Increased Migraine with raised blood pressure. Disability?

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  • Full Question:

    I'm at my wits end. Now having increased blood pressure with my migraines. Having them 2-3 times a week, lasting 48 to 72 hours. They have increased in severity until I can't handle it. Have been taken off the preventatives, because they weren't working.  Not a candidate for Imitrex or similar medications because strong family history of cardiac disease and my blood pressure problems.

     

    Has anyone every gotten disability for migraines? I am a critical care nurse and I am scared to death of making an error that will harm someone when I try to work with these.

     

    Help me with advice please. Jennifer.

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    Answer:

    Dear Jennifer;

     

    Yes, people have been awarded Social Security disability benefits based on disability cause by Migraine disease. It can be a long process. Benefits are almost always denied at the first hearing, making an appeal necessary. To succeed in getting disability benefits, it's essential that your doctor feel that you are disabled and support your application.

     

    That said, whether you apply for disability or not, it's important that you continue your search for effective treatment. Anyone who has more than three Migraines a month needs to be talking with their doctor about Migraine prevention. There's growing evidence that Migraine is a progressive brain disease. A recent study showed that Migraines can cause brain damage, and that people with three or more Migraines a month are more susceptible to this damage. For more information, see Is Migraine a Progressive Brain Disease? and Yes, Migraines Can Cause Brain Damage.

     

    Don't lose hope about preventives. There are now over 100 medications and supplements that can be used for Migraine and headache prevention. The frustration of trying to find what works can make it seem as if you've tried it all, but with so many possible preventives, it’s literally impossible to have tried them all. See Migraine preventive medications – too many options to give up! for more information.

     

    If your doctor isn’t able to help you, it may well be time to consult a Migraine and headache specialist. It’s important to note that neurologists aren’t necessarily Migraine and headache specialists. Take a look at the article Migraine and Headache Specialists - What's So Special? If you need help finding a Migraine specialist, check our listing of Patient Recommended Migraine and Headache Specialists.

     

    If you're not sure you're ready to apply for Social Security disability benefits, you can check with your employer to see if they have a short-term disability program.

     

    Good luck,
    John Claude Krusz and Teri Robert

     

     

    To review other questions from our Ask the Clinician Column,
     browse the Ask the Clinician archives.

     

    If you need help finding a  Migraine and headache specialist,
     visit our listing of Patient Recommended Specialists.

     

     

    About Ask the Clinician:

    Dr. Krusz is a recognized expert in the fields of headache and  Migraine treatment and pain treatment. Each week, he and Lead Expert Teri Robert, team up to answer your questions about headaches and  Migraines. You can read more about Dr. Krusz or more about Teri Robert.

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    Last updated April 5, 2010.

Published On: April 05, 2010