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An Invisible Disability

June is National Migraine and Headache Awareness Month.

I have a personal connection to this sort of chronic pain. I’ve had migraines since I was a teenager. Thankfully, those tapered off in my 30s for the most part. But last November I started having a headache that never stopped. After two visits with my primary care doctor, I was referred to neurology in December. I booked the first available appointment with a headache specialist. That appointment was May 31st. It has been an awfully long time to wait but I want to gush about how great specialists are. The woman who saw me really knows her stuff. I finally have a treatment plan in place. It’s not going to be easy but I feel hopeful for the first time in a while. She confirmed my suspicions. My occipital nerve is inflamed. Once aggravated it can be difficult to calm down.

  • I’ve started taking amitriptyline daily before bed, and will slowly increase the dosage on a schedule.
  • June 1st I received an occipital nerve block injection in the back of my skull and trigger point injections in my neck and shoulders. A cocktail of pain killers and prednisone.

The specialist made referrals for:

  • A sleep study (consultation is this week)
  • A TMJ specialist (need to start wearing my night guard again)
  • Physical therapy (first appointment is coming up)

I like posting about these topics to raise awareness, and it gets people talking and sharing their experiences. But I want to point out the tremendous amount of privilege I have. I’ve got great health insurance through my employer, a flexible work schedule, and a reliable car. And it still took that long to get a treatment plan in place. It’s so much harder for folks who don’t have the advantages I’ve got.

June is National Migraine & Headache Awareness Month

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