Saying Goodbye to 8,000 Migraines

September 29, 2015

Fox 12 OregonMeet Deb Spencer, a patient of Portland’s Dr. Berk, who found lasting relief of her chronic migraines with the Omega procedure.

Deb Spencer is a poised, elegant woman with a coif of blond hair. Sitting on a Portland park bench talking with a reporter, she looks like the model of sophistication and ease.

You’d never guess the kind of pain she has endured.

As she tells it in a clip that aired in September on Oregon’s Fox 12 News that you can view here, Deb experienced her first migraine in 1982. Since that first migraine, her head began producing migraines 5-7 days a week for 30 years. Let’s do the math on that. Using the conservative figure of 5 days a week, that amounts to nearly 8,000 migraines.

As those of you who suffer from migraines know, that’s 8,000 sessions—some lasting many hours—of debilitating, crushing pain. Lights off, doors closed, lying on a bed…how many social engagements did Deb miss? How much work? How many leisure hours could she not read a book or tend a garden?

How Can You Read a Book or Go to Work With a Migraine?
According to the Migraine Research Foundation, Deb is one of the millions of Americans who suffer from migraines: current estimates hold that 12% of the American population suffer from them. That makes migraines the leading cause of disability in the US – well beyond diabetes.1 Migraines are also responsible for 36 millions days of bed-rest every year, and often migraines can bring on depression, anxiety, and poor sleep. They also cost a lot of money: migraine sufferers spend about $2500 more per year than non-migraine sufferers, and the national burden of migraines is well into the billions of dollars.2

But here’s the worst statistic of all: the vast majority of migraine sufferers suffer in silence, perhaps with a bottle of Advil. Only 4% of migraine sufferers seek any kind of medical help from pain or headache specialists.1

Why Dont People Seek Help?
One the one hand, migraines can be so debilitating that the last thing you want to do while your head is throbbing is look through the internet for blogs like this. On the other hand, it seems many people don’t even know that migraines treatments exist and are safe, affordable, and effective.

That’s what makes Deb’s story so important – if you have yet to click on the link and watch her 2-minute spot, please do so in 10 seconds. Deb is one of the thousands of people who have sought—and found—relief with the Migraine Treatment Centers of America, a group of migraine specialists who pioneered the Omega procedure – a fusing of two types of neurological stimulation techniques that has shown an 87% success rate in blocking migraine pain.

Pain-Free in Portland
Active in 5 cities throughout the U.S., the Migraine Treatment Centers of America have now opened a clinic in Portland. That clinic is led by Dr. Mehmet Berk, a neurosurgeon with deep expertise in minimally invasive surgery and headache relief.

When you watch the clip, you will meet not only Deb but Dr. Berk, and you will see the small, pacemaker-like neurostimulator implant that may effectively treat your migraine pain. You will also see the little handheld device that Deb uses to control the neurostimulator and hear her testimony of living pain-free for the first time in 30 years.

On the most basic level, Deb now does not dread waking up in the morning. And just as amazing: think of what she can do the next 8,000 times she does not have a migraine. The clip, again, is here:

1. Migraine Research Foundation. Migraine Fact Sheet.
2. Hawkins K, et al. Direct cost burden among insured US employees with migraine. Headache 2008;48(4):553-563.

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