I was diagnosed with Vestibular Migraines in 2006. For those who do not know, Vestibular Migraines are unlike other migraines. They are characterized by a dull headache and the main symptom is vertigo and/or dizziness, accompanied by nausea and vomiting. I managed my condition successfully and was able to live a full life for eight years with medication and annual doctor visits. Then, a bout of chronic vertigo and a 13-day painful migraine, which I had never experienced before, struck me out of the blue. For the last two and a half years, my condition has spiraled out of control with no answer as to why.
As you may know from my Facebook posts or visiting with me personally, I am now a chronic migraine sufferer. I also recently was diagnosed with disc deterioration of the cervical spine due to all the years of vertigo causing me to have chronic neck pain. I have occipital neuralgia as well. To address these conditions, I have seen 4 neurologists, a neurosurgeon, and two pain management doctors. I have tried nearly every treatment under the sun, including a slew of medications, acupuncture, Botox, physical therapy, massage, meditation, changes in diet and more, but none have worked.
Lucky for me, my wonderful doctors at Froedtert aren’t through with me yet! I have three more treatments available to me: a cefaly device Click Here For More Info to wear around my head, Radio Frequency Ablation (RFA) or nerve blocks, and home biofeedback. The doctor said I should experience relief of neck pain for up to one year with the nerve blocks. The first of three nerve block procedures is September 18th. It is my greatest hope that one of these treatments will do the trick and I will feel something like myself again.
Unfortunately, all of these things cost money and that is something we are sorely lacking here in the Sterling household. Why?
As someone with chronic illness, my ability to work is almost non-existent due to pain, fatigue, and regular doctor appointments. For example, I worked 5 ½ hours the month of August and 8 ½ the month of July. I have been out of sick leave and vacation time since February. The loss of my income has been distressing. My dear husband Malik is doing his best to support us both on his full time job and is now applying for part time jobs. Our savings has been spent, the majority of it on medical bills from being hospitalized earlier in the year. In other words, we have no money to afford these devices and treatments.
The cefaly device is $320. The cost for RFA day surgery is unknown at this point, but will be done regardless because I can’t live my life in constant pain. We were hoping that home biofeedback would be covered by insurance with a co-pay of just $100 but Humana will not cover it. So we will wait to order it until we have the money, which will be way more than $100, of course, because it is a laptop, heart monitoring device, and software. In addition, I have ongoing medical expenses for medications, outpatient doctor visits, and over the counter necessities like heating pad, anti-nausea items, ice packs, gas back and forth, etc.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
We are looking to those who care to get me over this hump and on the road to relief and recovery. Thank you for anything you can contribute. Even $5 helps. Lastly, will you please share my link on your Facebook and/or Twitter to give it more exposure? It is quite difficult to swallow your pride and feel like a beggar, but the old saying is true: without your health, you really do have nothing.