Monday, April 27, 2009

New Diagnosis: Occipital Neuralgia, Connection to My Migraines


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My local neurologist Dr. C has diagnosed me with occipital neuralgia. He is referring me to a pain specialist in Kansas City, Missouri, who he thinks might be able to help me with both this condition and the chronic migraines. In fact, the occipital neuralgia may be the main trigger for my migraines that we haven't been able to identify or tame.

Dr. C said it's a good sign that the first occipital nerve block provided pronounced, if short lived, relief. I've received a total of three sets of occipital nerve blocks and have had less improvement each time since that first injection. It would seem to make sense to look for other options. Dr C said there are more extensive and/or newer options that this other doctor knows about.

I'm not entirely sure what to expect, but I'm anxious. On one hand I'm excited there may finally be an explanation for the frequency of my migraines and that it may be something we can address. On the other I'm nervous about taking more extreme measures like surgery and worried that going down that road might be a big, expensive, painful mistake.

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