Out Sick with Chronic Migraine – Really??

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April 19, 2012

Have you ever had to leave work suddenly due to a chronic migraine attack, and noticed your boss and co-workers eying you suspiciously?  You’ve heard through the grapevine the things they say about you at the water-cooler, after you flee the office.  Everybody is convinced you’re faking a ‘headache’ ‘again’! For the rest of the day you lay in bed in a darkened room, agonizing and hoping your medication kicks in. And, you wonder:  What can you possibly do to convince everyone at work that you’re not slacking or faking, but that your condition is very real and disabling.  You also wonder if there is better treatment than depending on medication, which doesn’t really work anymore.  Maybe it’s time to learn about some new treatments like a migraine procedure, which could offer long-term migraine relief.

The Migraine Association of Ireland (MAI) hosted the first national conference on Migraine at Work, with the purpose of educating employees, occupational therapists, and employer representatives about chronic migraine.  The event should help raise awareness of this condition and educate attendees on how to create a migraine-friendly work environment. An overall goal of the conference is to learn how to reduce of the impact of chronic migraine on business and productivity.  It has been estimated that migraine costs in the U.S. exceed $20 billion per year, and that a portion of that total is from absenteeism on the job.  In this context, migraine procedures that provide long-term solutions could become a cost effective solution to the financial impact of migraine on the workplace.

When Adam, our own Vice President of Marketing at Migraine Treatment Centers of America, called in sick due to a migraine last week, there was no suspicious water-cooler chatter.  (Well, no more than usual!  Just kidding, boss!)  Fortunately, we discuss the needs of chronic migraine sufferers every day, so our staff can provide an understanding, friendly working environment for all of the migraine sufferers in our office.  In fact, we appreciate their condition since they can let us know what images make them feel nauseated, or how we should handle the windows and lights when patients visit.  We have even had staff who have had a migraine procedure, although such a treatment may not be appropriate for everyone.  If Adam finds that his headache frequency and severity continue to increase to the point where he finds it difficult to function, and pharmaceuticals are not providing the relief he needs, he will know where to go for a migraine procedure!  And then we know he will be back in the office to continue helping our fellow chronic migraine sufferers.

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