As another school year begins, students who experience frequent migraine attacks may need to prepare bit differently. Juggling unpredictable migraine attacks and schoolwork is not that easy, but it’s possible to get success in school with migraines.
If you’ve been suffering from migraine attacks and finding it challenging to get success in your school, you’re not alone. All those who get headaches report that they started as children. According to American Migraine Foundation, more than 23 percent say they started before the age of eight. For some, migraine can even begin at the age of two or three. Somewhere between 5-11 percent of children and more than two-quarter of teens ages 13-15 get migraines. By the time you get to college, it’s likely that you have encountered many classmates who’ve also suffered from migraine, even if they didn’t disclose it.
Migraines can be much bigger than simple headaches-they are whole-body, disabling attacks. When you get a migraine, it usually means no school at least for2-3 days. With frequent misses at school, it becomes very difficult to excel in school with migraines. Coming up with a plan and keeping your professors and teachers in the loop about your health will help ease stress.
Student life is full of opportunities for a migraine attack from sleep disruption to back to school stress to the tyranny of fluorescent lights, it’s a big burden to handle the stress. My tips will definitely help you find success in middle school, high school, and even in college-all while successfully dealing with debilitating, unpredictable migraine attacks.
Find an advocate and try to build positive connections
Students in middle or high school can seek out a favorite teacher or school counselor to offer support through the year. Students can easily find a friend and ally in their academic advisor. It’s important that you’re honest and open about your situation so that your advocate can assist you to get most out of your school with migraine headaches.
It’s not possible to control migraines, but you can definitely help control how those around you react to your situation. If you’re open from day one on all you need to succeed in school with migraines, you can easily find an advocate and academic success. However, there is no need to share more than you are comfortable with. Try to understand your rights as a student with disability, especially when you’ve registered yourself as a disability student.
Be organized and proactive
This is the best advice for students who get migraines as they can benefit further by staying organized. If you have migraines and you want to succeed at school, you may need to keep track of more documents than normal students.
Keep a medical binder as this will help you stay in control of your medical care. You should ask your doctor about note at each appointment. When you have a letter from your doctor, it will help your advocate for your health. It also saves lot of time in case a teacher requests additional information.
A planner is another must for students suffering from migraines. You may often update your calendar dates if your migraines keep you away from school. Try to write your assignments in pencil as soon as your syllabus is available. Take your planner a step further by maintaining a pain diary alongside it. It will help you and your doctors track any migraine patterns and identify triggers.
If you feel you may miss school due to a migraine, it’s best to work ahead if you can. Try to stay proactive and work when you’re well for long-term success. This will show your commitment to your teachers, and will also help you avoid any late- night cramming. Stress and lack of sleep is a perfect recipe for migraine so try to avoid late-night cramming at all cost. Meeting deadlines when you have migraine is tough, but with some extra work it is possible to avoid migraine triggers.
Come up with a good migraine plan and try to write it down
Having respectful, honest relationships with your teachers can really help you come up with a successful migraine plan. Talk to your school administration and see the kind of accommodation they have for students with disability. Keep in mind that different schools in your area may have different policies, but you may definitely get some help in eliminating migraine triggers in your classroom.
Consult school administration and teachers to come up with a good plan. In most cases, you may need extra time to complete your assignments due to frequent absences, or may be able to take some of your classes online. Meeting your professors or teachers before the start of your year will let them know that you are making all out efforts to get success in school with migraines. They will understand your situation and appreciate that your absences are legitimate, especially when they’re backed by a doctor’s note.
It’s best to get your migraine plan in writing right at the beginning of the school year. You might feel relaxed with this approach as there won’t be any need to worry on what will happen if your migraines interfere with school work. E-mail is a good option or this. Get all recommendations outlined in writing so that you have clear understanding between you and your teachers. However, not all teachers may cooperate in working out a concrete plan. It’s actually an extra work for a teacher to make accommodations. Even then, connecting before your school year and explaining your requirements will show them that you are really serious and willing to go that extra mile.
You may have to fight some migraine stigma at school
Even with the best plan, you may encounter some migraine stigma. Some teachers and administrators may not fully understand a life with migraine and why it causes absences from school. If you’re determined to succeed in school, be prepared to meet challenges.
Some schools are not prepared to accommodate students with migraines or chronic illness. Don’t be afraid to challenge your school or university if you feel your accommodations are not being met properly. You need a level treatment as with other students and you can definitely succeed at school with migraines.
If you’re struggling to get to graduation, there’s no need to give up on yourself! Don’t lie low, because your degree will be well worth the struggle. Graduating from school by successfully handling your headaches is a task for the tenacious and strong-two character traits that migraine headaches help to build.
Stay healthy with routine
Healthy habits play a big role in migraine affected student’s long term success. It’s important to follow a routine and keeping aside days for rest and rejuvenation to ensure comprehensive migraine care. Its important to stay consistent with sleep, exercise, and diet to prevent as many migraines as possible. Pack water, snacks, and medications, and never forget to bring them along to your campus. Do everything possible to avoid migraine triggers, such as excessive caffeine and alcohol, skipping meals, or excessive junk food.
Stress also contributes to migraines. While there is a certain amount of stress in day-to-day school life, try to give top priority to your health. Do not feel discouraged if you feel your life is bit different from your colleagues, or if you have to postpone graduation. It’s best to forgive yourself if you cannot meet your own expectations. You can stay well by keeping your disappointments in perspective and remaining completely flexible to keep anxiety and stress down.
The tools you learn in your school with migraines will definitely help you well beyond the academic world.