From Frustration to Anger
Since the age of ten, I have suffered from headaches. My parents took me to the doctor a number of times and every time he would tell my parents that they were sinus headaches. His prescription was to use salt water in my nasal passages and take asprin. As I got older and the headaches continued, I would ask my physicians what could be done. The answers were mixed from the sinus treatment my old doctor told my parents to use to the doctor actually changing the subject. Many avoided the issue.
When I reached my thirties, my headaches were coming with my menstrual cycle. Over the counter pain medications did absolutely nothing for the pain. My periods came every other week as I entered early pre-menopause and the headaches worsened. I had a routine check-up appointment with my physician and happened to been suffering with one of those horrible headaches when I went into his office. I was nearly in tears begging for him to do something. He asked me to describe the headache to him. When I was through, he told me he knew exactly what I needed – it was a migraine and he gave me two types of medications to try and told me to let him know which worked best for him to prescribe. The only reason he knew what it was and what to do was because… wait for it… his wife had the exact same symptoms and HER doctor gave her the medication. Sadly, I had to feel happy that his wife suffered, too, so that I could get something that worked.
Once I had the medication, I was set. I was so happy to know that I would be okay. It was a nightmare having the headaches and having to work while I had them. I can’t miss work; I’m the only employee and my employer is so incredibly difficult when I have to miss, that it’s less stressful to just work through the pain.
A year ago, my new physician (they come and go constantly), was concerned that I take too much migraine medication and suggested that I was suffering now from rebound headaches. He decided to send me to an ENT and a neurologist. I have two triggers: one is sinus infections and the other is my neck. The ENT did the first test I had ever had done and found an infection. He prescribed an antibiotic at a very low dose. It didn’t work, but he wouldn’t give me a higher dose due to a possibility of c-diff. I had to wait a couple of weeks to get that. It did help, but he admitted other than surgery, nothing more could be done. I then went to the neurologist. He had me describe the headaches and the triggers. He then explained how rebound headaches work. He wanted me to not take any kind of medication (my prescribed migraine medication, over-the-counter – nothing) for one month. I told him that although I understand the rebound theory and would love to be able to not have to take meds, I was concerned as to how I would make it through the day at work with a migraine and not be able to do anything about it. His response was to put one hand on either side of my head and push inward. That was the end of the appointment.
All of the frustration of years of dealing with so many doctors who wanted nothing to do with the headache subject. I finally get this medication that works and am told that it’s now causing my headaches. Told to squeeze my head instead of taking any medication. The cost of the medication and the fact that the prescription is only 6 tablets is sad. There was even one point that our insurance would only allow one refill per month. Any further refills in that time period would be out of my pocket at $110 each refill.
I’m now angry. I don’t understand why I haven’t heard anyone in the medical profession in this town even suggest that we see about treating the triggers. Wouldn’t that make sense? Apparently making sense is not a money making procedure. In the meantime, I continue the medication and get through the headache days and am grateful for the days I don’t have a headache. That’s all I can do.
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