I have been dealing with migraines for 49 years. Through the years, I have tried almost everything. I actually had a decent 20-year spell when beta blockers kept me from having as many headaches. But then they stopped working and the search began again. And nothing was working.
I got my pain clinic doctor to get me in a study for the Spring TMS Machine. It uses magnets to retrain the brain. I had to fly to Mayo Clinic in Phoenix four times to get in and be in the study. The machine was free during this time. Honestly, I didn't have high hopes. The Cefaly machine hadn't worked, Botox didn't help, and all of the preventative drugs weren't helping.
I used the machine for three months and the headaches seemed to be a little better, but I wasn't sure. Mayo offered me the machine free for another three months while they tried to get my Medicare and supplemental insurance to pay for it. Then I had a Facelift. I had a lower lift, not a forehead lift. I say that because I have read that a forehead lift decompresses the veins and some people have significant relief.
Nevertheless, it has been two months since my facelift and my headaches are gone. I am assuming it is from the Spring TMS machine. I just wish I knew for sure. I will get an occasional headache, but it last no more than 2-3 hours and is so minor that I take nothing and it goes away on its own.
I found out Medicare won't cover the machine and my supplemental won't cover it if Medicare rejected it. The machine is $250 a month. I don't feel like I have a choice, but to continue using it. I have been averaging about 6-8 headaches a month with drugs and eleven without. I feel like I have been reborn.
The problem is that even though it has FDA approval, only a few doctors who are part of the study can prescribe it. Because I am not having headaches anymore, I would like my Internal Medicine doctor to write the prescription, but he can't. I didn't want to continue flying to Mayo Clinic so they found me a doctor only two hours away by car (a four hour round trip if there is no traffic).
I have been told that the success rate is about 78% of the people had significant improvement from Mayo. So, if you've given up and think nothing will work, I urge you to find out about this gadget. I still keep waiting for the other shoe to drop. I expect a headache will come at anytime, but so far it's been close to a miracle.
When it comes to planning vacations or other events where travel is required, how much does migraine factor into your decision-making?