Friday, February 11, 2005

Migrane Machine?

So Eyewitness News tonight (February 10, 2005), on WABC New York, showed an electromagnetic device aimed at relieving migraine headaches. Some of the interviewees indicated that they thought it was ridiculous. I, however, fully understand the motivations of the patients who would give it a try. I also understand the diabetic who will walk around with an insulin pump inserted into their skin.

The reason is that people with conditions that cause pain will do whatever they can to alleviate any part of the pain. In the case of migraines, pain is occasional but acute, in the case of diabetes, pain comes from sticking one's self with a needle several times each day. For an insulin-dependent diabetic, the pump allows the user to avoid, perhaps, 2 or 3 out of 10 needle-sticks per day. As I said earlier, this 'migraine buzzer' might look ridiculous, and it is a little big to be comfortably stowed into any pocketbook or briefcase, but I get it.

I have my own chronic pain issues, and I know that I would do anything to avoid even a portion of it. I've tried many things: a few surgeries, physical therapy, massage therapy, even acupuncture. So I live on pain medicine. I'm very hesitant to have more surgery, because I guess, as the saying goes, the devil I know is better than the devil I don't know. In the most extreme, I'm afraid of complications from surgery, which may include infection, or worse, paralysis. At the very least, I'm afraid of the horrible, excruciating recovery.

My point, though, is that it's not ridiculous. It's grasping at straws, perhaps, but desperate people are willing to go to extreme measures for the slightest relief.

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