Sunday, May 6, 2012

Fried Migraine Brain

"Why didn't you listen to me?" How would you like to hear that from your Migraine specialist?

Yes, I knew better. Yes, I didn’t think I had increased my medication too quickly until afterward. Yes, in my first visit my specialist stressed “slower is better, slower is better".

During my first appointment, he increased my dosage three fold and I managed that just fine. For my second visit, he doubled my dosage so I thought I could handle it again with no problem.

Mathematically, I already had more medication in my system so proportionately, the stepped up increased would be much less. The one element I didn’t factor in was the human component. Silly me, I’m not a machine.

Yes, my doctor said slower is better and I read all of the time about how much safer it is to take it slower. I definitely understand more now and I never even reached the increase to the full dosage – I stopped after the second increase.

This year has been one of the toughest years that I have experienced. My Migraines seem to be getting the better of me. Work has been more difficult because of them too. I am extremely fortunate that my boss has been very patient with me up to this point and I am always very concerned that his patience could run out at any time. I don’t know that I would have made it through some of my rough patches if I had been reporting to someone else.

This is a big reason why I was so anxious for my preventatives to start working and why I made my big mistake and increased it a little too quickly. My symptoms from increasing too fast were definitely counterproductive to working effectively. Some of these symptoms were I would forget things too quickly, I could not type, I could not think and I sounded like I would keep tripping over my words at times.

Before my last doctors visit, I decided I would step out on a limb. I was running out of new ideas and tired of feeling like I was complaining all of the time. I decided I needed to bring a testimonial with me to my doctor’s appointment of what I can be like.

If you think about it, this can be a very difficult question to ask your boss, but also an equally hard question for them to answer and give you a frank answer. I first told my boss that I was going to ask him a question, but it was perfectly ok if he didn’t want to answer it – yes, a little awkward for both of us. I asked him if he could ask my doctor a question, what would it be.

He didn’t hesitate. He basically said that on certain days I seem to have a more difficult time assembling thoughts than other days, but he also knows that I am going through some medication changes. He said he also notices when I am not a hundred percent. Nothing he said surprised me as I know he has been noticing my difficulties which I have to add can increase my frustrations. It’s tough to actually hear him say the words, but I know he said this to me as something to tell my doctor because he wants to help me. I really do appreciate everything he has done to support me during this challenging time.

As it turned out, while I was at my doctor’s visit, I had a Migraine and because his lights are very bright, my speech was probably the worst it had been in a long time and I hadn’t even increased my dosage in over a month. He could definitely hear my speech issues and see my frustration.

He decided to decrease the dosage back to where it had been before the last set of increases and only titrate back up when I am completely asymptomatic. He is also putting in for approval for Botox and I hope I was able to recuperate some from my prior bumbling with him.

He had mentioned Botox since my first visit with him although neither one of us was really ready to go there at that point. Somehow, with this appointment, we both knew this would be it. He just started filling out the application to go to my insurance company. I had done some pre-work and had already listed the different meds I have tried in the different classes.

In order to cover Botox, my insurance requires more than 14 days per month with headaches lasting 4 hours a day or longer and you have to have tried and failed trials of at least 3 classes of Migraine prophylaxis medications of at least 2 months in duration for each medication. I fit that criterion for the 5 different classes that my insurance company listed. Anyway, by giving him a medication in each class, hopefully I was able to redeem some of my credibility from the boneheaded move I did.

If I get approved for Botox, I hope to not need to increase my preventatives further and maybe even eventually decrease some of them. It’s been a few weeks since my last appointment and I haven’t re-increased the dosage yet. I’m not really sure when I’ll be ready to do that although I still want to get rid of these Migraines.

I am ready to be done with this, but I know I have to be patient too. Slower is better...

Have you done any idiotic moves because you wanted to hurry up and scoot your monster away too?

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Emily G. said...

Please let us know if you are approved for Botox! I have been curious about that for years. Good luck!

MigrainePuppet said...

Thanks, Emily! I hear it can take a few weeks to find out about approval. I am ready to give it a try.