Headaches: Living With Chronic Daily Headaches (cont.)
And yes, this did happen to me, at a new doctor, which is very common, because they don't know you at all. They actually thought my mom was a drug seeker because she asked me in front of the doctor if I needed more painkillers, to remind me, and then the doctor threw us out of the office.
Some bizarre treatments are actually very common, like the concept of muscle testing, which a lot of alternative doctors do. That means they basically ask your muscles for answers to your health problems. A typical practice which happened to me many times is when they'd ask me to raise my arm and then they would ask me a question about my health, such as, "Are you allergic to dairy products?" and they would get an answer depending on my muscle's resistance to the doctor just pulling down on my arm. This sounds crazy, but it's extremely common.
I had a surgery for a deviated septum; that basically means to straighten the bone in the center of the nose that was bearing off to the left on the top, near where my headache was. I had three ear-nose-and-throat doctors tell me they were sure that was the root cause of the headache. The surgery was a disaster. I woke up with the worst pain of my life because of the aggravated nerves. After a month the pain went down to presurgery levels, but with more pain on the right side. That was new.
That whole experience showed me the dangers of invasive procedures that ironically can get covered more easily by insurance. It showed me the dangers of doctors like ear-nose-and-throat specialists who have little or no knowledge of neurology, which I now see as the root problem. The deviated septum was just a red herring. It's actually very common for chronic daily headache patients to also have sinus surgery for that reason. Actually, about 90% of what we label as sinus headaches are actually some kind of migraine headache originating in the brain stem or the base of the brain.
It's ironic that caffeine can be both a headache inducer and sometimes, when given in small amounts, can be used to relieve headaches. In fact, one of my coping techniques is to just have a few cups of tea a day, but no more than that. Some headache sufferers report dramatic results if they go without caffeine for several months.
I also had a terrible experience at the country's most famous headache clinic in Chicago. I called it assembly line medicine. It was very large and impersonal, with many of the same drugs given to everyone at very high doses. There seemed to be a philosophy to use whatever means possible to get rid of the headaches no matter what the consequences and side effects.
I get the best headache care from a neurologist who does not have a clinic and best of all, my internist, who takes the most time to listen and talk to me, which we chronic pain sufferers need. We all need very tailored treatment because we all respond differently to different treatments and need many readjustments of medication.
- Allergic Skin Disorders
- Bacterial Skin Diseases
- Bites and Infestations
- Diseases of Pigment
- Fungal Skin Diseases
- Medical Anatomy and Illustrations
- Noncancerous, Precancerous & Cancerous Tumors
- Oral Health Conditions
- Papules, Scales, Plaques and Eruptions
- Scalp, Hair and Nails
- Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)
- Vascular, Lymphatic and Systemic Conditions
- Viral Skin Diseases
- Additional Skin Conditions