Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Latest Migraine Treatment

Dr. Charles Weinstein
This is my neurologist, Dr. Charles Weinstein (a very old picture of him) from Neurological Consultants of Kansas City. He's a nice guy. Great bedside manner. And I think he knows headaches. I went to him because a friend's mom had a great experience with him and the treatment of her migraines. According to my primary care physician, Dr. Weinstein was treating me with the standard, research-based medical treatment. When one didn't work, we'd try another. Well, I've been going to Dr. Weinstein for a year and I am basically the same, if not worse, than I was a year ago. Today I was prepared to advocate for myself due to the intensity of my pain and say that this is not acceptable. I was prepared to inform him that I am considering a second opinion so I need to know from him what other treatment options he will consider. I was nervous about this even though I don't know why. I'm in charge of my care, but for some reason it took lots of guts and prayer to work up the emotional energy for this appointment. Turns out I didn't need it. God answered my prayers, because Dr. Weinstein brought up on his own how I am not getting better.  Then he said:

Have we talked about going to a headache center? I think it might be a reasonable thing to do.

Dr. Joel Saper
He talked about several headache centers across the US, but unfortunately there are none in the midwest. He eventually recommended the Michigan Headache and Neurological Institute, run by Dr. Joel Saper, who was the first person to establish a dedicated headache treatment center. Dr. Weinstein went on to tell me....

everybody they see is just like you, chronic daily headache, resistant to everything. It's a very comprehensive program. They have an inpatient headache unit. They work very diligently to come up with something that works better for you than what I'm doing. I mean, we've tried this, we've tried that, we've tried various things, we're not making any progress. And I think it would be a good thing to do. I think it would be a place that can offer you something that I can't.

They approach the psychological aspects of chronic pain, the effects of stress on headache and pain, diet, biofeedback. It's not just 'oh here take this drug and keep your calendar', it is a multi-specialty approach to treating this.

It's a very well-oiled machine. They're very efficient.

Dr. Weinstein said he would make the initial referral to MHNI and they would contact me to discuss the program and treatment costs and insurance. I left my neurologist appointment at 11:00 AM and at 3:45 MHNI had already called me. And they were ready to set up my appointment next week! Oh my. I need more time. I had talked to my husband briefly about what the neurologist had said, but gosh, we hadn't even talked about traveling and I needed way more processing time.

What I learned from that phone call was that everyone comes in for a full day appointment/evaluation, with all previous medical records. The doctor(s) will meet with you, do tests, and I will meet with a psychologist. Then by the end of the day they will confirm their findings and tell me their plan of treatment and recommendations, whether that is outpatient or inpatient. And I go from there.

At this point I've decided to give myself a day or two to process all of this and wait for some informational brochures in the mail. We are seriously considering setting up an appointment at the end of November, but we will see what works best for my situation. God's timing is perfect in all of this and I am so grateful.

No comments:

Post a Comment