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  • Earle Levenstein

If, If - If Your Grandmother Had Wheels, She'd Be A Trolley Car.



I know, I know, It's futile to speculate; the what ifs can drive you nuts.

But let me—just this once—imagine what it would've been like, if my pediatrician—a kind, lovely man—after my record-setting zillionth visit of the year, with this pain or that ache or upset stomach or one of my non-stop nightmares…had begun to have just the smallest suspicion that there was something going on.

I mean, he knew me from the time I was born, until I was eleven or twelve; he never doubted my word; he trusted me; knew that I wasn't lying; even though almost never—exception for measles and the gang—did anything show up with tests that he'd run. But there was something.

Now, granted; this was many years ago; but I'm afraid that today the situation hasn't changed much at all.

I mean, it wasn't until I was in my 50's that Migraine was finally diagnosed; and then only because an MRI found no evidence of what was initially identified with certainty by my then internist as a stroke, was in fact a deja vu episode.

Further—despite some of the usual advertising claims—there is no so-called "cure." There are plentiful over-the-counter and prescription medications for a particular iteration of Migraine, but cure? Fageddaboutit. So it's either a drug that will mitigate to some degree the specific issue in the specific part of the body presented to a physician, or over-the-counter self-medication.

So for me, apart from aspirin around the clock for a stretch of impossibly stressful years, before diagnosis, when I regularly experienced those murderous ice-pick-in-the-head headaches, it's been not drugs that have helped, but years of psychotherapy; identifying those emotionally- loaded moments; days; periods that I've learned play a significant role in the instigation of a Migraine assault. The relationship, to me, is undeniable.

Migraine thrives, I am convinced, when feelings are either willfu

lly unacknowledged or unconsciously repressed; and of course, that's where psychotherapy comes in. Migraine doesn't disappear; and my belief is, it never will. As long as I have feelings; Migraine will respond.

Feelings are the instrument Migraine plays.

When a child—me in this case—is clearly having a range of issues it's essential that the pediatrician take the time, explore the possibilities and consider—if he/she has an understanding of Migraine—that something's at work. A message is being delivered. It's a cry for help.

Now no one could magically intervene in the daily looney-tunes I'll charitably refer to as family dynamics—that is charitable—but certainly, what if my parents had been told that I had an affliction called Migraine…and consulted a…therapist…and changed their behavior and…

Speaking of trolley-cars…


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