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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