How do you keep a migraine/headache diary with your child? A Mum-child experience.
Imagine that the next time your doctor asks you for details about your child's headaches, you have all the relevant information at hand: how often they occur, how long they last, what symptoms you had before and after, what medication was taken and at what dosage....
Now imagine that you could use this information to help your child - perhaps you would use it to identify headache triggers that you could then avoid, or you would point out to your doctor that a change in medication could suppress the migraine better.
Have you ever asked yourself the above questions? If so, then it's pretty clear that you, like me, need to keep a headache diary. Below I describe how I was able to use Symba to create my own headache diary for Paula. But first I would like to explain a little more about why you should keep such a diary too.
What a headache diary does
Simply put, a headache diary helps you record information that is relevant to your child's headaches. This includes possible triggers, the effectiveness of the various medications your child is taking, and the symptoms your child is experiencing. When you start writing this information down in a logical format with your child, you will be surprised at how many patterns you can see and how much better your child can describe them.
For example, you might notice that your child gets a migraine on Fridays when they go to sports after school. Or you might notice that Tylenol (which contains paracetamol) works much better for the headache than Advil (which contains ibuprofen).
It may seem like a lot of work to write down every detail of every headache, especially if you already suffer from them. But believe me: it will really pay off - especially when it happens as quickly as it does with Symba! In addition, you get medication reminders via Symba...gold value for me and Paula!
With Paula, by the way, it was the medication.... after each adjustment I had the feeling of starting at 0....
Headache diary as a template? It's better with Symba!
There are many templates on the internet that you can download and copy, and there are other apps that you can use for this purpose. However, we have found that these prefabricated templates do not always provide enough space to enter all the relevant information and, more importantly, the available templates cannot always be adapted to your own needs - I wanted something individual for Paula. Last but not least, all the information is not digital. A lot of information gets lost very quickly..especially if you change dosages as often as we do.
That's why I advise you to download Symba and add the following information to your child's profile. Much of the information is even pre-set:
- Date of headache (will be printed in the report by default)
- Time of onset of headache/end of headache (pre-set to be printed in the report)
- Pain intensity (from 1 to 10, 10 being the highest level) (you can select any symptom and define the level yourself)
- Symptoms before headache onset (any symptom is possible)
- Symptoms during headache (any symptom is possible)
- Symptoms after headache (any symptom is possible)
- Medication used (any change is recorded here and will be printed in the report by default: medication, dosage, frequency)
- Efficacy of medication used (from 1 to 10, 10 being the highest): You can set this yourself in the app and define the level yourself).
Depending on what you suspect is triggering your headaches, you can also track the following with Symba:
- Foods you have eaten in the last 24 hours
- The weather
- Stress level (from 1 to 10)
- Physical activity (a trigger for Paula)
- Exposure to strong fragrances
- Caffeine intake
- Anything else you suspect might be contributing to your headaches - Symba is really able to track it all. For example, we found out about music as a trigger together.
Now keep your diary: record all the information about your child's headaches together with your child and send the PDF report to your paediatrician - as often as he/she wants. Your paediatrician can and will guide you after the first feedback and express wishes that you can follow up with Symba. In our case, it was medication-related side effects that our neurologist wanted.
Over time (perhaps even sooner than you think) Symba as a headache diary will become a treasure trove of information about why your child has headaches. In addition, you will find that by sharing the headache diary with you, your child will know more about the condition, be better able to describe their state of mind and will be better able to deal with the headaches/migraines in their teenage years (I hope Paula "grows out" of the migraine...)
PS: Paula and I also spend much more time together since we started using Symba (:)