Sunday, October 22, 2006

Thumbs Down for Editor

In an earlier entry, I explained that, following Teri Robert's lead, I always capitalize Migraine. When I first asked Teri why she capitalizes it, she told me,
I capitalize Migraine as an advocacy issue. Too many people still believe that Migraines are "just bad headaches" when, in reality, Migraine is a potentially debilitating genetic neurological disease. By capitalizing Migraine and various forms of the word, we set it apart and, hopefully, cause people to question and come to a new awareness of Migraine as a disease.
Last week, when reading Teri's new article on, "What Is Retinal Migraine?" I noticed that she had capitalized Migraine only in the title. I asked her why. She replied,
My new editor has asked me to follow standard style guidelines. That means that only diseases named after a person would be capitalized, and migraine was not named after a person.
What?! Of all the petty nonsense!

To that editor, should you ever happen to read this...

However subtle, capitalizing Migraine is important. The constant recognition of what Migraine can do to our lives is one thing that has set your headaches and Migraine site apart from other web sites, part of what has made it the site many people consider to be the absolute best on the entire internet. Have you never heard the saying that there are exceptions to every rule? Shouldn't standing out from and above everyone else be more important than style guidelines? Shouldn't style guidelines complement what's written rather than constraining it?

What a pity.


Sunday, October 15, 2006

Visit this new blog...

I see that health writer and patient advocate Teri Robert has started a new blog at I love her statment at the top of the page:
Optimal health care can be achieved only when patients are educated about their health and patients and physicians work together as treatment partners in an atmosphere of mutual respect.
This blog is bound to be great, and I'll enjoy watching it develop. Hope you watch it with me!


Sunday, October 01, 2006

Be skeptical of Migraine info in press releases!

Google has a great feature that allows you to customize a page with news items about whatever key words you select. I love it, but have learned to be skeptical when I come across press releases there.

One I read just today is a perfect example, "Modern Treatments for Migraines and Frequent Headaches." The opening paragraph of this release says to me that this press release was most likely issued to bring this doctor business, NOT to help us. The first paragraph reads,
Today's cranial headache treatments provide a permanent end to years of needless suffering. Dr. John Halmaghi at the Michigan TMJ/Headache Institute explains the reasons behind migraine headaches. His unique program is guaranteed to permanently end chronic suffering from migraines and frequent headaches. He also explains why your previous doctors have not been able to help you.

Danger, Will Robinson, Danger! Look at that paragraph carefully. "Permanent end," "guaranteed to permanently end chronic suffering from migraines..." OK, fella, get a clue! Migraine is a genetic neurological disease. There's no cure, and most of us know that.

Personally, I find this press release and Dr. Halmaghi's claims insulting. I know there's no cure. I also know that there are treatments that, at least for some of us, can prevent most of our Migraines. BUT, that does NOT constitute a cure.

To Dr. Halmaghi, should you come across this post, certainly you know better than to claim to be able to "cure" Migraines. Shame on you!

Every Migraineur should wear medical ID!

Can you remember every important detail of your medical history and all of your medications info when you have a Migraine? I certainly can't, and any doctor who treats us needs to know those things. Put that together with the always possible accident, and we could have a recipe for an enormous problem. That's why I strongly believe that EVERY Migraineur should wear some kind of medical ID.

Teri Robert at has created a really cool new "gallery" of some of the medical IDs available. Why not check it out?