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How Do I Cope With Wait Times?

I've been suffering with migraines and headaches since I reached puberty at 9 years old. Nearly 20 years. 2019 and 2020 have by far been the worst years of my life for pain. I'm so exhausted, fatigued, and am never not in any pain. Whether it's my head or my body, or just sheer confusion and inability to think. I can't remember the last time I was me. I said enough is enough and scheduled with a neurologist. But I was anxious about money and impatient. The soonest appointment was a month out. A week after I scheduled I got an email that Nurx is now providing migraine care. I did their video exam, and canceled my neuro appointment. Three weeks later, two days before my canceled appointment, their doctor sent their questions. I answered that evening, and the next day was told they cannot help me as it appears I am having thunderclap headaches and need a complete neurological exam asap. The night before my canceled appointment. I called the next morning to reschedule with the neurologist, and, it's a two-week wait instead of a month-long one, so that's better, and I'm on the cancellation list to be moved up...but me and my family are now riddled with anxiety. And because my pain is incredibly intense just about every day - stress just makes it worse. As I type this my pulse is encapsulating my skull, sleep doesn't help, and the only treatment I have is Excedrin migraine, which doesn't help me at all unless I use it as a preventative on days I wake up not already in pain. With every jab, I wonder when I'll have a seizure or stroke or....what will happen. But I can't afford the emergency room and don't want to waste their time, or mine, if the teledoc was incorrect...because I can function. I can always function. It may only be at 10-20%, but I have never in my life been rendered incapable until I'm sent home from work for vomiting or passing out. With the anxiety making things worse....how to I get through these next two weeks?

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  1. Hi @ Corrodie,

    Thank you for reaching out and sharing that with us. I am sorry you are having a difficult time right now.
    I understand feeling anxious about being in constant pain and an upcoming doctors appointment. A few things you can do to help with this are prepare for the appointment. Getting your thoughts down on paper and have a few key questions is always a good idea. Let me share this information on how to prepare for the doctors visit; https://migraine.com/getting-help/prepare-docto-visit/ and https://migraine.com/getting-help/six-tips-for-migraine-patients-at-your-doctor-appointment/.
    Taking Excedrin every day, or nearly every day can create more issues for us, one being rebound headache. This may occur if we take over-the-counter and/or prescription pain relivers more than two to three days a week. The thing is if we are in a rebound cycle our migraine attacks may be more difficult to treat and we can end up in a daily cycle of pain that may be hard to break. I've been there, it's no fun.
    You've mentioned something important - functioning. As we tend to do, we adapt to pain and function through and/or with it, which isn't ideal. I totally get it - I've adapted to my pain in the over 22 plus years I've been dealing with chronic head and neck pain.
    I understand not being able to afford the ER, but sometimes it's necessary. If this pain becomes unbearable, I would encourage you to either reach out to your primary doctor and see what he can do to help, or go to the ER.
    In the meantime, while waiting for your appointment here are a few other things you can do; stay hydrated - dehydration is a strong migraine attack trigger for some of us and try to maintain a regular sleep schedule. People with migraine have overly sensitive brains that thrive on a routine schedule. This includes not skipping meals and eating on a regular schedule as well as going to bed and waking up at the same time every day.
    I hope this helps, I'm pulling for you! Please let me know how else I can help!
    Nancy Harris Bonk, Patient Advocate/Moderator

    1. Corrodie, I hear how much pain you are enduring and how frustrating the wait for your appointment feels. It is wonderful you only have to manage through 2 weeks! That is almost unheard of for a new patient appointment. It does not make the waiting any easier though. One thing that may help you to endure through the wait time is to consider some mindfulness practices. Many in the community have found mindfulness a way to help relax and ease the worry and stress that frequently accompanies migraine symptoms. These articles, written by 3 different contributors offering their perspectives, might be of interest to you:
      https://migraine.com/blog/10-tips-quiet-mind-sleep/
      https://migraine.com/blog/meeting-myself-where-i-am-migraines-mindfulness/
      https://migraine.com/living-migraine/mindfulness-not-scary/
      Additionally, as you prepare for your first appointment, this article gives some tips for having a successful visit that might be useful:
      https://migraine.com/getting-help/six-tips-for-migraine-patients-at-your-doctor-appointment/
      Please keep us posted on how you are managing and what you learn at your appointment! Know we are here to listen when you need support. Wishing you a gentle day. ~Allyson (Migraine.com team)

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