a Godsend, when I sleep during a migraine, I have to sleep on the migraine. I have one now, actually and know that I should stay inside, turn off the iPad and close my eyes…… I have a decent intervention medication and have to take daily meds too. I have tried a hysterectomy (as so many were tied to my cycle), Botox injections, and crawls through the medicine cabinets to get relief. Up until recently, I suffered about 10 days or more a month. Thanks to a great doctor, we figured mine were tied to an underactive thyroid. Better but not cured…..so sorry your young ones have this to deal with. There is no pain in the world as much as the hurt you feel when your child hurts.

  6. 6

    I feel your pain!! Medication with beta-blockers like Propranolol has been a miracle! I was getting migraines almost weekly before I started taking Propranolol. I tried using the same relievers (laying still, cold washcloths) as you described above, but needed something more. I take one in the morning and it has been 2 years since my last migraine. It took several weeks to get the right dosage to feel relief. Might be an option for you and your family! -I realize you don’t know me, but I enjoy your blog :)

  7. 7

    I don’t have a long history, but since having babies I get them periodically. I’m actually starting to feel one coming on now. Sadly, I can’t take excedrin while nursing so the items above would be awesome!

  8. 8

    I can remember as a child… 8,9 years old… Standing in the garage… My head hurting so badly that I was throwing up… Only to have my dad yelling at me because the family doc had told them that children didn’t get migraines. I had them all the time.. two, three a month. (I also had bleeding ulcers during those same years. Go figure.) And because I was a.child, no one would listen. For me, a god send is caffiene and aspirin. I don’t do a lot if caffeine on a regular basis so maybe that helps. We tried prescription migraine meds, and nothing helped. Finally ended up in the ER getting omitted one night and it nearly killed me with an alleti reaction. The nurses thought my.moaning and thrashing was from pain. But my blood pressure wad going all over the map, high, low, high again. It was a full hour… I couldn’t even speak when a nurse found me during shift change, barely breathing, just lying there praying it would stop.
    Now I self-medicate with the caffeine and aspirin (2 vivarin, 2 Bayer, sometimes a Tylenol added in) and rest, dark, cold. I try to get to room very cold and dark. Then silence. No movement. No sounds. And NO smells!

    If that doesn’t work… I used to wait a full day, but I don’t now. I’m too old to just live with that kind if pain for days on end. They know me and if I’m in the ER it’s serious migraine. They bring me phenergan and dilauded. (Sometimes a second.shot, depending on how bad it is, I’m on a fentanyl patch for a chronic pain condition already, so my tolerance levels are higher than normal people. One shot used to leave me goofily chattering about surfing in an ocean if buttercream frosting. Lol ) and then my husband wheels me out to the car in a wheelchair, carries me in and ticks me into bed. At least with the dilauded I don’t care and the phenergan makes me sleep (and not puke from the dilauded.)

    I do see a chiro, and have seen several since I was a young adult. I do have a Neuro condition that causes a lot if pain and cardio-electric-physio something or.other disturbances and those fluctuations could be what’s causing them. My chiro does help when I get a tension headache…. But he’s never helped the migraines. And tension headaches are so much preferable!

    • 9

      Wow. That paragraph was supposed to say that I went to the Ear and got an injection of Imitrex.

      Auto correct. *smh*

  9. 11

    Oh the pain! For me it’s just awful when you think it’s gone and then wake up and start all over. Sorry to hear your little ones have them. Would love to try the products.

  10. 12

    I have horrible headaches, but I have never called them migraines. Maybe they are? Tylenol and Advil don’t even touch them, and they last for a week at a time. I have recently figured out that I don’t get the week-long headaches if I cut out gluten and dairy. So hard. But I feel better. I have some bio freeze here. Never though about trying it.

    My son has autism and is non verbal. He asks for BIG head squeezes. Kwatching your kids in pain is the worst.

  11. 13

    I get them in waves, and when I am over taxed. The only thing that helps me so far is going to sleep. It’s pretty hard to just go to bed having 2 young kids but thankfully I have only had a few in the last year. Your poor kiddies. I can’t stand when my kids get headaches.

  12. 14

    A few years ago, I had a daily headache, and migraines 3-4 times a week. It was awful. Thankfully, after alot of chiropractor care, migraines are now few and far between. But would love to try this stuff for the headaches I still get!

  13. 15

    Mine are hormonal and started after one of the kids. NEVER have I felt so much pain–yes, that includes childbirth. They leave me in a whimpering ball in the corner of a dark room. I would LOVE to try this next time (crossing my fingers there is no next time–but I know better).

