Tuesday, November 11, 2008

New Migraine Guide at About - a Good Thing?

One of the first really great Migraine and headache web sites I found when I turned to the internet for information several years ago was About.com's About Headaches and Migraines. At that time, the "guide" on the site was Teri Robert. When she left the site in January of 2007, it was a sad time for me. I'd followed her work for several years by then; had read her stupendous book, "Living Well With Migraine Disease and Headaches;" had learned so much from her; and had come to count on her work for basic information and for new research explained in terms I could understand.

When I emailed her, she explained that she had left About for health reasons -- that she needed less stress and responsibility. Not too long after that, she started writing and providing support on the HealthCentral Network's MyMigraineConnection.com. There, a site producer covered some of the duties that had been Teri's responsibility at About, allowing her more time to write and provide support while other things were covered by the producer.

This evening, I discovered that someone has finally filled the job of guide on the About.com site. A good thing for all of us who can use all the information we can get. Right? Well . . . at this point, I'm not too sure. The first thing I noticed is that Dr. Foley, the new guide, seems to lump headaches and Migraines into the word "headaches." In his bio, he says, "I spend my days treating primarily people in pain. Headaches are very common and many of my patients come seeking relief."

A good thing? Time will tell.



Eileen said...

I can't believe they finally filled Teri's spot!

Well, I'm going to keep following the all knowing Migraine queen, Teri.

I wish the new guy at about luck....but Teri will always be number 1 to me!!!

Ellen Schnakenberg said...


I found this guy too. I noticed he is apparently a DO (as opposed to an MD), so am hoping will write about non-pharmaceutical ways of gaining control of Migraine beasties as well as the best medicines and treatments for us. The rest of his bio read like he had a good combo of interests.

I too noticed the questionable use of the word 'headache', and although I initially bristle at lumping Migraine, cluster, tension, sinus, yadda-yadda all together, I also realized a long time ago that even my headache specialists use the term 'headache' more frequently than Migraine. All of my pain management docs did, I suppose because that's what they're used to treating. It's as if 'headache' is a general term - a description - where Migraine is more specific... so says my Neurologist at any rate. When referring to specific symptoms not related to the headache phase, they have all used the term Migraine. I did notice in his bio, it also says that "Mark is actively pursing certification in herbal medicine and spends time understanding how both traditional and alternative medical treatments can help people with a variety of conditions, including headaches and migraines." Here he kept the two separate.

It will be interesting to see where Dr. Foley takes his readers. I have always had better luck with DO's than MD's, but every doc is different, aren't they. I truly hope he will be a compassionate and positive influence on the Migraine community. (fingers crossed!) It said nothing I could find that he was a Migraine or headache or pain sufferer himself, which would really be helpful. This puts him at a bit of a disadvantage don't you think?

Thanks for writing about this Abi. I thought maybe I had just missed him taking the spot over.

Oh, and he doesn't capitalize the M in Migraine either. darn. :)

Ellen Schnakenberg
visit my WEGO Health blog

Megan Oltman said...

Thanks for the heads-up Abi! I took a look - methinks the good doctor is rather vague and mixes things up quite a bit. Maybe he needs to get up to speed and will improve, but right now I don't think his "guides" will guide anyone to much help!

Diana Lee said...

I've admittedly only had a chance to read a few things, but I'm not impressed. So far his work would seem to do more harm than good for someone who is completely new to these topics and looking for clear information. It's quite a shame, really.

Abigail said...

Someone posted a comment today that was perhaps valid, BUT their name linked to an online drug sales site. So, here's what they said:

"Reading this new guy's stuff is like listening to a kid who's too young to remember the 80s talk about how cool that decade was. He gets some stuff right, but a whole lot of it just seems like he's making it up or getting his facts mixed up."