Saturday, January 10, 2009

Migraine: Keeping Hope

I returned from a sixteen hour round trip to Jefferson Hospital in Philadelphia, earlier this week. Eight hours each way to spend less than seven minutes combined with both a doctor and a nurse. This was a pre-admittance visit. I had tried to handle the preliminary stuff over the phone, but it was a no-go.

Sometime next week I will be going back to Philly and will be staying somewhere between one and several weeks. I am apprehensive and hopeful at the same time. The expectation is that through an IV, they can hydrate and detoxify my system, and then, try several different medicines within a short period of time.

It wasn’t really a New Year’s resolution, but as of the first, I stopped taking any pain medication and I quit drinking caffeine. Caffeine has not been a problem for me, as I usually have a maximum of 1 cup of coffee or a soda in a day if at all. I have quit all together a few times for years at a time. I have done well with no pain meds, and have been able to subsist using meditation and exercise. My thought is that the detox should be simple if there’s not much to detox.

Many years have passed since a doctor has looked me in the eye and told me, with a sense of certainty, that there was something that could be done. Hope. I’ve claimed to have it, but I know I don’t always trust in it.

What is hope? Not desperation, not optimism, realistic hope? Eyes wide open, encouraged, organized, and realistic, faith in a pragmatic outcome is my personal definition (after a day of research). I don’t discount my Christian faith. As a believer in God and Christ, my comfort in the truth of eternity is my hope in an eventual cure. But I have a hope, a practical belief, that the answer to my pain is also in this world. Someone, somewhere has the key to unlocking this mystery.

Is the answer in Philly next week? I am hopeful. But, even if it is not, I still have hope. Five years ago, the word migraine was a shadow without any understanding by the general public. Today, there are more professionals seeking the answer than ever before. I have to keep the hope, and writing this down has helped me make it through another day.

Here are a few of the sites I found helpful today. I am not endorsing, just referencing;