  14. 16

    I get a few migraines a year, but a friend (who also suffers from migraines) is currently dealing with the onset of migraines in her 6 year old daughter. This little girl has such a horrid time with them, I’d love to win this on her behalf to see if it helps her.
    Bronwyn Beazley´s last blog post ..I have a favour to ask…

  15. 17

    Just a few tips from my own experience.
    1. DO NOT use the biofreeze on your kid. That stuff is napalm to sensitive skin. My mother applied some to my back when I was having some muscle spasms and I was in the shower immediately in tears trying to scrub it off. It felt like the skin was melting off of my back. So awful to be in pain in more than one way.
    2. Sounds crazy but I swear it helps. Cut a cold lime in half and place it on your forehead. Don’t get the juice in your eyes of course but let it sit on your head. That thumping feeling starts to go away almost immediately. I don’t know how or why it works but it does. Ice and cold compresses don’t do this.
    I feel bad your son is getting these. I once had a teacher tell me in elementary school that “kids don’t get headaches”. I believe I said to her okay, then I don’t have a headache. I have pain right here, and pointed to my forehead. (I was quite young) That has stuck with me to this day. Not only was she saying I was lying but she completely dismissed the fact that I was in a lot of pain. Check to see if he has allergies. Sometimes I find that sinus pain mimics or even triggers a migraine and a decongestant does wonders to relieve the pain.

    When I feel one of these coming on this is what I do. I drink a glass of water. I also make a cup of coffee. The caffeine from coffee and the heat seems to help better than soda or tea for me. I then take 1 ibuprofen and 1 tylenol and sometimes an allegra d too depending on the season. It usually works before the pain gets too bad.
    Good Luck

    • 18

      Oh and one more thing. There is a massage oil that Aveda makes that acts like the biofreeze but in a much gentler way. The combination of the heat and the aroma therapy relaxes your muscles and helps to ease pain sometimes. I use it on my back and neck. It’s called Aveda Active Composition and mainly has wintergreen and menthol in it.

  16. 19
    sherri Richardson says:

    My two children and myself suffer from migraines. I feel your pain with your children, I would trade places with my kids if I could when they are suffering with a migraine headache.

  17. 20

    Jeannett, I’m confused, do migraine meds not work for you? Or are you just opposed to taking them? I hate to rely on a pill to cure things, but gosh am I ever grateful for Imitrex, etc. I have found that when I’m getting a migraine it will start as a very small headache, first thing in the morning. It may even go away on it’s own. But then it will come back with a vengeance by later afternoon. (3pm or so)

    I find that if I can take the migraine pill as soon as I feel it coming on, that the medication works MUCH quicker and more effectively. I still never feel great after taking it, but at least I can function and get on with the day.

    Also, for me, exercise makes headaches worse. I used to think the opposite. “Oh I’ll just get to the gym for an hour of cardio and get rid of this myself!” Nope. I wish it worked that way :/

    • 21

      P.S. I have heard great things about acupuncture for migraines. It’s just a matter of getting yourself to the acupuncturist when you feel so awful :/ No small feat with 4 kids I would imagine. But just throwing it out there as a possibility.

  18. 22
    Natalie S says:

    I suffer from migraines almost daily and was just recently able to narrow down the source of them to stress. I’m hoping my preventative medicine will help and graduating from college in May will relieve some of my stress!

  19. 23

    I don’t get migraines. But, my mom and 6 of my 7 siblings get them. This fall, my eight year old son started to have migraines, although we didn’t know what they were. He didn’t have headaches, but he would get stomach aches that would last for a few hours and then go away. We didn’t know why, and neither did our doctor. So, we ended up at a pediatric gastroenterologist who examined his digestive system thoroughly and found nothing wrong. He suggested that these episodes were really migraines. Over the past few months his migraines developed into being the headache kid more often then the stomach ache, but sometimes it’s both. He has also begun seeing blue spots when one is about start. He was put on amytriptoline, and that has helped some. They’ve gone from about 2 a week to 2-4 a month. Although this spring has been pretty bad. He’s getting a lot of them. Maybe it’s because it’s allergy season??? We don’t know. But, I sure would love anything that could help him find some relief!

  20. 24
    Katherine says:

    I had frequent headaches as a child and had my first full-blown migraine when I was 15. I had several a month after that, but it was years before I was finally prescribed pain medication to help deal with the worst. I don’t get them as often now but my husband started suffering from them five years ago. We’d love to try these products!

  21. 25

    My migraines are intermittent, or not. Depends on the weather, smells, stuffy headedness, or nothing at all. I usually have to vomit for them to go away. Gross, right? So, if I feel them coming on, I try to drink a bunch of coffee and take some OTC medication in the hopes I can ‘hit it hard, hit it fast’ and I won’t get ‘hit in the forehead with a brick.’ Sometimes they wrap around my head, from the back of my neck to my face, and are almost numbing. You aren’t kidding about the pressure, either. I had never really thought about it until I read your post, but yes, applying pressure totally helps. I can see how that mask would help. My colleague and I laugh because if anyone has a headache at work, I have the drugs. There are two of us that suffer from migraines; luckily we sit next to each other and can keep each other comfortable while in misery.

    And that totally blows that Henry has migraines. And that Jill might, too. Booooooo….

  22. 26

    I have had one migraine myself and that was enough! But my 8 year-old daughter has been getting them and it breaks my heart. Thank you for posting about this – I’ll try anything to make her more comfortable!

