My grandson Stefan was about 8 years old when he began to get migraine headaches. As soon as he could after getting home from school, he would lie down and go to sleep, awakening an hour or two later, usually with the headache gone. But before the pain abated, he sometimes vomited, prompting him and his relatives to keep barf bags handy at all times.

Then as Stefan approached puberty, these debilitating headaches stopped as mysteriously as they had begun.

Though Stefan’s headaches were disruptive and disabling, he was luckier than his grandma. My migraine attacks (misdiagnosed as sinus headaches) began around puberty, usually occurred three times a month, each lasting for three days, and didn’t end until menopause. Even though sleep can often terminate a migraine attack, nothing I tried brought relief, and there were no prescription medications at the time to treat or prevent them.

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