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Living with Abdominal Migraines….

If you’ve been around for a while, you might remember the roller coaster journey we had with Miss Frugal a year or two ago.  She started to suffer with very short dizzy spells and the occasional headache and sickness.  We were referred to a specialist who ruled out just about everything it could possibly be and ultimately, we were told that it could be a slow growing tumour.  We had the scariest few months ever while we waited to find out with MRI scans, ECG’s, blood tests and poor Miss Frugal being prodded and poked with more visits to a hospital than a child should have to go through.

In the end, we were referred to a different specialist who gave us the good news that it wasn’t a tumour!  She was actually suffering from increasingly bad abdominal migraines and the dizzy spells and sickness were actually related to something called a pre-migraine aura. At the time, it was the aura that was showing itself more than the actual abdominal migraines which had made it harder to diagnose and they had been focusing more on the dizzy spells as they were the problem that seemed to be happening more and more often.

At the time, we were so relieved that it wasn’t a tumour that we didn’t really consider how the abdominal migraines would affect her as she got older.  Since the diagnosis, the dizzy spells have all but stopped which is great but the tummy pains have increased.  We give her paracetamol when she’s in pain (as advised by the Doctor) and we’ve found that warmth on her tummy seems to give her comfort so we either give her a hot water bottle or run her a warm bath.  I’ve lost count of the times she’s had baths at ridiculous times of the night because she’s been feeling poorly.

She usually has at least one attack a week and when she does, she does wants to have a bath and then put her pyjamas on and do nothing until it goes away which is usually not much more than an hour or so thank goodness.  Another thing we’ve noticed is that she often gets full quicker than you’d expect so she can’t finish her meals – I’d say this happens around three times a week and the Doctor told us that he’s seen it lots of times before with children suffering from abdominal migraines so not to worry too much .  I’m used to it now and to be fair, she more than makes up for it on other nights.  We have a stack of smaller meals made up of leftovers in the freezer so if she gets hungry later, we can easily make her a quick meal that’s not too heavy.

She does get annoyed with it and doesn’t understand why none of her friends suffer like she does.  She asked me the other day if she would always have these tummy aches and I had to tell her that it was a possibility.  The Doctor told us that they would probably get even more frequent as she hits puberty but that they are quite rare in adults so would probably stop (or at least be greatly reduced) by the time she hits adulthood.  The down side to that is that there’s a high chance that she will suffer from migraine headaches as she gets older.

We’re trying to figure out if there’s a trigger but there’s nothing obvious at the minute and we know that when she’s a bit older she can be prescribed some stronger medication if necessary but for now we’re just managing the pains with paracetamol, warm baths and lots of hugs!

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