Friday, August 14, 2009

New Things: Occipital Nerve Stimulator & Behavioral Pain Management

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Last week I called the pain specialist's office (Dr. G.) to start trying to get my health insurance company to cover the cost of an occipital nerve stimulator to manage my chronic migraines and occipital neuralgia. No news so far, so at least they haven't denied it. Yet.

The other new development is that I'm being evaluated for a comprehensive behavioral pain management program at a place called The Lemons Center. I met with a psychologist for the mental health part of my evaluation and have an appointment for the physical assessment later this month. Ordinarily they would have you do both at the same time, but I had told them I was only interested in the basic program (an hour once a week for 12 weeks), not the comprehensive program. Speaking with the psychologist encouraged me to consider the comprehensive program, which involves 4-1/2 total hours of treatment five days a week for six weeks. Two and a half hours are physical therapy specifically for people with chronic pain and the other two hours are coping strategies for living your best life even though you're in pain.

Before my mental evaluation I had a bad attitude about the idea of this place, but being there really shifted my thinking. They seem very in tune with the needs of chronic pain patients and said all the right things about the pain not being in your head, but that there are things you can do to enjoy your life as much as possible given your limitations. I like that attitude. It's the one I try to cultivate, and I can use all the help I can get with that.

Related Posts:
Another Crossroads: What to Try Next for Migraines & Occipital Neuralgia
The Let Down of Not Having Answers
New Diagnosis: Occipital Neuralgia, Connection to My Migraines

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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.