A holistic approach to migraine treatment

I’m reeling.

Photo on 1-15-15 at 2.41 PM #2
This is me, reeling.

I met with my new doctor this week.  Dan took me to see her and when we got to the door I thought they were closed.  You know, because the lights were muted, there were no fluorescent lights at all, it was quiet.  There was no loud music, just a super low classical playing. The walls were painted a dark brown, with a matching carpet. All the decorations were dark in color. It was like a cave.  A lovely muted cave.

The doctor’s assistant is named Novella. I’m taking it as a sign.  The doctor herself bears my godmother’s name.  Another sign. That and her last name is Lane, as in path, as in a new path.

She is a whirlwind.  My hour-plus appointment with her was spent learning I do have migraines “Just migraines, I don’t know what all this other crap they have been going on about is, cluster and tension headaches go away, you present with persistent migraine”, that I do have trigeminal neuralgia, that I will need surgery, and that I struggle with feeling happy not simply because I am in pain but because the migraines literally sap my brain of the chemicals it needs to keep me happy.  In other words, she took me completely seriously, had done her homework in advance, didn’t rush me, and developed a plan.

A PLAN PEOPLE!! I have a PLAN!!!

I left overwhelmed, reeling, happy, and in tears.  I am not sure why the tears, except that having someone validate me instead of throwing meds at me was wonderful.

Treatment is going to be a full time job. I try to remind myself that my headaches were a full time job, but my brain is currently trying to rabbit.

I am happy, however, that I will be treating this headache with a doctor who believes in approaching migraine from all aspects of life, instead of just medication.

So, headache diary, check.  Food diary, check. Exercise diary, check. Medications, check. Therapist, check.

Oh, and the other thing? She asked Dan in with me so he would know what he was dealing with too. So, supportive and knowledgable boyfriend, check.

The brain surgery is out-patient, which is so futuristic to contemplate that my mind wants to rabbit whenever I think about someone rooting around in my head with a steel crochet hook and then sending me home.

The scary part is that I am back on the Topomax.  This is a big trust thing for me.  She swears she has a medication to counter any cognitive disfunction resulting from the drug, but I am terrified.  Last time I was on it I lost 40 pounds in three months and forgot words like “table” and “glass”.  Dan has offered to conduct daily word game tests to track any potential side effects.

The other scary part is knowing that the future holds a week or two or more at this ultra intense migraine clinic in Michigan if we can’t get it under control here.  She kept telling me that the clinic used I.V. meds to find a solution in this really excited voice, like I should respond as though she were telling me the clinic used 8 hours of massage a day.  I do not find I.V. meds nearly as enticing as massage.  However, it’s good to know there is an end game here, you know, that isn’t MY end game.

She spoke 8 million miles a minute and made notes for me that look a lot like pidgeon feet on sand so I am still trying to remember the entire picture, but those are the high points. (And low points. And silly points.)

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7 thoughts on “A holistic approach to migraine treatment”

  1. *HUGS* Woohoo! I’m very happy for you! I agree that out-patient for the brain is mind-boggling. Then again, being in a hospital for any length of time, in my opinion, is keeping one in an increasingly dangerous situation. A PLAN! Awesome! If necessary, I will FIND pom-poms & cheer, too. 🙂

  2. I am so glad that Dr Lane has given you some hope and has a plan to help. She has an amazing reputation in the headache community. When we found her, she reviewed Ben’s records and said we had tried everything she would have prescribed and sent us a referral to the Michigan clinic. We were 2 days from leaving and found out insurance refused to cover it. That was what lead me to researching and finding the atlas orthogonist that helped Ben. I’m hopeful she will be able to help.

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