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Do Doctors Always Know Best?

on 10 April, 2015

Just back from another doctor appointment. I am so frustrated with things, I am not sure where to even begin!

For those who know me or read my blog, I suffer from chronic headaches and migraines – not the same things. I almost always have a headache – a dull aching throb that sort of is always there. Then, on occasion I get to experience what some may call a traditional migraine. I get those between 8 and 15 times a year. These are bad enough to actually knock me off my feet and can last several days. And how long have I been suffering with these ailments? Almost thirty years. Yes, you read that right, three decades. And in that span of time, I’ve managed to find three periods of respite.

The first time was about 15 years ago, when I injured my knee. Actually, to be precise, it was when I re-injured my knee. The doc that I saw at the time didn’t see much more damage than was already there, so she subscribed an anti-inflammatory in the form of 800mg Ibuprofen. Not only did it work on the knee, but it did seem to give me some relief in the way of the headache. Not actually making it go away (or feel like it was gone), but took off the edge enough to be able to still function. This worked quite well for a well, and then it took larger and larger doses to gain the same amount of relief. It was only when it came to light just how many of these pills I was taking that the medical professional I was seeing immediately took me off it, lest the prescription damage my liver.

The second time was, interestingly enough, when I was pregnant with my son. Interesting, as it took nearly five years for me to become pregnant and make it past the first trimester with the baby. Seven miscarriages would usually convince a woman to give up – and I nearly did – but the eighth time was a success. And for the duration of my pregnancy, I don’t believe that I suffered a single headache or migraine.

Sometime later, after moving to Kansas City, came the third respite. This is where I met my current doctor, Dr. B. who is a pain management specialist. Actually, following kidney surgery, I was prescribed a fairly strong pain med and lo and behold, it actually helped immensely with my headache pain. So, for the last four or so years, I have been taking this medication largely with success.  Even after all this time, it is still the best I have felt in the past thirty years. Granted, I have had some pain break through and it doesn’t do much towards a full blown migraine attack, but it does incredibly well with the chronic headaches.

Which, of course, means that another doctor wants to change it. I have heard the warnings of rebound headaches; that the prescription could, in fact, cause headaches. I don’t think I’ve gotten to that point, and frankly I want to experience as much time as is possible before I do have to begin another search for relief.

My neurologist is at the point where I would think that a doctor would start. Ignoring everything that came before, he is beginning his search at the beginning. ‘Cept I don’t want to start over from the beginning. There are some new avenues of research that could be fruitful, but right now, I am just not ready to give up on the narcotic regimen that I am on. I am more than sure that he simply would prefer not to have me taking a narcotic that has a high rate of dependency, but I think that is all neither here nor there. I think that I have long passed that line in the sand.

So, even though I was supposed to do labs while I was there and schedule an appointment for a spinal tap, I opted not to. I don’t suppose that this will be received well, but this is a decision that is ultimately made by me. For me. And about me.



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