Monday, April 25, 2011

WEGO Health Activist Prompt 25: Red Pen Day

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For the month of April I'm participating in WEGO Health's Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge Prompts. If you'd like more information or want to participate, too, please visit: Health Activist Writer's Month Challenge.

Today's WEGO Health Activist Writing Month Prompt is: "Red Pen Day: Find an old post of yours from months or years ago - revise it as radically as you can."

I decided to go all the way back to the beginning of Somebody Heal Me and choose one of my first posts to revise. This is what I picked: Everyone an Expert.

When you have a chronic illness, it sometimes feels like everyone is an expert on your condition. I can't begin to count the number of times an acquaintance has heard I have migraines and attempted to share some crucial tidbit of information gleaned from contact with other migraineurs or watching the evening news.

I've easily been on 35-50 different medications. I'm on my fourth seventh neurologist. I've seen a handful of so-called pain doctors and spent years in psychotherapy. I've tried supplements, chiropractors, biofeedback, physical therapy, massage, acupressure, acupuncture, aromatherapy, guided relaxation, elimination diets and meditation with varying degrees of success. I've had cervical epidural injections, occipital nerve blocks, botox injections and radiofrequency nerve ablation. I've read at least five books on how to "cure" your migraines and a couple of good ones about how to manage the disease. I read all the articles and blogs on the subject that I can find.

What is it about migraine disease that makes these relative strangers believe I might benefit from the same treatment as their cousin or friend from grad school? I've spent more time, money and energy pursuing both mainstream and obscure treatments to try to find a way to make myself feel better than anyone I know, save others with chronic illnesses.

It's a Catch-22. If I don't explain that I have chronic migraines, there is no hope the people in my life will understand that I have certain limitations and obstacles. If I do tell them, it's open season for them to critique my treatment plan. Is everyone such an expert on cancer? Sometimes I wonder.
(additions in bold)

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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.