Monday, February 15, 2010

Getting Migraine Care - My Turn To Vent

By now, I hope everyone who reads this blog knows that I care deeply about others with Migraines and their problems with getting treatment. Still, I'm seeing a trend that really bugs me.

What I'm seeing is Migraineurs who talk and talk about needing better care, but expect everything to be easy and essentially just handed to them. Let me explain. There are two main issues I'm seeing discussed:

  1. Finding a good doctor. Too many people expect to find a real Migraine specialist very close to home. One woman lives about an hour's drive from one of the top Migraine specialists in the country, but says that's just too far away.

    Too far? Lots of people would be jumping with joy if a good specialist were that close to them. If you live in a big city, it can take an hour just to drive from one side of the city to the other.

    Truth be told, when I see someone saying such things, I can't help thinking that if their Migraines were really as bad as they say they are, they'd make that drive.

  2. If it's not covered by insurance... Let me preface this by saying that I fully understand that some of us simply cannot afford doctors and medications not covered by our insurance. That's not the situation I'm talking about here.

    I'll use a friend of mine as an example of the type of situation I'm talking about... Jane (obviously not her real name) has horrid Migraines that keep her in bed for days at a time, usually three or four times a month. Jane and her husband both have great jobs that pay very well.

    Jane won't go to a Migraine specialist because there are none in her insurance network, so her insurance company won't pay for it. When her current neurologist suggested Botox to her, she wouldn't do it because, again, her insurance company wouldn't pay for it. Jane flat out told me that they could afford both the specialist and treatment not covered by insurance, but it would mean "cutting back."

    Now, for me, "cutting back" would mean cutting back on essentials, but for Jane, it might mean cutting back to two or thee cars instead of the five they have... cutting back on cable -- right now they get every cable channel available... actually cooking a meal instead of ordering food delivered or going out at least five nights a week... fewer designer clothes... and so on.
Many of us with "normal" incomes could trim some extras from our budgets to get to a specialist or pay for medications that aren't covered by insurance -- IF we were truly dedicated to getting better and having a better quality of life.

My insurance company won't pay for Maxalt, but it's the med that works best for me when I get a Migraine. So, I eat out less, but fewer clothes, rent DVDs instead of going out to the movies. And that's OK with me. No, I don't think it's right that my insurance won't cover Maxalt, but all appeals have been denied, and there's just no changing that. Rather than moan and groan about my insurance company... rather than being sick in bed every time I get a Migraine... I suck it up, take responsibility for my health, and do what I need to do.

How about you?