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Archive for the ‘educating others’ Category

AHDAlogoThe second  Headache on the Hill will be held in Washington, DC next Monday and Tuesday, February 23rd and 24th. The long-term goal of AHDA is to have the National Institutes of Health increase its spending for research for Migraine and other headache disorders. This event’s purpose is

to educate members of Congress and their staff about the problem of NIH underfinding of headache research and to suggest remedies.

In addition,

we intend to make specific progammatic requests of Congress during HOH that should have lasting benefits but that will require relatively modest short-term increases in NIH expenditures.

This particular HOH is important because we have a new president and a Democratic Congress who promise action an a variety of legislative actions.
What can you do to help? Join AHDA’s mailing list and you will receive legislative alerts when it is appropriate to contact your Congressman.

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photo courtesy of All About Migraine

photo courtesy of All About Migraine

So often the image of a Migraine is a woman, like the one to the left, rubbing her head and with her brow knit in severe pain. I had a Migraine today. It was different from the usual “Where is the nearest cave so I can die in peace?” type Migraines. In fact, if I had told someone that I had a Migraine, I am not sure how believable I would have sounded. It was different because my head didn’t hurt that much.

 However, I couldn’t work. I couldn’t focus on what I was doing. I was lethargic; all I wanted to do was curl up in a chair with a cup of tea and be a vegetable for a while. Oh, even though I swore I would not take a triptan unless my pain exceeded a 5, I succumbed to both the triptan and my awaiting chair.

All this got me thinking. Migraineurs rightly say that Migraine is NOT a bad headache, but when I ran a search for Migraine images nearly all of them emphasized the head pain. I am wondering if the image of Migraine as being “just a bad headache” would change if Migraineurs, doctors, and drug companies would emphasize some of the other common symptoms. Just a thought; what do you think?

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I promised Parin that I would address this topic again and explain my point a bit clearer. It all comes down to semantics of the words dependence and addiction. I hope that it is sufficient to say that some medical websites use the words interchangeably, referring to the physiological need for a particular drug. For instance, here is the definition of dependence taken from the e-Medicine Health (a part of WebMD.com) website:

Drug dependence is the body’s physical need, or addiction, to a specific agent. Over the long term, this dependence results in physical harm, behavior problems, and association with people who also abuse drugs. Stopping the use of the drug can result in a specific withdrawal syndrome.

The Mayo Clinic also uses these words interchangeably. I think that for consistency, dependence should refer to physiological need and addiction should add the characteristics of psychological need and drug seeking behaviors.

To answer Parin’s question, no I would not consider someone taking insulin or thyroid medicine addicted or dependent because neither are drugs, but rather replacements for a hormone that is missing.

Getting back to the article. The author’s headline is down-right WRONG on 2 points. First, neither of these drugs (Fiorinal and Percocet) are Migraine drugs. The FDA has not approved their use in the treatment of acute Migraine, although some physicians prescribe them as Migraine rescue drugs.

As I stated in the original post, these medications carry with them a double whammy. Not only can unwary Migraineurs develop medication overuse headaches (MOH), but they also run the risk of becoming dependent on the butalbital in Fiorinal or the oxycodone in Percocet.


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Focus GroupYesterday I participated in a focus group hosted by WegoHealth. It was sponsored by GlaxoSmithKline, makers of Imitrex and Treximet. The independent moderator asked us various questions regarding a support program GlaxoSmithKline hopes to launch very soon.

My experience was very positive. It was great having the moderator, who doesn’t have Migraines, be truly interested in my experience with Migraines. He truly wanted to know what format and information would be supportive. The moderator was also independent without any ties to GlaxoSmithKline. We could be honest in our answers and could say the whole idea was ridiculous, if we wanted to. But it isn’t ridiculous, although there was one design that none of us liked.

courtesy or Tina's Hobby and Art Design

courtesy or Tina's Hobby and Art Design

The other part was hearing others’ voices talk about THEIR experience, which was very different from mine, and their ideas. I haven’t realized how supportive it is to hear another voice. I know there are many forums and support is only a keystroke away, but this was different. And I LOVED it! It was as if I were wrapped in a warm sweater.

So if you know someone who has Migraine and want to offer some special support this Christmas season, pick up the phone and say “Hi, I have been thinking about you.” That would be the best Christmas present ever!

Have an AWAP day,

Debbie

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photo courtesy of All About Migraine

photo courtesy of All About Migraine

On December 10 Teri Robert posted an excellent post concerning the difference between Migraine and tension-type headache. Dr. Robert Lipton, one of the nation’s top headache experts presented a clear picture of the difference between the two.

That said, after the YouTube video ends, there are slides on the bottom of the screen that have titles, such as “How to Cure a Migraine Headache Naturally”Cure for Migraines, and Migraines: EFT Tapping Releases Root Cause Part 1. The last one has Michelle explaining what a Migraine is. She has her facts straight about the signs and symptoms or Migraine, but that is about all that is correct in this video clip. She states that right-sided Migraine is a masculine energy relating to past experiences. The opposite is true for left-sided Migraine. Steam started to flow from my ears when I heard:

The body mind connection for migraine [no capital here. This description doesn’t deserve it] has to do with meeting demands and the feeling of not being able to fulfill them. Now we have to ask ourselves why we want to avoid these demands in the first place…..by manifesting a migraine we have a way to take a time out and get extra love and attention.

Right, as if I would conjure up a Migraine so I can miss my son’s graduation party. That was enough for me. I couldn’t listen any more.

Here’s another one: Possible Cure for Migraine

Migraines are very debilitating. I have cured lots of them. Many of them come from guilt that you’ve laid on yourself.

The gentleman then promised that all of the negative input I have concerning Migraine will “be forever disconnected when I sound the buzzer”.  He then sounded a buzzer and said “disconnect”.  I guess now my migraines are cured. I’d laugh if it wasn’t so pathetic.

So gentle reader, be careful. Just because one YouTube video in a series is valuable, doesn’t mean that all of them are.

Have an AWAP day,

Debbie

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