  23. 27

    Migraines are brutal and I pray that my daughter won’t have them. I had them, but very rarely before I was pregnant, but during and after they became much more frequent. I was getting them about once a month for 3 days up until last summer when I cut gluten from our diets because of some inflammation Ebi was suffering. Her joint inflammation cleared up, and as a bonus so did my migraines. I still get plenty of headaches, but none of them convert.
    Lizzie Lau´s last blog post ..InstaFriday – First Time Riding To Preschool

  24. 28

    Me and migraines go way back, to 1998 when I had a seizure while horseback riding. At first, they were only every few months, then several times a month, then, in the last few years, they got to a point where it was every day, and I finally gave in and started a preventive medication. It helps, as long as I remember to take it (which I don’t always, especially when traveling), and if I take it at a regular time. I also alternate out Excedrin Migraine and a prescription for when I still get them. They are now down to 1-2 *minor* (relatively speaking) each week, and a bad one 1-2x month if I take my rx regularly (more if I don’t).
    Dawn´s last blog post ..On a Wild Goose Chase…..

  25. 29

    I don’t get migraines but I do get very bad headaches & have since middle school. Pressure helps my headaches too. Your kit sounds wonderful! Good luck next time around if there is a next time.

  26. 30

    I used to get migraines a lot when I was younger and they are horrible!! It makes me laugh when people say they have a migraine when they obviously only have a headache, migraines are totally debilitating. Even moving your eyes is agony! I haven’t had one for about 8 years now! Yey! My brother still suffers with them very regularly, and of course he’ll be unwell for a few days even after the pain has gone. I hope this giveaway is open to people in the uk, if I won this my brother would get it.

  27. 31

    I remember having migraines as a young child and I still get them.

  28. 32
    Janis Shaffer says:

    I’ve never had one, but my daughter gets them quite frequently. I would love to offer something to her that might alleviate her pain. Thanks for the info.

  29. 33

    I have one or two migraines a month. I take Excedrine migraine and lay in complete darkness with a cold, wet washrag over my eyes, sleeping it off.

  30. 34

    My son suffered with awful headaches. We were referred to a pediatric neurologist and after removing all the “trigger” foods (there were so many listed!) he hardly gets the headaches now.

  31. 35

    They’ve subsided recently because I finally weaned my last baby…but while I was pregnant I would get a migraine that would last for 5 days and comeback every 3 days. Now they only come around every 1-2 weeks for a full day of misery. I’ve gotten migraines since I was young but not has often as now that I am having children.

  32. 36
    Hannah B says:

    I have chronic migraines related to my chronic pain condition- I’m sitting here in the dark with my computer brightness dimmed because I have had one all day. I have severe chronic nerve pain from having shingles 12 times (related to a medication I was taking for Crohn’s disease) but the migraines have only recently been really severe problem. I’m getting 3-4 a week.
    Fortunately, I’m scheduled to get Botox in 10 days with my neurologist. My younger brother also had chronic migraines and the Botox was seriously a MIRACLE for him so I am praying it will be my miracle too.
    Especially because I’m going to Mayo Clinic for their Pain Center for 3 weeks at the end of the month! I’d like to get the migraines under control before I go!
    Anyway, I can’t imagine how hard it would be to watch little kids go through it. It’s hard enough to deal with at 21- it makes ME feel helpless and small. So I would hate to see a child deal with that.

  33. 37

    Ugh I get them a lot. It sucks. I’m so sad Henry gets them.

  34. 38

    I just suffered from TWO last week while on vacation! Not relaxing at all!
    Beth´s last blog post ..TWO!

  35. 39

    I come from a long line of migraine sufferers. Unfortunately. Lack of sleep, hormones, keeping hydrated and, of course, stress are my triggers.
    This would be great to help relieve the pain! Thanks!

  36. 40

    I have suffered from migraines most of my life….I’d love the be able to try these to see if my life could be changed!

  37. 41
    Karrie Smith says:

    I have about 6 migraines a month. I just got my eyes checked to see if it was that. Next step is MRI. NOT fun! Thanks fo rthe chance to win!

  38. 42

    I’ve had migraines since I was about 8yo and my almost 8yo has been having migraine symptoms.

  39. 43

    I remember having severe headaches as a child, and was diagnosed with migraines when I was in high school. I’ve since been diagnosed with chronic migraines : basically 15 days or more a month with headaches. I had my first baby a year ago, and the pregnancy was such a blessing, but in more ways than anticipated. Thanks to the surge of hormones, I barely got any headaches while pregnant. Now that I’m not nursing or pregnant, the headaches are coming back. I pray I don’t pass this trait on to my son. My dad and grandma both get chronic headaches – my husband gets maybe 1 a year. Lucky guy!
    Jamy´s last blog post ..I’m 32: Let Me Drop Some Wisdom

  40. 44

    I’ve only had a couple of migraines in my life and they were debilitating. My father and sister get them regularly. I pray my children don’t inherit that from us. They’re miserable and admittedly difficult to describe to someone who has never suffered. Caffeine has also been a huge help.