Migraine Awareness Month #10 Ocean’s Eleven: Who’s part of your Migraine/Headache Disorders care team? What essential roles still need to be filled?
My primary care physician: She is quite new to me however it wasn’t working out too well with my last doctor. I felt he was rather indifferent and dismissive. I have a great deal of trouble bringing up things if that is what I’m getting. I kept him for the main things like my refills and any major concerns but obviously, some things just were not being addressed. And when I had serious problems coping with the pain it seemed like he was more interested in getting me back to work if I was on short-term leave than addressing the serious distress of that pain, certainly when I was at work. And that caused problems certainly. So I went to see my spouses doctor who has always been great with him and it is working out quite well. There are no doctors in this area seeing new patients so you can understand how fortunate I was to be able to get in to see her at all.
Support system: My mom and my spouse are my primary go-to people for support really. Although all my family would be available I’m sure if I reached out to them. But on a daily basis, my spouse and my mom really helped me out a lot on many levels. Can’t really say I have friends to lean on… eventually these sort of drift away when you have chronic migraines and you’re working because of the inability to maintain any social life at all. And I can’t say I blame them since planning anything is so day to day even when I’m not working and such a limited window of low pain time… hard to be a good friend to anyone really. I do have lots of online support people however and that certainly helps with coping with a chronic illness.
Pet therapy: Got that covered with my three cats: Franky, Bobby, and Charlie. 🙂
Psychologist: I have been seeing a psychologist since I’ve been off work. So not too long but I think it is pretty necessary for me at this time. I wasn’t coping well at work and have a lot of problems with sleep and mood regulation due to the pain levels as is without adding that in there. I knew before I went on short-term leave that if my leave wasn’t approved or lasted only for a very short-term I have had a very difficult time of it and I wanted to have someone there to help me survive. Survival is the key word there. My idea was if this pain isn’t going anywhere and doctors are not going to treat the pain and preventatives are not working… then somehow I have to not let the pain drive me mad. That is where the shrink comes in with any idea they can come up with. I am seeing a new one because my old one thought I might want to see one that specializes in chronic pain and can try things like biofeedback and she is right, I’m totally game for such things. We will see how it works out on a communication level with him but I’m hoping for useful tools as well.
Neurologist: I’m on a waiting list to see a new one. Not that I am not doing all I can in the meantime to help things along. Such as trying exercise, and also increasing my Lyrica so I can actually get above a really mild level of exercise (damn you FM!). And all the other lifestyle adjustments I had mentioned in a previous post. All prep for whatever this neuro might recommend further.
Pain clinic: I have never been to one before but I am on a waiting list for one. It was recommended by my new doctor and I get where she is coming from. She said I had a neuro I had been with for years, who I said was excellent, who ran out of ideas. I have FM which complicates things a great deal. She doesn’t believe another neuro is going to come up with much more insight into my case and a pain clinic is likely to be more beneficial. I recommended both… because a neuro may not come up with anything the previous ones have not but at the same time someone needs to monitor the situation, at least try and help out with the persistent migraine auras, the vertigo and maybe the nerve damage issues… and give me advice alongside of what the pain clinic is doing- besides that I’ll get in to see the neuro before the pain clinic anyway. And I keep thinking there are so many preventatives out there that there must be something that I have not tried, that doesn’t conflict with my other health issues, that might work for these migraines or neurological issues. I agree the pain clinic is something I have never explored and they must have interesting ways to approach the problem of chronic pain, but migraines are not all about the pain so both should be better than just one or the other.