A lab rat can die
Today’s Prompt: What situation in your treatment has made you feel most like a guinea pig or lab rat?
Seriously? You want me to name just one? C’mon now, ‘fess up. Which one of you came up with this prompt? Who will have the courage to own this one?
After I pick myself up off the floor from laughing my head off…
There are two situations that come to mind as topping the charts for lab rat trophy of the century.
- Those harrowing first 6 months before I was diagnosed with Cluster Headaches definitely made me feel like a lab rat. The worst part was that the professionals didn’t have a freaking clue what was wrong or what to do about it. Eventually they started blaming me for “not responding to treatment”. It was the most helpless, humiliating feeling in the world. Even lab rats don’t get treated that badly.
- Last summer when Botox failed and Keppra made me lose my mind probably tops the charts. What’s worse is that my neurologist at the time told me she couldn’t see me for 6 months. Are you kidding me? I was still having 15-20 attacks each month and the best she could do was say “see you in 6 months”. I felt like a lab rat who’d just been left in the cage to starve to death. What in the world was I supposed to do for 6 months?
In the doctors’ defense, they really didn’t know what else to do and that neurologist’s schedule really was backed up that far. Doctors are so careful to remain professional — do they really have any idea they come across as unsympathetic? Both times I needed doctors who would hold my hand, cry with me, and promise me they would do whatever it took to get me better.
Doctors need to realize that this kind of treatment can cause patients to lose hope. When we are in pain and lose hope, the we start thinking about doing things that are very permanent. We plan out our goodbyes to this world and start comparing the pros and cons of various lethal methods to end our pain. We’re not necessarily “depressed”. We get there because of a very rational process that leads us to only one conclusion. If there is no medical help for our pain, then life for us and our loved ones would be better if we were no longer suffering and putting a burden on them.
A few days ago, the Migraine and Headache Disorders community lost a beautiful woman because she lost hope. No one really knows what she was thinking at the time, but we do know that she was in terrible pain just days before she died. She was only 22 years old.
Please, please, please don’t ever give up on your patients! It can be deadly! Fight for them. Be their strength when they’ve got no more will to go on. Please don’t let us lose one more!
Pain-free blessings from a Clusterhead,
June 2013 Migraine and Headache Awareness Month, is dedicated to Unmasking the Mystery of Chronic Headache Disorders. The 2013 Migraine and Headache Awareness Month Blog Challenge is a project of FightingHeadacheDisorders.com.