At the end of the week I begin the next steps in the quest to better control chronic migraine. I am hopeful that this will result in the improvement that I so desperately need.
Today I go, at my local hospital, to get an updated MRI of the head as well as an MRI of the neck. These are required prior to admission into the inpatient program. With the images from these studies in-hand I head down to Ann Arbor on Friday for an outpatient visit with my former neurologist (also a prerequisite for the inpatient program). The final piece, clinically, that I must satisfy is an outpatient visit with one of the psychologists at MHNI.
The tentative plan is to enter the inpatient program this Sunday, after my outpatient visit (they do not admit on Friday's). If there is any issue with my insurance the admission may be Monday of next week.
This means that I will have Friday afternoon, Saturday all day and possibly Sunday all day in Ann Arbor. From my home to Ann Arbor is approximately a four hour drive. I have decided to stay in Ann Arbor after my outpatient visit until the time of my admission. To drive four hours there, four hours back and four hours back down just seems like too much driving.
So, I will be in Ann Arbor for the weekend, with part of that hopefully spent being admitted into the program.
Lots of stuff is running through my head as things move forward. Of course, front and center is the sincere hope that Dr. Saper and his team can find effective treatments that both better manage my migraines while in the hospital as well as post-hospitalization! A close second has been concern over time away from work. The amount of paid time off (PTO) I have available is quite low, because of time off due to migraine. I just have not been able to build up a bank of PTO. As I look at the 5 to 7 day inptaient program I am definitely concerned about PTO. I cannot really afford to take unpaid time off from work. My employer, thankfully, seems to be willing to work with me to overcome this potential issue!
Another competing message is the idea that by going into such a program I have somehow lost to the migraines, or that I have lost control (which I never had to begin with). My raional mind knows this is simply "garbage" yet it keeps popping back up in my thoughts. It seems I am having a bit of push-back as I process the new idea that I cannot effectively manage the migraines, work, family... life! The right answer is to pursue treatment that might be effective. The garbage answer is that I am stepping onto a muddy hill on which I might just slide "down farther". Again, I know how silly such thoughts sound even as they continue to move through my awareness.
My intention is to write about my experience in Dr. Saper's inpatient program. I want to share my experience so that others can get a glimpse into the program.
In the interim, this week, I am working on a list of questions, ideas, possible treatments, etc. that I can discuss with Dr. Saper and the team.
This is an exciting step that I hope will result in some much needed relief and more effective relief from the curse of chronic migraine!!!