He Said WHAT About Your Migraines?

MimeQuestioningToday's Health Activist Writer's Month Challenge prompt is to write about the most ridiculous thing we've everheard about health or our condition, so for me, that means Migraine.

The problem with this challenge is that there have been too many of them. It was beyond diffiuclt to choose, but I did it. I chose this statement not only because it's so ridiculous, but because it has the potential to cause so much harm. This is a statement made to a Migraine patient who had been going tohim for just six months. Here it is...

"Sorry, but there's nothing more
that can be done for you."

What?! Are you freakin' kidding me? Anyone who knows me also knows what my response was to that. It was, "Fire his sorry butt!"

For those not familiar with Migraine disease and its treatment, let me elaborate about why that statement is so riduclous and why I say it's potentially harmful...

  • This statement was made after only six months of trying to help the Migraineur find effective preventive treatment. Six months! It takes up to three months to give a medication a fair trial and know if it's going to work.
  • There are now so many medications being used for Migraine prevention that it would take over 25 years to give each of them a three-month trial.
  • How pompous was this doctor? Just because he didn't know anything else to try doesn't mean "there's nothing more than can be done." A good doctor would have said he didn't know what else to do and would have helped the Migraineur find another doctor to work with.
  • Patients often believe idiotic statments such as that one, and when they do, they sometimes give up.
  • The WHO has stated that a severe Migraine attack is as debilitating as quadriplegia. How could a doctor just give up and set their patient up to give up too?

Obviously, that statement made me angry. I generally do try to be a bit more tacful when I speak about other people, but let's face it, this docto is an idiot. More than that, he's an uncaring, unfeeling idiot. If he doesn't care more than that for his patients, he has no business being a doctor. He gives other doctors a bad name. Shoot, he gives other human beings a bad name!

image from www.msteri.comIf a doctor has ever made that statement to your or implied as much, don't just walk away from him or her - RUN! Resist the temptation to smack the doctor silly. You don't want to get arrested, and you're a bigger person than that anyway. It's prefectly fine to tell him he's an idiot. In fact, I'd be hard pressed not to if a doctor ever said that to me.

But... know this... there are some fabulous doctors out there who won't give up on us unless we give up on them. They're intelligent, caring, passionate, and compasstionate professionals who truly care about us as patients and want to help us reduce the burden of Migraine disease and improve our quality of life. Don't let one idiot stop you from seeking good care from anotehr doctor. That would let the idiot win.

Finding effective Migraine treatment can take time and patience, but it can be done, and it's so very worth it. Look past the white coat to the person underneath. Find a doctor who cares and will work with you as a treatment partner.

Nothing more that can be done?! Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

HAWMCBannerThis post was written as part of NHBPM – 30 health posts in 30 days: http://bit.ly/vU0g9J

Live well,


 

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© Teri Robert, 2011
Last updated November 28, 2011


Posting Comments on Migraine Blogs

MimeSteepledFingers125 There's a lot to say about Migraines. That's one reason why there are so many bloggers writing about Migraine and other headache disorders.

When I write a blog entry, I love it when readers post comments. Legitimage comments. Unfortunately, I'm seeing a growing trend in the comments posted to my blog. Spammers.

Spammers are getting more devious about their comments too. Many of them try to disguise their spamming by actually writing a comment that's relevant to the blog. BUT... they reveal themselves as spammers by putting the URL to a commercial web site in the URL field on the comment form. That makes the name they've entered a live link that, when clicked, takes people to their site, hoping they'll bite and buy something. Personally, I think doing that is reprehensible. It's preying on people who have a disease and come to my blog looking for information and help. I think these people are the scum of the earth and wish that earth would open up and swallow them.

So...

To my real readers who have something to say - please do comment! You're the reason I allow comments to be posted to my blog. I promise to keep the comments spam-free.

To the spammers who post this kind of poorly disguised spam -- go away! You're not as clever as you think you are. Yes, your comment gets posted to my blog. BUT, I check the comments daily, and if they're spam, take action. Not only will I delete spam comments, I'll go a step further. I'll report you for spamming and block your IP address.

