Gravity's Rainbow

botany, shoes, books, and justice

June 30, 2016
by sarcozona
0 comments

Over the centuries, physicians have placed migraine in various positions along the mind/body spectrum. Headache experts currently consider migraine a somatic disorder rooted in the brain. But this is a break from the past. Up until thirty years ago, doctors primarily viewed migraine as having both a psychological and a somatic basis.

Joanna Kempner in Not Tonight

One reason old man doctors are often shit migraine doctors.

Also, really disturbing how many of my neurologists have migraine posters on their walls with DRAMATICALLY wrong and out of date information about migraines.

June 29, 2016
by sarcozona
0 comments

Most people who have migraine are on the mild end of the spectrum; they might experience one to three headache days per month and lose some functionality as a result of symptoms. But about a quarter experience severe levels of disability associated with their symptoms. One to 3 percent of American adults are estimated to have “chronic migraine,” in which intermittent migraines progressively become more frequent—people with chronic migraine experience at least fifteen or more headache days a month for at least three months in a row. To put these numbers in perspective, epilepsy affects 2.1 million Americans. Autism affects half a million Americans. Chronic migraine affects 2.4 to 7.1 million American adults.

Not Tonight by Joanna Kempner

June 27, 2016
by
0 comments

Migraine complicates the relationship between specific disease and
legitimation. Migraine has a well-established diagnosis, a subspecialty in medicine that is devoted to its treatment, brain imaging that illustrates a migraine in process, pharmacological interventions, research that links certain forms of migraine to genetic mutations, insurance companies and policy makers that recognize its existence (albeit to a limited degree), and a pharmaceutical industry that already markets some drugs to treat it and which is trying to develop more. And while researchers have not yet articulated a specific cause of migraine, they have developed a neurobiological model to explain much of the migraine process. Moreover, migraine differs from most of the contested illnesses that have been studied in that it has been defined as a medical diagnosis for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. Yet these advances have so far not been sufficient to validate the experiences of those with migraine, nor to bring resources to
the study and treatment of migraine.

Legitimation, therefore, must depend on something more than the discovery of biomedical pathology. Legitimation also has a moral dimension. In other words, for a disease to be fully legitimated, the people who have it must be viewed as deserving of care and resources.

Joanna Kempner in Not Tonight

Migraine’s legitimacy deficit makes it much harder to live with because the people around you see it as some combination of

  1. your fault
  2. not hard
  3. not real

And so I am not deserving of care and support.

June 26, 2016
by sarcozona
0 comments

Theorists writing about the social construction of illness have argued that legitimacy in medicine is primarily dictated by a reductionist epistemology—that is, in Western societies, diseases are legitimate when real, and “real” refers to symptoms that can be linked to an identifiable, biological pathology. 38 Ideally, the pathology should be “specific,” meaning that the pathology ought to uniformly produce a typical outcome in any man or woman no matter what his or her setting. In this reductionist view, which is based on germ theory, diseases are able to exist outside of individuals, independent of their manifestation in any particular person, and abstracted from social environments.

Joanna Kempner in Not Tonight

If you respond to the physical or social enviornment differently than other people, are you sick? Is it always bad to respond differently? What does it mean to be ill? Who gets to say you are ill?

June 24, 2016
by sarcozona
0 comments

Although neurobiology offers a biological explanation for migraine, this explanatory framework may have less power to legitimate migraine if it is understood in terms that replicate already existing assumptions about men and women in pain.

stakeholders’ best attempts to legitimate migraine are undermined by cultural meanings of headache and migraine that are overlaid with assumptions about gender. These gender assumptions overdetermine how medical knowledge about headache disorders is produced, disseminated, and used.

Joanna Kempner in Not Tonight

Lady pain isn’t real pain.