Sunday, March 21, 2010

Migraine Frustration

I woke up this morning without a migraine. An unusual occurrence during these last few weeks. I can’t even begin to express the frustration I’m feeling about the relentlessness of these headaches. I feel so powerless against them. When I was practicing medicine, I was a strong believer in the model of patient and physician cooperation in optimizing the patient’s health. Much of my day was spent helping people understanding their medications, learning how they could live a healthier life, and teaching them about their illness. Now that I’m on the other end, I feel like medicine isn’t living up to it’s side of the bargain. I’m doing everything I know how to do for the migraines, but medicine doesn’t really have much else to offer.

The neurologists say the pain is a neurological/vascular issue in the brain and to try varying combinations of seizure medications – done.

The chiropractor says some of the pain may be from poor neck alignment so I get regular adjustments.

The chiropractor/acupuncturist a few years ago thought that, whatever the cause, a course of acupuncture was likely to be helpful, especially since both my parents responded well to acupuncture. No luck.

The TV preacher says I need more faith and to send him $100. I’m not going there.

Thankfully, my family doctor is incredibly understanding. She hasn’t had any earth-shattering ideas lately about how to keep my head from hurting so much, but she does encourage me to eat healthy and exercise regularly.

I think I’m so frustrated with this because I have so little control over my illness. When I was working, I tried so hard to help people see how much they could influence their diabetes and blood pressure. So many of my patients just felt tossed around by life and I wanted them to see that it didn’t have to be that way. And now I’m feeling the same way.

It would probably be a little easier to handle if I had a diagnosis that wasn’t so nebulous. Migraine. Almost everyone has had one migraine in their life. How can they be so bad that you can’t function normally? I almost feel guilty sometimes because it’s just a diagnosis of pain. I’m not going to die of my migraines, but someone with cancer very well could be looking death in the face. My migraines seriously impact my life, but I’m not crippled by them, like if I had multiple sclerosis.

Those are my very profound Sunday morning thoughts – after missing church yet once again because I had a terrible migraine yesterday. Your comments are always appreciated (although I doubt I’ll try any new “surefire” migraine treatments anytime soon – I’ve done my share of the “this worked great for my aunt’s best friend’s cousin” therapies). Hope your day is headache-free!!


Anonymous said...

Hey Catherine, I have one more sure fire cure. It's an old scottish wives tale, I'm sure it will work. Stand in a bucket of cold water. That's it. Let me know how it All kidding aside, I understand where your coming from. I pray one day that they figure out a cure for these awful migraines, or at the very least can tell me why I have to have them more days than not. But, be thankful for the good days and that you have a great supporting and understanding husband and children who help you through those bad days.

Catherine said...

Hmmmm, it's cheap and easy. Maybe I should try it!! Or, how about this? You give it a try and let me know how it works!!