Thursday, August 12, 2010

My College Student/Athlete and his Migraines

I drove my son back to school today for his second year of college. He will be starting his second semester of college since we discovered he inherited Migraine disease from me. I'm hoping he will have even better coping skills for this semester.

He actually had a lot of Migraines during his first semester last year, but he didn't know what they were and didn't mention anything to me until he was about to start his finals. Of course as soon as he started talking about how he had been feeling and what symptoms he had, I knew he was getting Migraines although I wasn't ready to accept it.

Since then, we have put in a lot of education time around Migraines along with one pretty successful semester. We have done a lot to prepare him again for this semester. This coming semester is going to be different and tougher than last because he is a college football player and football will be much more intense during the fall semester. It is one more thing he must deal with over the spring semester. They do have spring football, but it does not start as early in the morning and is not as extreme or concentrated as the fall.

Although we have been getting ready for football and school all summer while preparing him to prevent Migraines as much as he can, we had our final talks while driving back to school this morning. We didn't talk about anything he hadn't heard before, but as much as I like to feel that I am helping him by giving him the same advice, I believe he likes to hear it again to try to have it sink in better too.

When we went through to try to identify some of his triggers, we found he needs to be very careful about his sleep schedule and hydration. These items are very hard to do when you are a teenage college athlete. Luckily, he will have a few weeks to get used to the intense football schedule, drinking lots of water and he won't have the option but to go to sleep early before classes start. One reason is because the coaches have a lights out time and another is that they are exhausted and fall asleep even before lights out.

We also talked about spreading out his workload after classes start. It is very important for him to not stress out. Although stress is not a trigger, it will exasperate the triggers he has very easily. By spreading out his workload, he won't put himself under the pressure of everything being due at the same time or not being able to complete an assignment because of the intense pain and not keeping dinner down. He understands all of this; I just hope he remembers and keeps up on everything he needs to do.

Over the summer, we also started him on B2, magnesium and calcium. The problem is that he's not always good about taking these supplements. We recently got one of those seven day pill dispensers with the am and pm compartments for every day. That seems to make it easier for him to remember. I do believe the supplements have helped him as he only had one Migraine this summer. I hope he can keep up this improvement during school.

His first semester was really tough especially when he had a three hour night class. After getting up early in the morning, he had a very hard time managing this night class. This semester, his latest class ends at 6pm plus he knows he has Migraines now. I believe knowing this will make a big difference to him and the way he will manage this fall semester will help him balance classes, football and his Migraines better.

My son will be very cognizant of his sleep schedule, hydration and not putting every thing off until the last minute. This year's fall schedule timewise will be much easier on him in that he will not have any late night classes to cope with while having to get up early every morning.

My fingers will be crossed that these precautions will help him and I will be checking on him as often as possible, especially when I get to see him at his games.



WinnyNinny PooPoo said...

What a help it is to have someone close to him that already knows what to do! I went through my twenties trying to manage migraines without any information or medication/supplements or knowledge of what a food trigger was. Hoping for a great year for your son!

MigrainePuppet said...

I hope I can give him the help you and I didn't have when we were his age trying to meet our challenges. I am very worried about him as I know he is starting off with much added stress. Thank you Winny!