Doc's Cluster Headache Journal

Thursday, July 26, 2007

A new trip to the hospital

I am on day 15 of having the same migraine I have been calling my regular doctor and also trying to make an appointment with a neurologist. My regular doctor prescribed pain killers and told me that if *I* was worried that I should go to the ER. I was very frustrated by this... How the heck am I supposed to know if its a dangerous situation? I honestly expect to be told what to do by the experts I have trusted my care to. I suspect that due to our litigious society and costs of insurance they have a strict set of rules on how to dole out advice.

It's been many years since I have gone to the emergency room due to headaches. I know the drill, they run me through a cat scan, give me some drugs and tell me I'm not going to die and thats it... But with this most recent change in the pain and duration, and with the stress that it seemed to be causing myself and my wife I decided to go and make sure that nothing was dangerously wrong inside my head.

It was mostly a positive experience, the emergency room was not very busy and all the staff seemed concerned, professional and attentive. It was the first cat scan have had in maybe ten years and as expected, it showed no dangerous growths or problems. I have sort of mixed feelings about this however, on the one hand it's wonderful to have my mind put at ease that I don't have a tumor or some other situation, but on the other hand it's frustrating to think that I can have a 14 day long constant headache that has no detectable cause. A small part of me just wants them to find something... something that can be fixed, repaired, taken care of.

It was interesting that Stuart Black was the nurologist that they instructed me to follow up with and that he was this same doctor that I recently have been trying to get an appointment with but was booked up for over year. When my wife called for the follow-up they seemed disinterested in my case and repeated the line that he would not be able to see me anytime in the foreseeable future.

I'm not really sure what the hell the follow-up was for and why I was directed to speak to him if he in fact had no time for a follow up with me. Once again the structure of the medical business confounds and confuses me. I do have an appointment in three weeks with an associate of his and I'm assuming that its someone who has access to the same resources and knowledge he does, so I am hopeful that this new doctor may have some good news for me although honestly I think I am just going through the motions. I don't want drugs that ease the pain at the expense of my already limited cognitive ability and energy... I want a reason, I want a cause and I want it to get fixed.

Unrealilistic goals I guess.


  • Please don't take this as sarcasm; BUUUUT, welcome to the waiting game - again. You know the drill, get in line, the long one, and wait, again. For the doctor to see you. If, that is, he feels the need to. Oh, and that is also, if your insurance warrants it.

    By Blogger deborah, at 7/27/2007 8:07 AM  

  • Doc: I just ran across your blog while googling 'migraine journals'. I read this particular post and thought you might be living my life in some parallel universe... I'm into week 4 of a migraine; Maxalt has stopped working. Two ER visits under my belt. No grapefruit-sized tumor or exploding aneurysm found after a CT scan. Two different drug cocktails later, I was sent home with Rx's, one of which I won't take. I can't get an appointment with the neurologist until 9/27. I'm right there with ya...not that this helps you any, but it helps me to know I'm not insane. Thanks for finding the energy to chronicle this publicly.

    By Blogger Sharon, at 8/22/2007 12:47 PM  

  • Sharon,

    I am sorry to hear you are in pain. I have been on Maxalt myself and it left me feeling "odd" and "buzzy" and in the end didn't seem to help much. I hope you get some relief soon.

    As you mentioned, at least we know we are not insane in that we can find and communicate with others who are also going through it. Thank you very much for posting and helping me feel less alone in this.

    By Blogger Murdock Scott, at 8/23/2007 12:28 AM  

  • Deborah,

    Sadly, yes I do know the drill all too well. But surprisingly I may have some good things to post soon about my recent exploits with the medical industry!

    By Blogger Murdock Scott, at 8/23/2007 12:31 AM  

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