From Chronic to Remission: A Patient Journey

Cluster Headache
Trigeminal Neuralgia
December 1, 2022
November 30, 2022
5
minutes
From Chronic to Remission: A Patient Journey

One of the pitfalls of being a more complex patient is struggling to find a doctor that can think outside the box, aka the textbook. I signed up for Neura Health in 2021 and just had my 5th visit not long ago. Dr. Berk and I reminisced about my first visit and contrasted it with my current visit. The first visit I had I seriously had little hope that any doctor would be able to help me manage better and one via telehealth at that. Contrast that with today, I have gone from barely hanging on, to managing beyond my wildest expectations! How has Neura Health helped me do this, let me show you.

The staff is top notch

It’s rare for me to find a doctor that exudes compassion for a single visit, yet every staff member at Neura Health has done this in every visit, every message and every interaction. Dr. Berk was the first team member I met and in that first visit he listened to absolutely everything I said and the compassion was in his eyes and his voice. I felt heard and accepted right where I was. There were no judgmental statements, no questioning if I really was allergic to something and no “there’s no way” you have had severe adverse reactions to ALL these medications! He believed me. Not just in the initial visit but the follow ups as well.

The care coach and even the concierge who answers basic questions and works with insurance claims has always treated me with dignity and compassion.

A bit of my story

I know I’m not unique, but I want to use my story to emphasize how well Neura Health has been able to treat me despite my complexity. I have not one, but five headache disease diagnoses. I have two types of migraine: migraine with and without aura as well as vestibular migraine. I have two types of trigeminal autonomic cephalgia: cluster headache and SUNCT. I also have a cranial nerve disease called trigeminal neuralgia. 

When I had my first appointment with Neura Health, my migraine disease was classed as high episodic meaning I had 8-14 migraine days per month. My cluster headache disease was in the chronic state as well. As of my writing I have gotten my cluster headache attacks into remission for more than 3 months which means I am back to the episodic condition and I have been migraine attack free for more than 3 months. My SUNCT has also been in remission. My trigeminal neuralgia is better managed and I rarely have to take abortive medication.

How has Neura Health helped me manage so much better?

First, Dr. Berk as a headache specialist took in my journey and did his best to help me navigate many options of preventive and abortive medications. We found together by stacking preventive treatments and have several abortive options available depending on the type of attack I had, I could manage better. They have a staff member who works tirelessly to get insurance approvals. This took much stress off of me, because I didn’t have to do anything other than give them the information so they could take on the stress for me.

One of my favorite parts of Neura Health is the care coaching. I love the personal and informal feel of the sessions. Cary, my care coach, lets me take the lead, create goals that are meaningful to me. He listens well and some sessions I just need to be heard, while others I need to chisel out some steps so I can reach a goal that I want to reach. I love the no judgment zone of the meetings and Cary has been an amazing cheerleader.

Conclusion

Taking the leap to a new doctor is huge! I still consult with my local neurologist, but having Dr. Berk on my medical team has made a huge difference. When it came to being diagnosed with SUNCT (a very rare disease that my local doctor wasn’t familiar with) Neura Health was the tool I needed to know what I was dealing with.

As far as the virtual platform, it’s what I needed. Traveling to appointments especially in the beginning was difficult and now it’s so convenient. I prefer Neura Health from the expertise to the compassion to the additional education I get by being their patient.

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Anna Williams
Anna Williams is a patient advocate for Cluster Headache, Trigeminal Neuralgia, and Facial Pain Disorders.
About the Author
Anna Williams is a headache, facial pain, and migraine disorder advocate who is an active participant in the vibrant patient advocate space. She has Cluster Headache, Trigeminal Neuralgia, Atypical Facial Pain and Migraine. When not spreading awareness, she volunteers at her daughter's school and the local animal shelter.

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