Babygirl has complained of headaches off and on since about the age of seven. We mentioned it to the family doc, and because they were few and far between, and had no other alarming associated symptoms, he recommended 'watchful waiting'. When Babygirl started having periods at age nine, he was fairly convinced that she had common migraine, which typically has its onset one to two years before puberty. The headaches didn't seem to increase in frequency at that time, and there continued to be no alarming symptoms, so we continued watching.
Since the kidney failure diagnosis, the headaches have become more common. Dialysis didn't improve them. Transplant has not made them better. They were a fairly regular occurrence, but not disabling, until April. Whatever undefined infection she had back in April that put her in the hospital seems to have set off a persistent run of more frequent, more severe, and more disabling headaches. She had a horrible headache throughout that episode, and they've been occurring at least three times weekly since then.
The transplant team has gotten her blood pressure under control, and they have not improved. They've put her on blood pressure meds known to help prevent migraine, and they are actually somewhat worse.
In the past three weeks she has left school early twice because of headaches, and twice has not gone to school in the morning due to headaches. She awakens with them (but not from them). They start up randomly in the middle of the school day. They put plans on hold on weekends. They can put her to bed in the early evening. Actually, as I think about it, I'm realizing that they occur more than three times a week. She is clearing a bottle of 100 Tylenol every two months. The team gave her tramadol (a non-narcotic non-NSAID pain reliever) to use when Tylenol isn't helping. She started with 20 pills four weeks ago. She had ten left this morning. .
I've been in a bit of denial about all of this. After all, what's a headache or two dozen compared to the reality of kidney transplantation and dialysis? But I know from my own experience that they can be serious, and have serious consequences of their own.
So, I'm treating my craniorectal impaction, and paying better attention. I've started a headache diary for her. She has a neurology appointment on November 12. I'm guessing that they'll maybe want some pictures of her brain. Yippee skippy.