- Paperback: 400 pages
- Publisher: University of California Press; Revised, Expanded edition (February 16, 1993)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0520082230
- ISBN-13: 978-0520082236
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 116 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,849,851 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Migraine, Revised and Expanded Edition Paperback – February 16, 1993
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Showing 1-7 of 116 reviews
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The medically-based discussion can be more than challenging to read and comprehend. However, with some persistence, a dictionary and thinking about context I could understand what was necessary to appreciate the physiological and biological basis for migraine. It is a complex condition which has defied understanding and treatment for centuries so it defies the simpler explanations I'd hoped for! However, I do not believe this is the most helpful or important part of the book for the migraineur.
The book gave me relief, hope and empathy - for myself and for anyone dealing with a chronic pain syndrome of any kind. Most importantly and so often overlooked are the deep psycho-physiological issues associated with most long-term migraineurs which Mr. Sacks explains repeatedly and with many case studies. Over his career he REGULARLY cared for over a thousand migraineurs, saw their protracted battle, how the condition can change and morph inexplicably. A person cannot live with migraine for protracted periods of time without changing who they are, physiologically and psychologically, and how they approach life. I found myself in this book (or a composite of myself) and that is healing in and of itself.
Importantly, I learned migraine experience IS NOT a one-size fits all condition. It defies simplicity or neat categorization. For this reason, one really needs to read the entire book and re-read, if not study, those parts which resonate with the reader. It took me a couple months (and I am retired) to work through the book. To have not done so would have been to short-change myself. It worth the effort - if only for peace of mind - finally knowing what I needed to know with a high level of confidence from an actual medical professional with unequalled credibility.
Yes, there are plenty of treatment and coping suggestions in the book. This includes Mr.Sacks recommended approach for physicians treating migraine. Unfortunately his approach is not what is followed in our traditional, mainstream healthcare system today. The book reinforced my own long term approach to my migraines - in effect being my own GP and advocate for coping with migraine. "Migraine" will be a long term, critical tool in my migraine toolbox.
The book is very clinical and peppered with jargon, but I still found it fun to read. It has a ton of information and observations that I haven't found in any modern migraine literature online. For example, red migraines vs. white migraines (sweating, flushed, hot vs. pale, drawn, cold). Or the three ways migraines end. Or the many weird forms the symptoms can take - not only the aura, but also the prodrome: the period before the migraine really starts, when you might experience euphoria, intense hunger, irritability, sleepiness, or weird changes in speech, ideation, or perception of time and space. Crazy stuff. Also interesting commentary on the connection with depression.
Lots of interesting character profiles of people who dealt with severe and often abnormal migraine types - Sacks looked for the weirdest cases. Interesting historical perspective on what people did and thought about migraines before the medical aspect was understood or accepted.