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An estimated 36 million people in the U.S. suffer from migraine. It's time to take a stand in your practice. As you will see in these videos, many are looking for proper diagnoses and treatment. However, a patient has to do their part to manage their health, as well as have a good plan from you and your team. Please take time to watch the journey of your choice with headache specialist Dr. Gokani, and compare a patient of yours to one of these amazing people. It is our hope that these communication tools will spark better outcomes. Following the video, see the questions we ask patients to become mindful of the issues and tools to discuss with providers. Print the infographic for your exam room conversations.

Migraine Journey 1: This is Cathryn's Story Watch Full Video
Thank you Cathryn for sharing your story. Your courage to stand up for migraineurs is beautiful.

Desperation. Cathryn was having 2-3 migraines a week from ages 14-25. The communication with her providers showed a lack of empathy and a lack of effective management strategies. After struggling with a 3-month migraine things got worse, as rebound headaches were an issue. Although her headaches went away during her pregnancy, her husband went into a deep depression after birth of their child. With the stress of a new child and her husband’s depression, her migraines got worse. Her medication use increased with little effectiveness.

Hope. Cathryn and her provider had a discussion about appropriate preventative vs abortive tools and when to use them. They also realized that migraine linked to stress and Cathryn needed to make time for herself. She is now down to 9 or less meds per month. Cathryn was extremely brave fighting her employer on an appropriate environment for employees with migraine. Cathryn does an amazing job explaining how her migraines begin. Her triggers include light, stress, and hunger. She has become a pro at relaxation techniques. She wants to send a helpful message to other moms, to get to a good doctor, and start and make time for yourself. She discusses how detox helped her journey and how FMLA works for those in danger of missing work due to migraine. Other key messages include indirect vs direct cost of migraine, and communication and preparation for healthcare visits.
Migraine Journey 2: This is Sabina's Story Watch Full Video
Thank you Sabina for sharing your story. Your determination to be heard and to battle migraine will help us all.

Desperation. Sabina has suffered from migraine for 25 years. Most of her migraines are menstrual migraine. Before she was actually diagnosed with migraine, a major sinus infection sent her to primary care provider. She mentioned her headaches as a secondary condition, and her provider diagnosed her with cluster headaches. Her headaches became more frequent, but Sabina taught herself how to avoid her triggers including bright lights, perfume, foods with MSG, cultured foods, and her hormones/period.

Hope. Sabina found help by finding a provider that really listened and together formed a plan. One of her tools in her migraine toolbox are triptans, which help her as long as she takes it at the appropriate stage of migraine. There is a conversation on medication hording and medication expense. There is a conversation about rebound headache. Also the importance of keeping a diary. Migraine needs to be taken seriously as a pain condition. There is education on women in pain, complexity of migraine, magnesium, and triptan vs anti-inflammatory medications.
Migraine Journey 3: This is Amanda's Story Watch Full Video
Thank you Amanda for sharing your story. Your migraine journey of rebuilding yourself is a road map for strength.

Desperation. Amanda only had 2-3 migraines a year until her late 30s. She became a Chicago tribune Reporter with multiple stressful life changes. Her providers thought it was a sinus headache which are truly migraine. She experiences aura accompanied with debilitating pain. She also had depression, but when she treated depression, her migraines seemed to get worse. Exercise and biking was a trigger, so without exercise, the depression worsened. A lot of dismissive behavior caused frustration during her healthcare visits.

Hope. Amanda decided to change. She left her stressful job and started a business she loves. Amanda discusses her stages of migraine. Her prodrome consisted of fatigue, hunger and irritability. Sometimes she experienced an aura, followed by neck pain on the left. It then moves to a throbbing pain in the head to behind the eye. There is a discussion of the ideal stage to treat, patient perspective of successful treatment, how triptans work in the body, and information on the amount of migraineurs actually receiving treatment. Further topics include relaxation techniques and rebound headache. Amanda recommends improving mindfulness of prodrome, and also fear management and stress management. Don’t give up and keep trying to find the management that works for you.
Migraine Journey 4: This is Karen's Story Watch Full Video
Thank you Karen for sharing your story. Your brain-gut connection experience in migraine is invaluable to those who suffer.

