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MHNI or Jefferson?

Hello all,

My name is Maressa and I am new here! I have been reading posts for some time, and I find this community to be very supportive and helpful. I have had migraines since I was 7, and they became chronic at 26. I am now 30, and they have gotten MUCH worse over the past few months - so much so that I have now on disability. I was hospitalized earlier in the month and received a variety of meds over my week-long stay, ending with DHE. While DHE took the edge off, it never truly made the headache go away, and I HATED the side effects.

Like most of you, I have been on every preventative and abortive out there, and tried nerve blocks, trigger point injections, and botox to no avail. I am fortunate to be able to see Dr. Todd Rozen at Mayo Clinic, and he suggested MHNI or Jefferson for inpatient treatment.

I have done a tremendous amount of research on both programs, and so far, I have concluded that MHNI seems to have a protocol that is more focused on biofeedback, PT, sleep issues, and pain management via therapy in addition to medications. Jefferson seems to focus more on "reboooting" the system via lidocaine or ketamine. While each seems to have it's advantages, I am TERRIFIED of being stuck on lidocaine or ketamine 24/7, as I would hate having to ask someone to help me every time I got up to pee and I am NOT a fan of hallucinations.

During your first visit to Jefferson, is IV lidocaine the go-to, or are other options tried first? Has anyone been to both MNHI and Jefferson? Thoughts?

I have an appointment at MHNI December 12 and one at Jefferson December 21, so I need to decide quickly - I live in Florida so there will be substantial travelling either way. I have also heard that Jefferson take longer to get into - about a 2-3 month wait for the inpatient program versus a week or so wait for MHNI. Has this been true in your experiences?

When I called MHNI, they did say that admission priority is given to those coming from from out of state - has this also been true in your experience?

I know this is a lot of questions - any information is appreciated!


  1. Anyone?

    1. Hi Maressa,

      Sorry for the delay in answering your question and thank you for your kind words.

      I don't have personal experience with either of these clinic's, but have heard good things about both. We have information on Jefferson from fellow advocate Katie Golden, who calls it "Headache Camp" you can read here;

      We have information on MHNI in this forum thread that may be helpful;

      A member of my local support group went to MHNI and had good results.

      I hope this help!

  2. Thank you Nancy! I am heading to MHNI on Sunday - here is to hoping!!

    1. Good to hear. Please let me know how you make out!


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