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Self-Pay?You Gotta Be Kidding!

I've been researching docs and pain intervention centers in my area who might do lidocaine and/or ketamine infusions. I'm trying to avoid an expensive trip back to the Jefferson Headache Clinic in Philadelphia.
My daily migraines have returned, despite 2 Botox treatments. My doc wants me to have a 3rd treatment, and I am not at all for it. Do I really need to go through a 3rd treatment just because my doc feels a fair trial is 3 treatments? He also wants me to see a psychiatrist before he will consider an alternative treatment such as lidocaine infusion. He believes my depression is causing my migraines, but I'm pretty darn sure it's the other way around!
I found one doctor and one pain clinic who do these infusions, but they both told me that because they are considered experimental treatments they are not covered by insurance. The infusions are done in a series of 3 (there's that magic number again!) and each one costs a $1000. This is devastating to me! I'm on disability due to my migraines, and I get considerably less than $1000/month. Why was lidocaine covered at Jefferson but not in Illinois?The lidocaine infusions I received at Jeff broke a 3- year- long daily headache, and it was several months before it returned. That is why I'm so motivated to get these infusions again. I'm interested in ketamine as well because I have read that it works well on depression.
How do these doctors figure that self-pay is an option when it clearly means that only financially blessed patients can afford treatment?
Feeling frustrated, depressed, and stressed-out seeking treatment options. And oh yeah, my head hurts!!

  1. Hi Jules2dl,

    I'm sorry you having such a hard time, migraine is very frustrating.

    It is also exhausting trying treatment and treatment and medication after medication without any results. However, the third time may be the charm for Botox. If after the third round there is no improvement, then you may want to stop.

    Could you explain that the infusion was covered in PA and you'd like to know why it's not covered in IL? I think that is a fair question.

    Depression and migraine can be co morbid conditions - this means they can occur at the same time but are not caused by one another. I suffer from depression and get treatment for it, both medication and occasional talk therapy. In my opinion, anyone who has a chronic illness could benefit from talking to a professional every now and again. We aren't equipped to deal with chronic illness, but a counselor can provide useful coping skills. We have a number of good articles on this topic I'd like to share with you; and and

    I hope this helps,

    1. Thank you Nancy!!!

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