Live well,


 

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© Teri Robert, 2011
Last updated January 26, 2011.


Migraines, Doctors, and Pharma Company Dollars

ProPublica100

Does the doctor who treats your Migraines and / or headaches receive payment from pharmaceutical companies for speaking engagements?

ProPublica recently published a block of content, called Dollars for Docs, on doctors being paid by pharmacuetical companies, mostly for speaking engagements during which they educate other doctors about medications they use in their practices. In an editorial, ProPublica questions the objectivity of these doctors and suggests that being paid by pharmaceutical companies compromises their judgement and the care we receive from them.

Treating Migraines and headaches is difficult to say the least, especially for those of us who are "difficult cases." There are too few specialists, and our family doctors and general neurologists treat too many conditions to be even remotely able to keep up with the medications and other developments in the treatment of every condition they treat. The doctors who are part of pharmaceutical company speaker bureaus take their time to prepare and speak to groups of doctors who are interested in learning more about particular medications. They are NOT told what to say by the pharmaceutical companies; they speak from personal experience and knowledge.

To think that these doctors could do this without compensation is naive or foolish. Contrary to popular belief, very few doctors make a lot of money practicing medicine. The costs of practicing medicine are skyrocketing just like every thing else in this economy. Staffing, office rent or mortgage, equipment, supplies, malpractice insurance, and so on. If doctors accept Medicaid, they're often paid less than it costs them to treat those patients. Medicare is nearly as bad. It all adds up to reduced income for the doctors. And yet, they have the same needs and dreams that we have -- a home, raising children, saving for retirement. I know of several Migraine specialists who no longer see patients for this reason. They've gone into research instead. If they can supplement their income by sharing their knowledge and expereince with other doctors -- which, in turns, helps the patients of the other doctors -- MORE POWER TO THEM!

The people at ProPublica seem to think that doctors should take time from our appointments with them to tell us if they're paid speakers and give us the detaisl. Yeah, right! Does your doctor have enough time in his day to add that time to every appointment? Of course not. That would mean taking away from the time we have with them -- time that needs to be spent on our health care.

So... Does the doctor who treats your Migraines and / or headaches receive payment from pharmaceutical companies for speaking engagements? Mine do, and I think it's great that they can share their knowledge and expertise with other doctors so those doctors can give their patients better care. If they supplement their income while they're  at it, that's fine by me. If they were the kind of people and doctors who would be swayed or biased by it, they wouldn't be the great doctors that they are.

Live well,


 

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© Teri Robert, 2010
Last updated November 8, 2010


Migraines Make Me Thankful

TGivingBoyPraying When we think about Thanksgiving Day, we often think about what we're thankful for despite living with Migraines or headaches. This year, I find myself thinking of Thanksgiving in two ways:

  1. people and things for whom and for which I'm thankful despite Migraines and
  2. people and things for whom and for which I'm thankful because of Migraines.

I'll start with people and things for whom and for which I'm thankful despite Migraines:

  • My family: husband, two sons; two daughters in-law; nine grandchildren; brother; sister in-law; neice, her husband and daughter; nephew, his wife and daughter; and two cats.
  • My extedned family: Some very close friends including my ex-husband and his family (yes, we all still consider each other family), my online Migraine "family."
  • Still being able to see despite having glaucoma, which has seriously impaired my vision and taken away my ability to drive after dark.
  • Our home and not having been hurt as badly by the economy as badly as may people have been.

Now, people and things for whom and for which I'm thankful because of Migraines:

  • Dr. William Young (Jefferson Headache Center in Philadelphia), my first Migraine specialist, who has become a friend and colleague as well.
  • Dr. John Claude Krusz (Anodyne Headache and PainCare in Dallas), my current Migraine specialist, friend, and colleague.
  • An effective Migraine treatment regimen that has reduced my Migraines from an average of five a week to fewer than a dozen a YEAR.
  • The researchers who are working so dilligently to understand the pathphysiology and genetics of Migraine disease -- and the progress they're making.
  • The opportunities I have to do the work I do and know that it's helping other people with Mgraine disease and other headache disorders.

