(I wanted to focus on the positive, so I wrote a "Dear Chiropractor #2" letter. But I just can't help myself. I need to get this out.)
Dear Chiropractor #1,
I came to you very early-on in my headache/migraine journey. In fact, it was well before I knew they were actually migraines. After my doctor sent me to physical therapy for tension headaches and that didn't work, I came to you. You were confidant and passionate about what you do. You said you were 99.5% (or was it 99.9%?) sure you could make my headaches go away, and asked me to stick with it for a few weeks. Heck, why wouldn't I, because you helped me meet my deductible (by only charging me $50 per visit for the few first visits, and then not making me pay my co-insurance later. I wonder why? Because you knew you were charging too much? Because you knew no one will continue to come to you if they had to pay that additional amount?) Whatever, I appreciated that at the time.
What I did not appreciate was your borderline inappropriate comments. I mean, come on, it's already a vulnerable position to be in when you're adjusting my back in a bear hug position and adjusting my skull or neck by cradling my head in your hands. Incorporating a little more professionalism would be nice. Or maybe you could just benefit from having a filter.
Doc: How tall are you?
Doc: I like tall women.
Doc: You really look like one of my ex-girlfriends. She was hot.
Doc: I was thinking about you the other night in bed.... (and proceeded to talk about treatment).
Doc: Did you eat garlic?
Me: Oh yeah, sorry, I had some black bean soup before I came.
Doc: I can tell. Garlic breath is such a turn on.
Me: *eyes wide in disbelief*
Doc: When I met my wife she had garlic breath and I knew I was going to marry her.
And perhaps the most uncomfortable one...
Doc: Can I ask you a personal question?
Me: Um... I guess.
Doc: Do your headaches go away when you orgasm?
I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt and saying that you probably just had no awareness how you were coming across. You are a married man with 3 kids, after all.
Now, I must admit that you did provide me with relief. But it wasn't lasting relief. It seemed to bother you that you couldn't 'cure' me. Are you so egotistical that it bothers you when you cannot fix someone? Let me break it to you: you aren't God. No human on this earth is going to cure me. What I didn't know at the time was that I have migraines, for which there is no cure because it is a genetic, neurological disease. Why did I not know they were migraines? Because you said they weren't. And I believed you. I was so uneducated and ignorant. You were convinced they weren't migraines because they are not one-sided and I do not get nauseus. Heck, I went with it and thought the same thing. Now I know you are wrong. There are many other symptoms to migraine. They do not have to be one-sided, and my other symptoms include inability to concentrate, word-finding problems, blurry vision, and intense pain across my forehead. I even sometimes get this weird Alice in Wonderland symptom, where I feel like my hands are huge, like giant hands. These are all true symptoms of migraines. When the pain is bad it goes to the base of my skull and also makes my neck and shoulders tight. I also know it's migraine because of specific triggers that cause the migraine, such as barometric pressure changes, fragrances, florescent lights, and loud noises.
There's no doubt that you are passionate about what you do. And I do think that you deeply care about helping your patients and about them becoming well. You had been a big part of my journey, so I contacted you to let you know about my upcoming inpatient treatment. Three weeks later you asked me how it went. And you still had the nerve to recommend something else to check out when "your treatments fail you". You wanted me to check out this doctor who does miracle work with hormones. You said you would be "happy to arrange a visit with him so you could be examined". When questioned what expertise he brought to the table concerning hormone work, you didn't have an answer. Just said "get to a point when you aren't cured or have reached a wall, then let's talk". That was the last straw. To recommend this after I told you all that I've been through is arrogant and very invalidating. Did you not get the point that I went to the experts in migraine treatment? That I'm so sick with these things that I had to be hospitalized and treated with IV drugs? And you think my hormones are off and causing this. Ultimately you had to be in control and would not give me the doctor's information. It is very unlikely that his work would cure me. I HAVE MIGRAINES! They're incurable. I'm not saying hormones aren't a part of it, but I have reasons to think they aren't, which you knew about (going off of birth control for 6 months and on a new one later, with no change in my migraines). So no, I will not be 'cured'. Yes, I will probably reach a wall at some point. Because I'm in the 4% of migraine sufferers who get into a chronic cycle and are difficult to treat.
Doc, I think you are very good at what you do. Which is treating soft tissue ailments with Active Release Technique (how did it go when you were invited to treat Sporting KC for a game, by the way?). Your expertise does not lie in treating patients with migraines. Next time, please admit you cannot do it all and refer to a headache specialist.
Wishing you the best (and that another chronic migraine patient never steps foot in your door),