Fighting chronic migraine can sometimes feel like a pointless battle; leaving the fighter feeling depressed and exhausted. When you get to that point, giving up the fight is the next step. I was recently a victim of inactivity when it comes to my migraine battle. I wasn’t going to doctors, I was eating what I wanted and becoming more and more reclusive.
This year’s Migraine and Headache Awareness Month, however, spurred me into action. In addition to that, while reading the posts of fellow chronic fighters, I realized just how much knowledge I was lacking about MY genetic, neurological, disease. For instance many of the sufferers talked about what TYPE of migraines they have. This led me to ask myself:
“How many different types of migraines are there?” Here’s a list provided by migrainetrust.org (click the link for more details);:
- Migraine Without Aura
- Migraine With Aura
- Retinal Migraine
- Abdominal Migraine
- Menstrual Migraine
- Status Migrainosus
- Basilar-Type Migraine
- Familiar Hemiplegic Migraine (FHM)
- Sporadic Hemiplegic Migraine (SHM)
The next logical questions were:
What type of migraine do I have?
Can you have more than one type?
Why didn’t any of my doctors label me with one of these?
Knowing the type of migraine you have is very important, because it will determine the type of treatment you need.
Another thing I noticed about many of my fellow migraineurs is, they have relationships with their doctors. They know them well and they’re actively involved in their treatment plan. I read in one blog (I THINK it may have been a post by Tammy Rome), that if your doctor does not involve you in the process, i.e. explain things thoroughly to you, readily answer your questions, listen to you, take into consideration your concerns, work with you when you want to refuse a method of treatment etc. then you need a new doctor.
And finally, these migraine heroes, take it upon themselves to learn what triptans, opioids, analgesics are; or the difference between Migraine-Preventive Medication and Rescue Medication and more. They’ve inspired me to learn all these things. They’ve taught me what it really means to be an advocate for myself. So I’ve begun to take baby steps.
Curious about the different types of medication, I took a look at the medicine charts, found in the book “Heal Your Headache the 1.2.3. Program …” by David Buchholz, M.D. and learned that when used more than two days per month, triptans and opioids can cause rebound (I don’t know why this didn’t sink in the first time I read the book); and guess what’s listed under, “Opioids and Related Drugs”, on another chart?! TYLENOL! my over the counter choice and under Triptans: Imitrex, Zomig and Maxalt three of the meds I used for a while in the past. WOW! What a little education does.
Are you involved in your migraine treatment or are you just a passive observer? Join me in empowering yourself, learn all you can and become your own advocate.