|Barked: Fri Aug 31, '12 11:28am PST |
|I have chronic migraine; they started nearly 30 years ago and for the last 20 they have been chronic. My first advice is he needs to find a good neurologist who specializes in migraine. Over time, we develop brain damage which may or may not manifest in visible ways; the best way to prevent the brain damage is to find a preventative drug that works. The average chronic sufferer tries maybe 7 drugs before giving up; I've tried more than 2/3 of the list and the other 1/3 are now contra-indicated since they are in the same families as the drugs I had major reactions to.
A good neuro will also help him find abortive and rescue medications that work for him as well as develop a plan in case he needs iv meds to break the headache cycle (some of these can be done in the office or outpatient at a hospital). They will also have you identify triggers (individual/stackable, foods, etc) so that you can alter your lifestyle so as to have less headaches. Just eliminating triggering foods from the diet can cut some people's number of headache days in half.
Being a walking purse/pack animal isn't really a task; a task is the dog doing something for you that you can't do for yourself (because of the disability). In all honesty, people can carry their own medication, sunglasses, and ear plugs. I wear special sunglasses all the time when outside/away from home. I've got two pair; one that is darker and a pair that I wear indoors that most people think are regular tinted glasses. I've been doing the glasses thing since high school, way before I ever considered getting a SD.
There are things that the dog can do in-home that may help. Retrieving a bottle of water (or other drink), retrieving medication, retrieving other items (Bretta use to bring me my Ipod - I hate earplugs and have white noise and ocean sounds that can be looped),turning off lights, and hearing tasks (alerting to specific noises like the smoke detector if medications knock you loopy).
Some dogs can alert beforehand. However, not all dogs can do it (and it requires record keeping to ensure the dog is really alerting...some people think if a dog does something once or twice it's alerting) and it doesn't work if you're in an non-ending headache; the dogs that really alert are doing it in the Prodrome phase (as shown by the UF study). Even if you get a dog that alerts, it's a double edge sword; yes, it means you can take the abortive meds earlier, but it can also ramp up anxiety levels because you know it's most likely going to end up with you in pain.
If I'm reading your profile correctly, you two are @15. I'd suggest talking to your parents about finding a good neurologist. There is a list of docs at health central's migraine section. Some of them are known to assist those without insurance in getting the help they need. One of the Texas docs is considered the best in the business; he's got people flying in to see him from all across the country (cheap flights can be had if you know where to look). He, like the others, can come up with a plan that can be implemented by a more local doctor (primary or specialist).
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