Top positive review
Reviewed in the United States on February 9, 2017
Awesome book!!! As a long time chronic or common migraine sufferer (as defined by Sacks) and an often frustrated one at that - this book gave me much appreciated information about my condition and it's evolution. I have little doubt every migraine sufferer will find their story in his book regardless of one's specific symptoms and experience as a migraineur. There simply is no other book or part of a book which comes close to this read at virtually every level of understanding or appreciation of migraine.
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.