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Transcript: Kay’s Life is Restored with Reed Procedure Migraine Treatment – Part 3

Mike Burger: Welcome back to Ask The Doctor. I am your host, Mike Burger. We have been talking about the Reed procedure for treating the worst migraines, and remember, we are also taking your calls and e-mail questions. The number is 972-707-2800, or you can log on to Joining us now is Kay Shurtleff, who has been suffering from headaches since she was 15 years old. Kay, how often were you having migraines.

Kay Shurtleff: When I was young, I had them once a week, twice a week, something like that. Then I got older, different things happened and it gradually got to the point where I was having them 24/7 for the last six years.

Mike Burger: 24/7 for six years?

Kay Shurtleff: Yes.

Mike Burger: How did you do that?

Kay Shurtleff: You would do the same thing. You have made the decision either, “I am just going to hide from the world,” or, “I am just going to put one foot in front of the other.”

Mike Burger: What type of procedures did you go through, because obviously with pain like that, you’re looking for some help?

Kay Shurtleff: You are. I saw several neurologists. I have a wonderful neurologist and we did 67, something like that, different drug protocols.

Mike Burger: Sixty-seven?

Kay Shurtleff: Then we tried lots of other things, trigger point injections here, injections here and here, surgical nerve block, acupuncture, chiropractic, massage therapy.

Mike Burger: You just have to feel let down because you go home, and you and your husband says, “How does it work?” “Not so well.”

Kay Shurtleff: You do get to the point where you just think, “This is just it. Nothing is going to work.”

Mike Burger: How did you hear about Dr. Reed’s procedure?

Kay Shurtleff: The neurologist that I see, we talked about different options and his nurse practitioner actually mentioned, this is something that’s out there on the horizon and then I decided to get another opinion from yet another neurologist. I saw her, and she looked at all my records and she said, “I can try to treat you, but my first suggestion would be that you would to Reed Migraine Center.”

Mike Burger: Earlier, Dr. Reed told us that when the patients come in, they actually do a test procedure. How did that work for you, and were you little nervous about that?

Kay Shurtleff: Not really nervous, because it is a win-win kind of a thing. Nervous a little bit that it wasn’t going to work, and it was going to be one more thing that we tried. The procedure itself wasn’t any big deal at all. In fact, I went to work the next day with it.

Mike Burger: With that procedure, with the test procedure, did that indeed help your migraine?

Kay Shurtleff: It did. At 4 o’clock in the morning, I woke up the day after the procedure. I had that procedure the day before and at 4 o’clock in the morning I woke up, because I felt like something is wrong and realized that I had no headache. I woke up my husband and said, “You ought to know this. My head doesn’t hurt anymore. Wake up.”

Mike Burger: That’s got to be a … just an incredible feeling that once in six years …

Kay Shurtleff: Yeah, I went from just saying every day to my husband, “If I could have five minutes without a headache, I could do all my thinking then and then I could just function.”

Mike Burger: Now you are ready for the procedure. We have tested it, seems to be working, go see Dr. Reed and get it done. How did that work out?

Kay Shurtleff: It was wonderful. We had a little party in the hospital that night. It has been 13 weeks and three days and we celebrate it every day.

Mike Burger: You had just what about three months ago, is that it, and every day now, migraine-free.

Kay Shurtleff: Every single minute of my life is different.

Mike Burger: That’s incredible. What is it like living with that neurostimulator, because I know you have a little battery implanted in your hip?

Kay Shurtleff: It is really not a big deal. You do not feel it. You do not really think about it unless you feel a headache coming on or you can do a preemptive strike and change the setting if you think you are going to be in a situation that’s going to cause a headache, but other than that, it doesn’t really affect your everyday life.

Mike Burger: How do you change that stimulation?

Kay Shurtleff: You have a low remote.

Mike Burger: You do, so it is remote-controlled.

Kay Shurtleff: There are a bunch of different settings and you can change it if you want to feel it more intensely here and less here, then you can regulate that.

Mike Burger: I would ask the question, how do you feel now that you had the procedure, but I would say you are probably the happiest woman in the world.

Kay Shurtleff: I sure am. It is the difference between saying, “I wish I could have five minutes to have a clear thought,” and saying, “Let’s go walk the dog. Let’s go to the movie. Let’s plan a trip to Ireland.” All those things are things we couldn’t do before.

Mike Burger: I know since you lived with something that long, it is real easy to wake up one day and you don’t have a headache, but you are saying, “I wonder if this is coming back. I wonder if it is still just too good to believe,” but it really works.

Kay Shurtleff: It is surreal, still, at this point, but I had one day that I have had a headache that I could not quite get under control. My worst days now are so much better than my best days were then.

Mike Burger: That’s an incredible story. I am so happy for you. I am sure every one is. It is something to look into if you suffer from migraines. Thank you so much again, Kim, and we are going to return and we will look at the process if you are a candidate, when we come back with more Ask The Doctor. Stay with us.