Monday, 10 June 2013

MHAM Day 10 - Ocean's Eleven

Today's prompt is about the team behind my migraine treatment, my very own Ocean's Eleven.

Sadly I don't actually have a team of eleven behind me, not even half of that.

Things are much improved now than when I lived in Norwich at least.  When my migraines first started, the GP surgery I was a member of was terrible at trying to help me; the only things they did well in my opinion, was diagnosing it as migraines pretty quickly.  It was a combination of the terrible support I was getting from them combined with things worsening at work than made the migraines become as bad as they have.

Thankfully, when I moved to York two years ago, my GP here has been marvelous!  He listens to me, he seems to genuinely care, he researches and he knew the best thing to do almost straight away was to refer me to the headache clinic in the neurology department at the local hospital.  I see him an awful lot still, some of those times have been in tears, actually a lot of those times have.  Many of the visits have been to get sick notes for work which meant having to be there with a migraine and in a situation where I knew my work were very upset with me, and he always made things seem much better by the time I left and never ever once quibbled that days and days long migraines make one unfit for work.

So he's been my medical rock for two years now - Dr Fair at the Jorvik Medical Practice if you're interested.

The headache clinic at York Hospital revolutionised the way I treat and manage my migraines.  It was there that I learnt about thresholds as oppose to triggers and there where I have received the much more expert advise on what treatments to try at what levels and what difference reactions meant for the next steps.  The specialist nurse there Jill Murphy is who I have seen on almost every visit and she is very good and as a sufferer herself she really understands.

Sadly, I'm less impressed with the neurologists themselves at the hospital though.  I'm sure they're very good and they know a lot, but I saw Dr Fontebasso there on my very first visit where she took a full history and discussed what I was experiencing a lot and she therefore diagnosed migraine.  I then have never seen her again.
The hospital frustratingly discharged me in the autumn (I shouldn't have let them but I'm very unassertive with people who are experts in things) so after I got re-referred I saw another neurologist on my first visit back; I don't even know what her name was.  Her appointments were running over half an hour late so my appointment which should have been thirty minutes long was only fifteen minutes long and I didn't get a chance to discuss anything I wanted to at all with her and I know now that I will be only allowed to see Jill, the specialist nurse, again with each visit.  As good as Jill is, I'd like to be able to speak to the neurologists as well.

I suppose that you could probably count the clinical psychologist I was referred to who I saw just over a year ago in the team as well, but as I only saw her twice and all she did for me was tell me to leave my job, which I did do, then I don't really include her in the team.
Equally, the nice chap who gave me a course of acupuncture at the hospital as well, it didn't help me at all so I don't really include him either.

The prompt also asks us about what essential roles still need to be filled.  This is actually a difficult one I think.  I really would appreciate being able to speak to a neurologist but since the hospital doesn't seem to think that's essential then is it? Am I just thinking I need to see one because I'm not doing?
I also think I would probably benefit from a specialist masseuse but I'm planning on asking Jill if she knows of anyone who specialises in massages to help migraines and headaches.
I daresay I would probably also so well to see a therapist too; stress plays a big part in the triggering of my migraines and like all migraine sufferers, especially chronic migraines sufferers, I'm more likely than others to suffer from depression and although I haven't felt that I'm depressed I've had a few friends say that there are signs that I am, so a therapist would probably help.  I can't afford therapy sessions so I haven't really explored that avenue when I would likely benefit from doing so.

Does anyone else have an essential migraine treatment team member that I don't even realise I'm lacking?

1 comment:

  1. I wouldn't bother with the neurologist. I fought for two years to get a referral (I still can't get a referral to the headache clinic). The neurologist suggested I took Iboprofen for my migraines, despite me having told him I took a drug that reacts badly with Iboprofen and causes internal bleeding. When I told him I couldn't take Iboprofen he asked me why and then Googled it! I was stunned, the other drug was an anti-depressant so he really should know. He then suggested I try not taking any medication at all for a migraine. At that point I asked him if he'd ever had one. Unsurprisingly he hadn't. I got up and walked out.