If I had a nickel for every time someone said that to me…
Hundreds of treatment options
Did you know that there are over 100 different medicines and treatments available to prevent migraine? Not a single one of them was originally developed to prevent migraine, but they often work anyway. These medicines have been borrowed from psychiatry, cardiology, other neurologic specialities, and even dermatology and cosmetic surgery. In order to know if a treatment will work, it should be taken for at least 90 days. Because effective doses vary, many times a 90-day trial at multiple doses of the same medicine are required before it can be ruled out. Barring allergic reactions (which are rare) or dangerous side effects (not quite as rare), it would take you a lifetime to try them all.
There is always another way.
If your doctor tells you that nothing else can be done, don’t believe him. There is always another option. For starters, find a new doctor! The best doctor to see if you have migraine disease is a headache specialist. Unfortunately, there are only about 525 such doctors in the country and most are concentrated in New England. There are a few states without a single headache specialist. Wait times to see these doctors can be up to year. If you must travel to see one, there are additional expenses, plus the bureaucratic “red tape” of convincing your insurance to cover the cost. As difficult as the process may be, sometimes it’s the only option left.
It might not be easy.
I can’t promise that search will be easy though. Before I found an effective treatment, I went through 4 doctors, 4 chiropractors, 2 naturopaths, 1 plastic surgeon, 3 sleep specialists, 3 hospitals, and 5 neurologists. It took me FORTY years to find the right treatment. Now, I must admit that there were 13 years during which I was too young to make my own medical decisions. Then another 7 years before I actually saw a headache specialist, 5 more years of wandering aimlessly just treating attacks as they hit, 2 years of actual good treatment, followed by 5 years of being uninsured and broke. Only in the last 8 years have I known enough to make a serious effort to find a good doctor and treatments that actually help.
But it’s worth it.
I will never regret continuing to try. It’s been worth it to finally get a bit of relief. I only wish I’d tried harder a lot sooner. You might not think so in the middle of the search, but when you get to the other side, you’ll be glad you kept fighting. You deserve to have more migraine-free days.
There is always another option. The longer you avoid getting good treatment, the more difficult it will be to get your attacks under control. If you are struggling to find a good doctor and good treatment, please take a look at Find a Specialist. If you’re still stuck, drop me an email and we’ll figure it out together.
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This article is part of the July 2016 Ultimate Blog Challenge