Migraine Awareness Month # 19: “The Match Game” -OR- “My Fantasy Doc”
Dr. C.K.U: Paula, it’s so nice to meet you. I’ve been through your history and noticed that you’ve tried quite a few preventatives; I’ve also noted your difficulty with negative reactions and side effects to these meds. Don’t worry: I’ve treated quite a few tough cases and many Migraineurs have issues with the side effects of these prophylactics. They aren’t easy meds to take, and the complication of adding side effects to so many migraines must be a difficult battle. Of course, you know that there is no actual Migraine preventative yet – the prophylactics we utilize now are “borrowed” from many other conditions and diseases. Sometimes they do the trick and work to prevent a sufferer’s migraines, sometimes they don’t. I’ll be working with you to find better treatments and preventatives, and as new treatments come along, I’ll keep you abreast of all the changes and of our chances for even more success. Now that I’ve covered your history, do you have any questions for me before we start the exam?
Paula: Hi, it’s nice to meet you, too. I do have a few questions – first off, I have asthma now – I was diagnosed in 2009 – and I can no longer take aspirin or nsaids at all. I also can’t take any of the Beta Blockers for Migraine prevention. I really hate not being able to take these meds: I used to be able to take some of the over-the-counter pills that contain aspirin, acetaminophen and caffeine, and they would sometimes knock out a mild migraine or work with my triptans to get me feeling better sooner. Now that I can’t take this stuff, I can really only depend on the triptans – no other pain meds do anything for me. And as you said, I have a lot of trouble with the side effects of so many of the preventatives and none of them have slowed down or prevented the Migraines, anyway. My previous docs got frustrated with me, I suppose, and either just stopped treating me or chastised me for not “trying”. I really felt like I gave it my all, but with so many days lost already to the headaches, I guess I just don’t want to feel miserable from pill side effects on top of the Migraine pain. Do you think I’ll be too much of a “pain” for you and how long does your practice keep trying before you decide that maybe I can’t be helped?
Dr. C.K.U: In answer to your latter question – we don’t “give up”, here. We will work with you until you are satisfied with your results. I can’t guarantee that you’ll feel better immediately, but here at “Compassion/Knowledge/Understanding”, we base our success on our patients’ feelings and their treatment success. Hard cases won’t deter me: I’m here to help make your life better and your treatment easier. We are affiliated with all the Migraine research foundations as well as the specializing clinics and headache/Migraine advocacy groups. The newest treatments and research are promptly employed here and we’ll work with you to make sure you have a chance to access these treatments as soon as possible. As for your former questions concerning your asthma and side-effect issues, I will work with the meds you CAN tolerate and build on those. We can also offer you many natural treatments as well as treatments geared to breaking any intractable Migraine that may come along. Our abortive, infusion treatments are offered free of charge for our patients. We also work with your insurance company to smooth over any medication-limit issues you may encounter. I understand that many patients have problems with their insurance denying triptans or limiting the amount allowed; we tackle this issue head-on, and realize how important our information/feedback is in these situations. In regards to your asthma, did you know that it as well as Migraine are both “inflammatory conditions”? Although I don’t treat asthma, our clinic has an alliance with a world-renowned asthma center. We will consult with them on every treatment option we try so that secondary issues, side effects and medication irritants are all but eliminated. I can also refer you to them should you decide to see them for treatment. They run a very effective clinic, and like us, offer the latest and best treatment available for their patients. On another note, I see that you’re in Peri-menopause at this time. You know, hormones have a dramatic effect on Migraine Disease, and with your ok, I’d like to address this issue first; I feel that your hormones and their changing nature at this time may have a lot to do with your increased Migraines. How do you feel about this?
Paula: Oh, wow – I totally agree! Many of my other docs didn’t really address my hormone issues, even though I told them that many times, I can go more than two weeks without a Migraine if I skip my period. On the months that I have two or more periods, I’m much, much worse – my Migraines are harder to get rid of and last longer – very tough! I’m also happy that you’ve addressed the insurance issue: I’ve had so much trouble getting my former docs to write the necessary letters to raise my insurance’s limit above the six triptans per month – of ANY kind – that they allow me. This will help a lot – thank you so much!
Dr. C.K.U: Well, let’s get you started – we have a life to change – yours! Ok, I want to get your blood-work first, then a complete workup. Are you ready…
Disclaimer: There is no Dr. C.K.U (that I know of!!) – he exists only in my imagination. This is my first “appointment” with my “Fantasy Doc” and represents my wishes for a doctor who’s compassionate, knowledgeable, and understanding. I hope to meet him someday…
“National Migraine Awareness Month is initiated by the National Headache Foundation. The Blogger’s Challenge is initiated by www.FightingHeadacheDisorders.com “