A question I get asked often is, "How do you do it? How do you manage chronic migraine and taking care of the kids." It is a great question that is hard to answer sometimes... When you have children, there is a shift in the way you see, feel, experience, plan and look at everything. It isn't even something you are totally conscience of all the time. For me, kids come first. Period. It doesn't matter how I am feeling, I need to know that they are taken care of. Sometimes Jeremy is home and I get to rest, other days I have to push through and manage on my own. When you have a chronic illness and are usually in some kind of pain on a daily basis, you learn how to find your balance. However, when the chips are down, it is something more serious and my boys need me, the strength I find is immeasurable. I will give you an example...
Two nights ago, Nathan was complaining of a stomach ache before bed. He had no other symptoms and we figured it was probably just a little gas or constipation. We did our nightly routine and he quickly fell asleep. I was not feeling well at all, having had a migraine since the night before. I was finally able to take my meds and I was exhausted. Around 9:30 I heard Nathan coughing and making weird sounds. I went to check on him... He was still half asleep and sitting in a ridiculous amount of vomit. I said oh did you throw up, it's okay! This wakes him up more and he starts yelling and crying because he's freaked out. Thank goodness Jeremy was home to help me... He cleaned up Nathan and I cleaned up the mess, a disgusting endeavor no parent enjoys, that take a long time. Worst of all he got sick on Thelma (his beloved, giant stuffed animal deer) and she needed to be washed (thank goodness again that she didn't explode and her eyeballs didn't melt!)
During the whole fiasco, I didn't think about my pain or my head at all. It was still there, but it didn't matter. All that I could think about was helping my poor, sick boy. The adrenaline and the worry takes over and you just go into mom-mode. After it was all said and done, the pain was waiting for me and I was more exhausted than before. You push and get through the things that are necessary and then you let yourself crash. We all slept the rest of the night without issues. Nathan and Thelma were reunited in the morning (he said that he felt better, but his heart hurt because he missed her! Could he be anymore precious?) and all was well again. I got to rest and recover from the migraine the day before ... and then that night it was Luke's turn to be super sick.
No matter how you are feeling, when your child is sick you pray for them to feel better and wish you could take their place. I don't care if my head literally feels like it is splitting open, nothing will keep me from taking care of my kids when they need me most. I would do anything to make them feel better and comfort them. I have spent countless nights with Nathan in the rocking chair when he was little at the expense of my health and looping me in to a steady flow of migraine attacks. I didn't care, because he needed me. I can endure any amount of pain and discomfort for my boys. I know that being there for them when they crave my comfort is priceless. I will gladly cash in any bit of myself, my energy, or my own comfort to put them first. That is what parenthood is all about, whether you have a chronic condition or not.