Thursday, July 30, 2009

Frustrated by 'Intervention' Episode Featuring Migraineur, Addict


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This week's episode of the A&E show Intervention, about a woman with occasional migraines and other serious health problems who takes up to 50 Percocet pills a day, made me uncomfortable. Maybe Danielle, the woman featured on this episode, really does have migraine attacks. She probably does. But she is also an addict. One really has nothing to do with the other.

I find Danielle's behavior frustrating because I'm afraid we are all being viewed negatively because of people like her who abuse pain medications under the vague assertion they have migraines. It's because of people like her that we're viewed with skepticism when we end up at an emergency department for an excruciating, intractable migraine and have to fight to be treated at all, let alone with any modicum of respect or dignity.

I find myself wondering if people who don't know about my situation think I'm doing what she is doing. I use prescription pain killers, but I do not use more than I am prescribed nor do I mix medications I have been told not to take together. I don't use anyone else's pills and I follow the proper channels for obtaining my medication. Above all else I am very careful to follow the instructions I am given by my doctors and pharmacists. It may not be fair, but I resent people who don't do the same.

You can watch the entire episode here:

A&E's Intervention: Danielle

If you've seen this episode I'd love to hear your thoughts about Danielle in particular or the issue in general.

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DISCLAIMER: Nothing on this site constitutes medical or legal advice. I am a patient who is engaged and educated and enjoys sharing my experiences and news about migraines, pain and depression. Please consult your own health care providers for advice on your unique situation.