One of the scariest moments as a parent is when our kids are sick. Even if it is just a mild fever we worry, our thoughts wander to places we don’t want them to go. We try to shut it out, but deep down we worry that it could be something serious. We see and hear about seriously ill children all the time and every time we do we hope and pray that nothing like that will happen to our own children.
Last week a student at my children’s school sadly lost his battle for life, he was diagnosed in grade 2 with a brain tumour. He fought the odds and survived much longer than anyone thought possible, still his loss is felt deeply by many students and staff members at our school. My brothers and sister in law’s niece is also battling cancer. It just brings the reality of the situation so close to home.
This week Aspen had to see a neurologist at Melbourne’s Royal Children’s Hospital because she has been suffering with pain in her head, dizziness, nausea and some double vision. I am not going to lie, it was hard taking her in for her appointment and not fearing the worst. Even the neurologist said that it is the first thing a parent fears ‘the worst’. And he is right, my mind went there, what if Aspen is seriously ill?
Thankfully Aspen’s brain scans showed no tumour. I am so relieved to say we came out with a diagnoses of migraines. Now migraines are bad enough, but I just feel so grateful that my daughter is healthy. I almost feel guilty writing that though. So many children are diagnosed daily with serious and life threatening illness. I am so relieved Aspen is not one of them, but it breaks my heart than any child has to go through that, and that any parent has to see their child suffer.
Aspen’s headaches have been affecting her on and off for a couple of years, but this year they got worse and it forced us to seek a doctors opinion. The doctor did a neurological exam and was immediately concerned, we were rushed for an MRI. Watching your child have this done is not what any parent wants to do, but she was so brave about it all. Thankfully this test came back normal, what a huge relief! Huge! We then had to wait a couple of months to see the numerologist at the Royal Children Hospital.
The Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne was great. They were so lovely from the minute we entered the beautiful new building. You basically check in and then they take your phone number and message you when the doctors ready, which means if you have a long wait you can sit at one of the coffee shops or look at the almighty fish aquarium. Luckily we didn’t have to wait long, she was firstly weighed and measured by a nurse and then we went straight in to see the specialist. He was great with her and explained in detail what it means to have migraines and just how many people suffer from migraines. He explained that they are less common before puberty and much more common after, she unfortunately is in the less common group. He said she will most likely suffer from migraines until her early 30’s. Not nice news!
He gave us lots of advice and also recommended seeing a psychologist to help learn how to manage stress levels as stress makes it far worse. And heading into teenage years and high school in a year and a half is bound to raise the stress levels in any child.
I’m am relieved she doesn’t have anything life threatening, but it is still awful knowing she will suffer this pain for many years to come. It is never easy seeing our children in any pain. Still I feel fortunate, visiting the children’s hospital you realise that no matter how done up it is, it is not somewhere you want to visit very often and hopefully never again.
Thanks for joining me, love Mackenzie xx
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