Getting the Migraine Care We Need: The Barriers We Face
When you live with migraine, your world can feel like it is filled with roadblocks. Like not being able to do the things you enjoy. Not being able to go certain places because you know they are full of triggers. Or not being able to spend time with the people you love because you have a migraine. Again. Even just the fear of getting another migraine can sometimes stop you in your tracks.
But are there roadblocks when it comes to finding care or treatment that is right for you? We asked our Migraine.com community this very question. And they had a lot to say about it.
How long does it take to get to your doctor?
Location, location, location
Finding a doctor who understands your specific migraine diagnosis and makes you feel heard can be tough, right? Well, how about finding one within driving distance of where you live? That is especially difficult for many in our Migraine.com community.
Not everyone is fortunate enough to live right around the corner from a headache specialist. Thankfully, some in our community have been able to turn to telehealth to get the help they need. Virtual care can make it easier for those living with migraine to connect with doctors, regardless of physical location.
“My biggest barrier is location. I live three hours away from one of the nation's top hospitals. That is where my headache specialist is.”– Migraine.com Community Member
In the past year, has insurance made it difficult to get your migraine treatment?
So, you finally find the right doctor for you (yea!) and they prescribe a new treatment. And you think to yourself, maybe this is it. Maybe this will be the treatment to help give me relief – finally.
You are feeling cautiously hopeful. That is, until the insurance company steps in. When it comes to dealing with insurance, our community shared a long list of grievances. A few examples? Not adequately covering treatment costs. Limiting treatment quantities. Or dictating the order of treatments to be tried (and failed!) first before you can get the medication your doctor initially prescribed. This can feel frustrating – even infuriating.
“My barrier? The insurance company! They shouldn't be allowed to say what medications I can or cannot have. Or how much of them I can have.”– Migraine.com Community Member
A little respect
Arethra Franklin had it right. Respect goes a long way, especially in the doctor-patient relationship. The problem is, not everyone is getting it.
Some in our community shared that their doctor does not understand what they are going through. Some confess that they feel completely powerless at doctor visits. And others, especially those living with chronic migraine, feel their doctor has given up on them. Many feel that they should just accept this is the way things are going to be from now on. But here is the truth: There are ways to advocate for yourself, so your doctor is more likely to see, hear, and understand what you are going through.
“No one takes me seriously. I have never been put on meds for my migraines so I just suffer.”– Migraine.com Community Member
Coming face-to-face with roadblocks in your migraine care is never easy. That is why it is so important to connect with others who have stood where you are now. Communities like Migraine.com can help you navigate some of these barriers while offering support and a shoulder to lean on.
Do you feel your doctor takes your migraine seriously?