Saturday, August 1, 2009

Teleconference: A Migraine Tool

The best way to help manage your Migraines is to utilize the tools you have available to you. Did you know that Megan Oltman hosts a monthly Teleconference with some well known or very knowledgeable people in the Migraine, health and related community fields?

Megan started the informational Teleconferences earlier this year and has already hosted quite a few of these interactive calls. Have you registered for or attended any sessions? She has had some of the best guests who had plenty of great information to share. The format has a nice flow. She spends a little more then half the time asking questions of the guest and then opens up the floor so we can ask questions too! Yes, you heard me right, we can ask questions of these fantastic guests!

Who have been some of Megan's visitors? The guests and topics have included: Teri Roberts on Taking Charge of Our Migraine Care; Michael John Coleman on Helping Migraineurs Fight for Their Rights; Dr Roger Cady on Emotional Health; Dr William Young on Preventing and Treating Daily Head Pain and Intractable Migraine; and Dr Robert Cowan on What is Migraine For?.

The next Teleconference guest should be Professor Joanna Kempner of the Rutgers University Sociology department whose field of study is the sociology of disease and she is writing a book on Migraine and society. I can't wait to find out the official topic of discussion! These Teleconferences are the last Sunday of the month starting at 4:00 pm eastern time (that's 1:00 pm pacific time) and last for about an hour.

If you register for the Teleconference, not only will you find out about the latest topic after it is finalized and be able to ask questions yourself on the call, but you can listen to the past Teleconference recordings, all of which are offered free of charge. For more information and to register, visit Megan's site by clicking HERE. Unfortunately, I could not make one of the Teleconferences due to another obligation with my son, but I was able to make up what I missed by listening to the recorded session after it was posted. I might not have been able to ask any questions myself, but at least I was able to listen to the conversation which ended up being very pertinent to me.

The Teleconferences talk about many different issues as you can see by the variety of topics and guests. There are broad issues and more individualized areas brought up throughout the different Teleconferences. It's always interesting to hear the different theories on the similar subject matters by the various experts.

It was also fascinating to hear how people, doctors and legislature have evolved over the years from giving little or no credence to the disease to what we have today. We still have a way to go, which is why it is so important for us to become as educated and as involved as we can. The writing campaigns sponsored by the Alliance for Headache Disorders Advocacy makes it very easy for us to write to our Congresspeople when there is an active drive going on. I know it would be hard for me to write them if it wasn't made so easy by the AHDA.

I'm always trying to find the best way to manage my disease. With the assortment of guests, I'm given different ideas on what I can try that might work for me. Some Teleconferences talked about managing Migraines on a more individual level; how you can manage your Migraines and how other Migraineurs have managed their own Migraines. With Megan being a Migraine Management Coach, she has even interjected some of the tips she gives to the clients she works with.

Our nervous systems are more aware of the environment around us; they are more sensitive to it. I could never understand why a loud TV was so bothersome to me until it clicked during one of the Teleconferences. They were talking about loud, repetitive noises and how jumpy we can be even when we know it is coming because our active brains are slower to turn off. One of the callers commented on how she didn't feel as crazy now after she heard this. It's always nice not to feel like you are alone.

One helpful hint given was that we need to start with smaller goals in reference to our Migraines, kind of like if we needed to lose weight. Let's say you have to lose 75 pounds, it could be too overwhelming to look at that number, but if you break it down into smaller segments like X pounds a week, it's much more manageable. You can follow the same premise with your Migraines. As an example, if you want to do more exercises to help your Migraines, you might start with small walks and slowly build yourself up to longer walks as you can manage through it.

There is so much more information given out during these Teleconference than the few tidbits I have mentioned here. One of these doctors even gave his opinion on the current healthcare reform while another doctor mentioned he still learns from his patients everyday. Many show their sense of humor too. One doctor recounted a call he received from a patient that went from very frequent Migraines to very few. She made a huge environmental change when she divorced her husband. I don't think that's recommended across the board except for some it may not be the husband, but a different toxic relationship or perhaps other environmental changes like a job or something else along those lines. Before one of the calls, the doctor logged in early and we were able to have a nice little chat with him until the Teleconference started. He actually asked us questions about our Migraines.

If you want to gather up some additional tools for your Migraine chest and you haven't registered yet, I would ask you; what are you waiting for? Register, come armed with questions while you get ready to participate and prepare to learn something new. I hope I'll see you on the up and coming Teleconferences. Not only do we learn from the interview, but we learn from the questions we ask too.


Megan Oltman said...

Thanks so much for your comments on the Teleconferences! They have been fun and I love for people to feel they can begin to get some power over this disease, even if just a little bit at a time. I know that's made a difference for me, and it's great to be able to share that with others. So glad you've been with us on the calls!

Be well! - Megan

MigrainePuppet said...

Megan - Thank you so much for having the Teleconferences and for putting together such great guests! I have really enjoyed the calls and hope more people will try this tool as another way to better their lives and not feel so alone.