Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Health, doctors and medicine

Last Thursday, I went home from work with a migraine. A bad one. Friday, I went to the Emergency Room because the migraine was much worse, and I lost the vision in my right eye. About 45 minutes after arrival, I was hooked up to an IV and drugged up with morphine. The headache started to ease. About 2 hours later, I went home, groggy, headachey, and getting my vision back. I slept a while, and then the itching kicked in. I'm assuming that not everyone gets this reaction to morphine -- given the number of people addicted to it and Oxycontin and all the other heroine-related drugs. 26 hours of almost unbearable (but better than the full migraine) itching later, I was feeling better. Headache almost gone, itching gone, mood improved.

I get it. I have a chronic migraine condition -- 8-15 migraines a month. I know some of my triggers and avoid them. Others are a mystery to me. I just have to live with it. What I shouldn't have to live with is stupid doctors.

The ER doctor did what she was supposed to do. She took the edge off the headache and sent me home. My frustration is with my regular doctor and the various "specialists" I've seen. Migraines are not new. Their cause is not well-known, but there are lots of aggressive treatments being tried by different doctors throughout the world. Not mine. Mine want to give me some abortive drugs (stop it when it starts) and send me on my way with a pat on the head. Um, how about trying to PREVENT the damn things?? I've seen 3 neurologists and several GPs, none of whom has been willing to work with me to find the cause. My acupuncturist has done more to help prevent them than the guys with the fancy degrees!!

So, doctors suck. If you've had any sort of ongoing or chronic condition, you know what I'm talking about. They don't get it, and they aren't really concerned about getting it. My worst doctor experience was when a neurologist sent me to a neurosurgeon because he had discovered I had a brain tumor. The neurologist was an ass, and refused to give me info about the tumor, saying that the neurosurgeon would do that. Of course, I had to wait two weeks for that appointment. The neurosurgeon said, "You have an acoustic neuroma brain tumor. You can have it removed by surgery or radiation. Which do you prefer?" Ummm, let me see.... Having my head cut open sounds gross. Having my head irradiated sounds gross. Yeah, thanks for helping me make the choice. What a dufus. As if he had been asking "Coffee or tea, which do you prefer?" Fortunately, the internet has vast resources, and I was able to find lots of info and support groups to help me decide. Doctors suck.

Know who else sucks? People who pretend to have "migraines." Seriously. I have a coworker who walks around wearing sunglasses, going out to lunch with friends, and joking around the law cafe, having a "migraine" that is preventing her from working. Gah! Migraines aren't just crappy headaches. They are a debilitating condition with a headache like you've never experienced, nausea, and a whole host of other symptoms. You don't walk around and joke and laugh. Wearing sunglasses doesn't cut it. Stop using them as an excuse to leave early. Stop using them as an excuse to get out of work. Stop using them as an excuse to be a goof off. You're making it harder for the rest of us who are actually suffering with the disease.

Ok, off my pain-induced soap-box. I hate doctors.


Cathy said...

I learned not to trust doctors at the age of five. I hate to hear that you suffer from these, too. I've had so many people use them as an excuse to dodge having to work that I almost wish there was an encantation I could use...he/she who complains of migraine and doesn't have one...soon will!

GoBucks! said...

OMG, I am so sorry to hear about this episode! I agree, doctors really can suck. Ask my Mom, who suffered with debilitating panic attacks, shakes, nausea, and anxiety - her GP told her that she was "getting older" and should "learn to live with it." Are you kidding? That's not "living." Luckily, she found an amazing psychiatrist who she still sees to this day.

Oh, and about those migraines.... I have a coworker who calls off work crying "migraine" nearly every Monday. Coincidentally, her boyfriend (who works 3rd shift) doesn't work on Sunday nights, so they go out and party. Hmmm. Do you suppose alcohol is one of her triggers? LOL

Alissa said...

That sounds awful! Have to agree with the idiotic doctors. What bugs me is when they are so arrogant and decide that they know more about what's wrong with me than I do.

A couple of years ago I had been suffering with sinus headaches for about a week, then woke up one day with a pretty high fever. Obviously I had a sinus infection. I am prone to them. I went to the doctor and told her this, and I guess because I told her that I needed antibiotics (in a very nice way - not some know-it-all way) she decided that I was some sort of smarty pants and sent me on my way with a prescription for cough syrup. Did I mention that I did not have a cough?

Anyway I avoid them as much as possible, but sometimes I feel I have no choice but to see one. I know there are really good doctors out there, but I haven't been lucky enough to find one.