Thursday, June 13, 2013

Migraine Awareness Month #13: Sophie's Choice: The Treatment Choices I Make

Today's writing prompt is from the movie Sophie's Choice:  What are the toughest treatment choices I face when balancing Migraine/Headache Disorders with other health conditions?  

This is an apt question to ask because people with Migraine are more likely to also have Depression, Fibromyalgia, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and a whole host of other health conditions.  I personally have Depression (notice the capital D) and Irritable Bowel Syndrome.  I have to juggle treatments for Depression with my Migraine treatments more so than the IBS treatments.  

You know how I've mentioned that there are no preventive medications that have been developed specifically for Migraine and that the preventives used for Migraine have all been hijacked from other fields?  Well, luckily Depression is one of those fields, so many of my preventives can do double duty.  There are still many choices to make, as most preventives have some pretty retched side effects and I have had to decide whether the benefit outweighs the negatives the side effects introduce into my life.  Things like weight gain, weight loss, being sedated, or not being able to sleep.  Also, not being able to remember things, and not being able to think clearly, all these have been a few of the side effects of the preventives I have taken.  I  just take one medication at a time and do the cost/benefit analysis.  Sometimes it's worth it, sometimes it isn't.  

Sometimes the choices aren't even about medications.  I have had a Vagel Nerve Stimulator implanted surgically to treat Depression.  Choosing to have a surgery, especially a relatively new treatment for that condition, is a pretty big consideration.  Sometimes though, you are desperate enough to try anything recommended.  Usually, I am desperate enough to try anything recommended.  I trust my doctors enough that if they recommend it, I know they have my best interest at heart, and when it comes to both Migraine and Depression, I truly am desperate for effective treatments.  

I have suffered with Migraine all my life.  Undiagnosed until I was 17, but we look back and know those headaches I had as a child were migraine.  I have suffered with Depression since 1999.  At times both have been controlled, but mostly, both have tormented me.  So yeah, I am desperate and willing to try just about anything--within reason.  There are a few things people have recommended to me that I balk at, but if it's backed up by science, then yep, sign me up!  

Speaking of choices migraineurs have to make and balancing health conditions, the Migraine community found out this week that one of our members committed suicide due to her Migraine pain, and another precious 10 year-old soul had a stroke due to a Hemiplegic Migraine.  People think Migraines are just a headache, that you can just take a pill and get over it.  I am doing so much for Migraine Awareness Month because Migraines are serious, and can be deadly.  Please treat those in your life who have Migraines or other Headache Disorders with care.  You have no idea, until you've experienced it, the pain they may be going through, both physically and emotionally.  

June, Migraine and Headache Awareness Month, is dedicated to Unmasking the Mystery of Chronic Headache Disorders.  The Migraine and Headache Awareness Month Blog Challenge is issued by FightingHeadacheDisorders.com

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