It Makes Water Fall out of my Eyes

“And then a throb hits you on the left ide of the head so hard that your head bobs to the right…There’s no way that came from inside your head, you think. That’s no metaphysical crisis. God just punched you in the face.”  ―    Andrew Levy,    A Brain Wider Than the Sky: A Migraine Diary

As many of you know, I get three to five migraines a week. My head hurts so often that it now almost seems abnormal to have a clear, pain-free head. Starts with the dancing aura in the corner of my eye, then moves to a full haze. If I’m not fortunate enough to be around ibuprofen or booze, extreme nausea over takes my body. Any slight movement, any light that is on, anything, will expel the sin from the bowels of my stomach.

This post isn’t about me, though. This one is about Kennedy. She’s four and half. She’s the most beautiful girl in the world. She has big shoes to fill. Her mother is the most beautiful person in the world. I think Kennedy will give her a run for her money and may even take a slight edge. Her soul is warming and fun-loving. She tries to be funny. “Knock, Knock?” Who’s there? “Banana!” Banana? “Banana you glad I keep saying Banana! Banana!” Then she laughs hysterically. I taught her to laugh at your own jokes no matter what. Even if people don’t think they’re funny it is okay. You tell the joke for your own benefit anyway.

She is a sweetheart and ever so curious. When she grows up she wants to be a cooker. That is what her beautiful mother does. She’s a cooker. “I want to be a cooker just like mommy!” And she means it. Anytime Laura and I make something, she pulls a chair up and helps us. “Why did you do that? What does that do? Why are we mixing it? What does that taste like? Why did you make that?”

Why is she turning out to be like me?

She wants to be like her mother and I support that and wish that this never happened to her. I don’t wish this on any enemy. The Taliban, republicans, packers fans, nobody. I worked at home on Wednesday. I watch the kids twice a week. My work is good that way. Everything was normal. She fought with Miles for no reason. She jumped up and down in my office for no reason. She watched “The Sunny Side Up Show.” She ate hard-boiled eggs. She practiced her “L” and “M.” Then grandma came over to say hi. She said hi. Grandma visited and she didn’t say bye. She said her head hurt. Her brother had just hit her.

The night before she had gotten in trouble. She wasn’t sharing with her brother and rather than listen to us, she acted like a four-year old. She threw a super big temper tantrum. I heard her hit an octave that made me nervous for the picture frames. So, when she said her head hurt, I attributed it to that. I went back to the office to work some more. She went to the bathroom. I heard her yell for me. “Daddy? Daddy!” There was something different about the way she was saying it. This sounded like fear.

I got to the bathroom and her sick was all over her lap and floor. She was pale and looked drained. I immediately thought flu. I took her pants off and handed her the trash can and got the Swiffer. She drained her stomach contents into the trash can. I took her temperature. Her temp was a cool 98 degrees. No other symptoms. She was sitting on the toilet and there was nothing in it. I had her get up and she said she couldn’t use her legs. My mom had come back and Kennedy fell to her knees and puked a little more.

“I’m tired.” Thinking back we thought Ken had been hit in the head by her brother. So we told her no. She said her head hurt and she was tired. She fell asleep. And peace overcame her. She woke up two hours later and said her head only hurt a tiny bit. She took Advil and her headache was gone. There was no other symptom or explaination to suggest anything other than she was cursed with the same thing that her dad, grandpa, two grandmas and aunt suffer from. Migraines.

It breaks my heart into thousand of jagged pieces to think of my little sweetheart feeling the same pain I do. All of us medicate in our own way too. A way a four-year old can’t. I don’t want her to ever medicate, but I know she will have to. It forms a lump in my throat and makes water fall out of my eyes. My only solace is that she is not in this alone. Me and her will kick this migraine’s ass! I love you, Kennedy. You don’t understand this now, but you learn how to manage the pain. You learn how to think a headache is normal. We’re in this together.

Please to enjoy.


  1. Oh my. Kennedy, at 4 years old, has migraines. This story is so sad. Did your headaches start at 4 years old, too?

  2. Mine started at 12 from what I remember…this is horribly sad to me because I know I can’t do anything to kill the pain!



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