I am a military Veteran. Statistics say that if you are a military Veteran, there’s a good chance you have migraine headaches. But even if you don’t, you need to know this. The fact is Veterans are less likely to seek help for themselves, but more likely to help another Veteran. Either way, the advancements in treatments in just the past few years combined with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic mean Veterans need to rethink how they treat their severe headaches.
Whether you’re in training or combat, military life is full contact. Chances are when you left the military you are physically not the same as when you entered. That’s no news flash. But when I asked about treatments for my own military trauma, I was taken back when the doctor said, “We can do this, but basically that’s as good as it gets.” That phrase is the opposite of our training and everything we learned in the military: fight through… never give up. It never sits well with me and it should not with you either.
Unfortunately, “That’s as good as it gets” is a story that repeats time and again for military Veterans. Sometimes Veterans hear “This is all we have” or “You have to get used to the side effects of those drugs”. Or functionally, Veterans are told they cannot do important activities anymore.
Veterans and caregivers must challenge this when they encounter it. You must challenge it, because that way of thinking does not factor in new treatments that are not yet across the whole VA. It does not factor in the fight in most Veterans I know.
Headaches are a great example of this. There is a high incidence with Veterans experiencing migraine and cluster headache. And the impact can be debilitating on many levels to Veterans: the pain and associated symptoms, the mental anxiety, the loss of day-to-day function, the missing work, and social impact on family. Despite what’s at stake, primary doctors and neurologists are going to most often treat migraines and cluster headaches with some pills or injections that have been used for years.
But what if Veterans are tired of the side effects of commonplace migraine medications? What if Veterans don’t want a complex series of treatments for preventative and immediate needs? gammaCore SapphireTM 3 (nVNS) is an FDA-cleared, non-drug option. It is an effective treatment without many of the side effects of commonly used medications. It is the first and only FDA cleared therapy for the preventive treatment of migraine and cluster headache, and acute treatment of pain associated with migraine and episodic cluster headache.
And what if Veterans want something portable and convenient to treat their headaches? Certain treatments require injections and in-office visits for administration. In contrast gammaCore Sapphire 3 is a portable, easy to use therapy that gets delivered right to your door. Further, 1:1 training and patient support is readily available.
gammaCore Sapphire 3 gives Veterans control over their treatment; when they take it, where they take it, and how many treatments they need to take during the day to safely combat their migraines.
If you know a Veteran that has migraines or cluster headaches, have them check out https://www.gammacore.com/for-veterans/. There’s a useful headache discussion guide to facilitate dialogue with their physician. And if you know of a Veteran who was told “that’s as good as it gets” on anything from their health to employment, help them to see the Veterans who are challenging those odds…. After all, military Veterans love a good challenge!
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