What are YOU thankful for this year? Please leave a comment and share with me?

Live well,


 

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© Teri Robert, 2010
Last updated November 5, 2010


Gotta Love This Migraine Blogger and Her Latest Post

MigTruthVery few things irritate me as much as incorrect or misleading information about Migraines. That includes all the scammers out there who know we can be desperate and are out to make quick $$ from us.

There are times when I want to rip someone's head off their shoulders and stuff it down their neck because of the nonsense the put up on the Internet. I want to rant and rave and say nasty things about them. LOL! But, I can't really do that. Since this is my career, my avocation, my livelihood, I feel it important to behave, write, and speak professionally.

Fortunately for all of us, Arabella is out there writing her blog, Migraine Truth. The header of her blog states, "Because I'm tired of misconceptions, misunderstandings, and outright lies!" Yesterday, Arabella wrote a blog entry that had me cheering, "Common Myths - The Biggest Myth I've Seen." In this entry, she talks about a horrible article she found and an even more horrible web site that's linked to from the article.

If you haven't seen this blog, or even if you have, I hope you'll take a few minutes to read Arabella's most recent post from the link above. Of course, I'm flattered that she links to my writings often as sources of "truth," but that's truly not the reason I love her blog. I love it because it's so straight forward and honest. I love it because someone needs to be just that blunt, and I'm not in a position to do so.

Arabella, thank you for speaking out and for being so vigilant. Your blog fills a vital need for Migraineurs trying to find good information online.

Live well,

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Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape© Teri Robert, 2010
Last updated May 29, 2010

When a Migraine Treatment Seems Too Good to Be True

NoCure We've all seen them. Those sites or ads on the Internet that claim to be have THE answer to our Migraines... the promises of a "cure"... the promises of stopping Migraines "forever." We want to believe them. Some people are so desperate that they fall for the pitch and buy the product, the book, the e-book, and so on.

Don't. Yes, it's that simple. Don't fall for it. Save your money and your hope for real advice and treatments that stand a chance of working. Don't let the charlatans profit from our misery and our desperation.

Why do people make these claims and offer false hope? There are a number of reasons:

  1. A few have stumbled upon something that worked for them and misguidedly think it's the answer for everyone. Most of these people don't really understand Migraines. They may not even have had Migraines in the first place, and are sorely mistaken in their theories.
  2. Some have developed or know of something that's an extremely effective preventive, so in their minds, that's a "cure."
  3. Some are, quite bluntly, unscrupulous, unethical cretins out to make money any way they can, and think people who are ill make easy targets.

There's another scheme that runs rampant online too. It's the people who go around putting together Migraine information from a variety of sources, put it all together in a e-book, then sell it at outrageous prices to people trying to educate and help themselves. Don't fall for it. If the information in their little e-books were worth anything, they'd be able to sell it to a publisher and put out a legitimate book. The best example of this that I can think of is The Migraine Relief Guide. It's no longer even being sold by the deluded woman who put it together. Someone else bought it, and now they're offering affiliate deals where you can set up your own web site, sell it, and split the profits with the person who bought it from the original person. They're charging $27.00 for information that can be found on the Internet FREE. All they've done is put it together in one pdf document. Some of it's accurate information, some of it isn't. If you want to know more about this particular e-book, you can read my review. Yes, I bought it. I wanted to read and debunk it. And, I took advantage of their money-back guarantee and demanded a refund. Thankfully, I paid for it via PayPal. I had to file a complaint with them to get my refund.

The bottom line is that Migraine is a genetic neurological disease for which, at this time, there is no cure. Period. There are some excellent preventive agents that are the next best thing to a cure. For example, I now often go two or three months between Migraines instead of having several a week, and this is due to my preventive regimen, not some Internet "entrepreneur" who came up with a "cure."