Desperation. As a teen, Karen was taking medication daily for her migraines. Her medications made her feel shaky and they eventually stopped working. Karen began to recognize her triggers, but her migraines were getting more frequent from stress. To make matters worse, her children started to experience migraines. Her frustration of pain reached an all-time high after visiting five different neurologists, her primary care doctor, and her OBGYN without successful management plans.

Hope. After fifteen years with migraine, she started to question her diet. Her Journey shifted from coping with pain, to finding her healthy self. There is a discussion of gastroparesis, refilling prescriptions, and migraine research funding. Additional discussions include better tools for a partnership and shared decisions between providers and patients. Also the patient’s responsibility and nutrition for health.
Migraine Journey 5: This is Helen's Story Watch Full Video
Thank you Helen for sharing your story. You are an inspiration to us all struggling with fear of pain and narcotics. 

Helen noticed her migraines were getting increasingly worse in her late teens. She had very little success with medications or advice she sought from multiple providers. She was eventually hospitalized for her headaches, and her medication use continued to increase rapidly. Her brain was experiencing a kindling effect from narcotic use. She was taking high doses of multiple medication to abort fear instead of pain. Her life rapidly became about managing medications and surviving pain.

Helen had a moment of clarity and told herself there has to be another way. She learned how to manage stress and anxiety by practicing breathing exercises. She made a shift from the conventional thinking of I need something to fix me… to I’m going to fix myself. She realized it takes a partnership between patient and provider. Armed with an appropriate preventative and abortive from her provider, she was able to make life style modifications, and became aware of how to balance her life. She found mindfulness, hope, and control. She recommends starting with small changes. Be aware of when a headache is coming and be prepared what to do. He signs were anxiety or gut issues. She now practices breathing, keeps a routine for self-care. Helen is no longer defined by her headaches. She is aware that a protective factor is to realize she is an introvert, and it is ok to say no. She defined her stressors and made time to change. Her great advice is to connect with your body and mind.
Migraine Journey 6: This is Jennifer's Story Watch Full Video
Thank you Jennifer for sharing your story. Your positive outlook will inspire thousands dealing with stress and migraine.

Desperation. Jennifer suffered from chronic migraine. She was constantly chasing pain by taking tons of pills which was causing major stomach problems. She stopped seeing her doctor because she was hiding an abusive 23-year marriage. Jennifer attempted suicide twice.

Hope. Jennifer reached a breaking point and decided to leave her abusive husband. She went back to her provider and they agreed that dark moments give us light. Jennifer was miraculously migraine-free for almost a year after moving on. Although she still has an occasional migraine, she is a testament that pain is a sign that helps us know when it is time to get realigned. As Jennifer continues to experience major challenges, her strength she has gained from her journey has prepared her for anything.
Migraine Journey 7: This is Tom's Story Watch Full Video
Thank you Tom for sharing your story. You have an amazing story of dealing with pain, medications and cluster headache.

Desperation. Tom is a chef who suffers from cluster headache and migraine. The pain he was experiencing was so severe, he contemplated suicide twice. He visited multiple providers and with each failed management attempt he became desperate.

Hope. Tom started to be mindful that his Prodrome is a sensation over the forehead and his eye starts to tingle. Without treatment, his pain goes from 1-10 in five minutes. His cluster headaches go in cycles. He was getting 1-2 headache attacks per day over a period of three weeks. In this video, his doctor (Trupti Gokani, MD) discusses the differences of cluster headache and migraine. Also Tom’s medication side effects and sinus issues. Tom used to fear sleep because he commonly woke up in an attack. At his worst, he was injecting medication 12 times a day, which was causing life threatening high blood pressure. He found communication and empathy was what formed trust between him and his provider in order to make a shared management plan. He focused on anger and anxiety management. He modified his diet, cutting out genetically modified foods. He reduced his home stress which influenced his pain. Him and his provider found he was vitamin D deficient. There is a discussion of aura and the difference between migraine and cluster headache. There is a discussion on rebound headache and when to treat and what to use. You will understand the impact of Tom’s pain, and you can use Tom’s story to help your situation.
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