Thursday, October 13, 2016

Understanding and Compassion from an Unexpected Place

I had a remarkable experience at the podiatrist office yesterday. Making it to the appointment was an ordeal as I was 5 days into a migraine. With the help of my rescue medication and the cloudy sky I was able to pull myself together enough to make the trip out to her office.

She recommended doing physical therapy for 4 weeks, which prompted a discussion about how frequently she wanted me going each week. I explained to her that I've had a migraine since Friday and how that is not unusual for me. I wanted her to understand how challenging it would be for me to go more than once a week for 4 weeks because my head is unpredictable and I can't treat more than 9 days a month.

She immediately understood. And I'm not just talking about keeping the PT frequency down to once a week, which she did do. She also lowered her voice and turned out the light in the exam room. A nurse walking by popped in to ask if I was okay, since I was sitting in the dark, and when she heard I had a migraine she brought me some water and quietly offered me an ice pack.

I was blown away by the understanding, the compassion and the kindness I was shown. I've never seen anything like it before at a doctor's office - and this wasn't even a neurologist or headache clinic. I was there for my foot pain. Remarkable!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Whimsy Wednesday - SNL

The only thing that keeps me from going crazy during this political season is the political satire.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Whimsy Wednesday

At long last Saturday Night Live is back and not a moment too soon. The big debate sketch was so widely covered I decided to share this one instead. An unexpectedly funny bit that had nothing to do with politics.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

The Terrible Packaging for Rescue Medications

Has this ever happened to you? 

You wake up in the morning with a terrible migraine. You feel so awful; the light, the movement, the nausea, the excruciating pain! You stumble out of bed to retrieve your rescue medication. You get your hands on the press pack of pills and then you find yourself in a fight with with the packaging to actually get to the pill. A fight that you are in no shape to have.

Why are these pills so painfully hard to liberate from their packaging?

For many months Optum Rx was sending my rescue medication from NorthStarx

This long press pack would arrive and it was both difficult to separate the individual pill square and difficult to then open the square and retrieve the dose. In an effort to make things easier on myself I started separating the individual doses as soon as the box arrived. 

Then I learned that most of the time when peeling the back off, the paper would separate from the foil and then I could use my fingernail to break into the foil and get my pill. I started putting effort into making sure the paper was the only part to peel off and then leaving a dose on my bedside table and one on the table next to the couch. But, as you can see in the picture above, that didn't always work. Sometimes the foil would stick to the paper and the pill would be exposed.

This last time, Optum Rx sent my triptan from Dr. Reddy's. This is actually my favorite manufacturer of Sumatriptan, but that's a whole different post. You can see the individual pill square in the picture above actually has a scissor icon and a dotted line because the only way to get at these pills is to use scissors. 

This package was clearly not designed by someone who has ever had a migraine. As hard and frustrating as it has always been to get at these pills, it has never been harder and more frustrating than with these. Now, not only do I have to keep my pills nearby, but now I also have to have a pair of scissors with me?!?!? Are you kidding!! 

I like to keep my pills stashed in places I might need them - by the bed, by the couch, in my purse, in an emergency kit. But now I'm going to need to have scissors in all of these places too. Not cool.

I totally get that manufacturers want to keep the pills fresh. I want that too. The press packs being used for my dog's heart worm medication and flea/tick medication are never hard to get into. They separate from each other with no problem and they open with no problem. Why can't our rescue medications be as user friendly? It's hard enough to be suffering with a migraine without the additional hassle of accessing our medication.

Monday, October 3, 2016

20 Year High School Reunion

This past weekend was my 20th high school reunion. I didn't go.

 I didn't go for lots of reasons. First, I live a good 8 hours away from my hometown so going would have involved travel, a ton of planning and the expense of pet care. Second, my feet are still killing me so it's bad timing. Third, I'm in touch with everyone I want to be in touch with from high school. Fourth, my graduating class consisted of more than 600 students so my evening would likely consist of making small talk with people I never really knew. Fifth, I didn't feel like spending the evening explaining to people that I spent the last decade in terrible pain that robbed me of my career and most of my hobbies. Sixth, it would have been very loud and crowded, which would have overwhelmed me and triggered a migraine.

I love my hometown and I would love to spend an evening with a group of my old friends from high school, college and work but that wasn't what this was. Still, it got me thinking about old times. I can hardly believe I've been out of high school for more than 20 years now.

What's strange is how it can both feel like a lifetime ago and feel like time went by so fast. Perhaps the intensity of the teenage years leave a lasting impression on us, easily recalled and mistaken for the more familiar present. Perhaps this is why most intense times never feel that long ago, no matter how long ago it was. I also find it hard to believe it has been more than 10 years since my migraines went chronic.