Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Happiest Place To Get A Migraine (And It's Not Who You Think)

Last Wednesday we took our yearly holiday trip to Disneyland.  I know, I know.  It’s not quite the holidays yet.  Or at least it wasn’t then.  Usually we go the week after Thanksgiving, but this year Melinda needed us to go the week before because she is going home early for Christmas.  Since she is our free way in the park (Thanks Mel!) we decided to go when she wanted to.  It really didn’t matter to us, as long as we got to go.  Although we prefer to go when it wasn’t going to be wall to wall people. Hence the week before.  

As it turned out, the week before Thanksgiving might be even better than the week after.  We didn’t wait more than ten minutes for any ride.  It might have helped that it was a cloudy day and there was a threat of rain, but it was perfect for us. 

I realized during this trip that every time we go to Disney it is always a completely different experience.  It used to be that when we went we only rode a couple of the more tame rides like Small World, Dumbo or the carousal.  Then we spent the better part of the day tracking down and taking pictures with Mickey and the gang.  As the girls get older and taller, however, things are starting to turn in a new direction. 

From the moment we entered the park, maybe even the tram, all Sonya could talk about was wanting to ride Indiana Jones.  She was tall enough and had heard from a couple of her friends how much fun it was, so she was all for it.  It is farther into the park so I kept telling her we would get there eventually, but let’s ride Star Tours and Space Mountain and a few things in Fantasy Land before we head over in that direction.  She would settle down about it for a bit, but after riding another ride or two she would start asking about Indiana Jones again.  Finally around 2:30 in the afternoon we decided to head toward the ride she was so anxious to get on.  Indiana Jones is right next to the Jungle Cruise and we though we should all ride that one first since it was for everyone.  After we got off Andy took the little girls to walk around while Melinda and I took Sonya next door to Indiana Jones.  The wait wasn’t more than fifteen minutes, but Sonya was nervous the whole time.  I’m not sure what she was expecting.  

If you’ve never been on Indiana Jones the best way I can describe it is that it’s a wild off roading ride.  You are in an big jeep kind of car and it twists and turns and is a bit fast.  If you are the type to  get carsick, this would probably put you over the edge.  I love it though.  Of course it has all the elements of the Indiana Jones movies with fake snakes and a big boulder that comes oh so close to crushing your car.  It's all very Disney, but possibly scary to little kids.  Especially if they are my kids.  

We got on the ride, got buckled and I turned to Sonya who was now close to a panic. The ride she was so excited for was now making her extremely anxious.  I kept telling her "it’s a ride, it’s all pretend and it’ll be fun."  That didn’t stop her from clinging to me with her head down and her eyes closed almost the entire time.  That’s where the problem started. About  20 seconds into the ride she yelled,

“I’m gonna be sick!”

“No you’re not!” I said.  “Pick your head up and look around.”  

She did for about five seconds, but got scared again so she squeezed her eyes shut and put her head back down.  I was petrified of being puked on for the next 45 seconds.  When we finally got to the end of the ride she looked shell shocked.  We started walking out the exit and she said to me, 

“Mom, my eyes feel small and weird.”


“You’re okay, just keep walking.” I told her.

But as soon as we walked all the way out and back into the park she started freaking out,

“I don’t feel good!!! I feel like I’m going to be sick!!!”

I tried to calm her down while I frantically searched for Andy.  We found him and the little girls across from Pirates of the Caribbean.  I quickly told him the situation then left with Sonya in search of a bathroom.  She continued to yell out that she was going to be sick.  God only know what kind of looks I was getting from other park goers.  I had no time to worry about that.  I needed a bathroom before she puked in front of Big Thunder Mountain.  

We finally found a bathroom.  She did get sick a bit, but it wasn’t enough to make her feel better, so we found an empty bench where she laid down with her head on my lap.  I texted Andy where we were (how did people find each other in parks before cell phones?) and they came to find us.  

I thought for sure she would get better shortly.  Usually when people get motion sickness they feel better after the motion stops and/or they get sick.  She napped on the bench next to Andy for about 20 minutes while I took the little girls to pick out a prize.  When I came back out she used one of the plastic bags we had just gotten with Georgia’s prize, for a barf bag.  She looked better after that episode, so I thought we were in the clear.  Phew!  It was time for our dinner reservation at the Big Thunder BBQ-best place to eat in Disney.  Glad that was over!  Yeeeaaahhhhexcept for the part that it wasn’t.

I spent all of dinner running back and forth with her to the bathroom to get sick.  She didn’t really have anything left to throw up after a while, but every twenty minutes or so she would feel the need to puke.  

After dinner we walked around a bit, which seemed to be better for her than sitting because she wanted to pass out when she sat, which then led to more puking.  We kept thinking she was going to get better.  I mean how could motion sickness last this long?  It seemed weird that she kept feeling sick every 20 minutes or so.  The funny thing was she was acting just like Georgia does when she gets her migraines...yup.  That’s when it hit me.

“Sonya-when you said earlier that your eyes were small and weird, what did you mean?” I asked.

“Everything just kept getting bigger and smaller in front of me,” she said.  

Then I remembered something Georgia’s neurologist had told me about migraines.  Some kids will see things very big or very small right before an impending migraine.  That was when I came to the conclusion that what she had wasn’t motion sickness but a migraine which was most likely triggered by the motion sickness.  Fan-freaking-tastic.

It was at that point that I thought perhaps she needed to leave.  Yeah look at me being mother of the year and forcing my daughter to walk around Disneyland for two hours with a migraine.  You know you’re kid isn’t doing well when you ask if they want to leave Disney and they tell you yes.  

Unfortunately, the fireworks were less than an hour away, but she had no interest.  I didn’t want to ruin the little girls’ time, so I decided to take Sonya back to the car and they could stay and watch the fireworks.  This way at least she could rest in the car and we wouln’t be there more than an hour before they came.  So she and I walked back to the car while she puked every few hundred feet.  Good thing it gets dark early!  And that Disney has lots of shrubbery.  And that she wasn’t really throwing up more than just foam.  Sorry.  Gross, I know.   She could have cared less that she missed out on getting ice cream or that we left before fireworks.  All she wanted was to lay down.  I felt so badly for her.  

The good news was, where our car was parked was right near a set of stairs and we could see the fireworks perfectly, between her puking.  No we didn’t get the holiday ambiance like the music and “snow” that happens in the park, but it was better than nothing.  

Once she was in the car with her PJs on and teeth brushed, she started feeling much better.  Thankfully, there was no more vomiting.  We weren’t back at the car for very long before the others got there and we were on our way home.  

So it appears that Georgia is not the only one who suffers from migraines in our family.  What wonderful news right?  Well at least we can pinpoint the cause of Sonya’s.  Suffice it to say she will not be riding on Indiana Jones anytime soon...or ever.  We can just add it to the list next to the tea cups. 

1 comment:

Hollyhome said...

Awe :( Sounds like a super happy trip. Kids with Migraines...I can't imagine!