Here's the truth: There are brilliant doctors and researchers who have devoted their careers entirely to searching for both effective treatments and a cure for this disease. They've made significant progress, but they have found neither a single treatment that works for everyone nor a cure for the disease.

Whatever you see online (or elsewhere) that's claimed to be a cure isn't. If it were, we'd be seeing it in news headlines everywhere. The person who developed it would win a Nobel Prize.

Fall back on the old saying, "If it seems too good to be true, it probably is." If someone tells you they can cure your Migraines, run! Save your time, energy, money, and hope working on the best possible Migraine management regimen that you and your doctor can develop.

Live well,
Teri1



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Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape© Teri Robert, 2010
Last updated May 7, 2010

Bad Experience with "TheMigraineRelief"

Pouting_mimeOne of our forum members at MyMigraineConnection asked if anyone knew anything about www.TheMigraineRelief.com and the "Guide" they're selling.

I didn't, so I went to the site to check it out. A woman named Elizabeth Hayden asks, "What If You Were Able To STOP Your Migraines Once And For All Without The Use Of Medications In A Very Simple And Effective Way? The truth about mysterious migraines has finally been exposed!"

Now, my theory on such web sites and claims is, "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is." Still, I couldn't find anyone who knew anything about this woman, her web site, or her Migraine Relief Guide. So, I decided to spend the $37 to find out what this was all about. After all, this appears on the site regarding a guarantee:

TheMigraineReliefGuarantee 

Now, I'm not going to tell you what's in Ms. Hayden's Migraine Relief Guide because I don't want to get into an issue about her copyright or any related problems. Suffice it to say that it was 65 paqes of nothing I hadn't seen before, nothing to do me any good. You could go to Amazon.com and get a book that would do you a lot more good for a lot less money.

So, I've now emailed them, asking for a refund, as they guarantee. In fact, I've emailed them twice.

Well, Ms. Hayden? Where's my refund?

Stay tuned, readers. I'll keep you posted!

Live well,
Teri1


Medication Prices and Insurance Companies

My husband worked for a major manufacturing company for 33 years before being forced into early retirement. Trained as a physicist, he spent most of his time working on computerized instrumentation. The last few years he worked were not pleasant for him, but he stuck it out. One reason he stayed was to ensure that we'd have health benefits, including prescription drug coverage, after he retired. The new Medicare prescription plans changed it somewhat. The mail order prescription plan that continued after his retirement, along with the premiums we pay, became his Medicare drug plan. It's my regular prescription insurance until I reach Medicare age, when it will become my Medicare drug plan.

Anyway, he stuck it out so we'd have the coverage, and we still pay our monthly premiums as well. We are "encouraged" to use the mail order plan instead of local pharmacies by having to pay a larger percentage of the prescription cost if we persist in using local pharmacies. THAT may be about to change, for me anyway.

A friend of mine uses Wal-Mart's $4 generic prescription program. She told me it's even better if you buy a three-month supply of your meds. It's $10 for a 90-day supply. If you take more than the average amount of a medication, it can go as high as $20 for that 90-day supply. Hmmmmmmmm. Our copay on a 90-day supply of a generic medication is $16 OR 25% of the price of the prescription, whichever is more. That means that I have several prescriptions that will actually cost us less if I DON'T use our insurance. It's not as if Wal-Mart is bigger and sells more medications than our mail order company. It's one of the largest, if not THE largest, of all of them.

It just seems to me that there's something fundamentally wrong with this picture. A man works for the same company from college graduation to retirement. One of the reasons he works so hard is to ensure that he and his family will have benefits after retirement. He continues paying insurance premiums after retirement. Yet, many prescription medications are LESS expensive when they are paid for out-of-pocket, withOUT using insurance.

Don't get me wrong. I'm very grateful to have insurance coverage. This prescription price issue, however, just seems WRONG.

Well, that's my gripe for the day. How is YOUR day going? :-)