Winter Newsletter 2013

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Happy New Year to all! I am happy to announce the release of my new book: The Woman’s Guide to Managing Migraine: Understanding the Hormone Connection to find Hope and Wellness. It has taken me 3 years to write this book and as with any major project, it is a wonderful feeling of accomplishment at last!

I wrote this book to help women who are looking for help with their migraines, including the hormonally driven migraines that are often the most severe. My goal is to give the reader the up-to-date knowledge and insight they need to better understand and mange their migraines. For readers who are my patients, it provides comprehensive information regarding my approach to migraine management. For others it may help to better communicate with their health care providers and receive improved migraine management. My passion to learn as much as I can about migraine diagnosis and treatment to help my patients was the driving force behind the hours and weekends I had to give up to write this book. I hope my book can help minimize the impact of migraines in your life. If the quality of your life improves, my book has served its purpose. At the end of the day, I think we all ask ourselves, “Have I made a difference?” Making a difference in your headaches and your life-that is my passion and my desire.

It has now been six years since I left family medicine to focus on headache and mood disorders in my medical practice. There are times I miss being a family physician but feel I can make a greater impact in alleviating pain (both physical and emotional) by focusing my energy and talent. As many of you may be aware, I am affiliated with Hoag Hospital. Along with Dr. Philip O’Carroll and Dr. Ali Makki, we have formed the Hoag Headache & Facial Pain Program. I still maintain my primary practice location in Irvine but am in Newport Beach at Hoag on Tuesday mornings for those patients who prefer the Newport Beach location. My affiliation with Hoag enables me to partner with Hoag’s resources. Through Hoag, we offer a free monthly headache support group (2nd Wednesday of every month from 6 pm-7:30 pm Hoag Neuroscience Board Room), community presentations, weekend symposiums, and a team approach for headache including psychologists, physical therapists, and nutritionists. My staff privileges at Hoag allow me to admit patients, when necessary, for medication overuse headache, and to arrange for IV Infusion Treatments for treatment of severe headaches.

My New Year’s Resolutions include getting my life in balance with a focus on exercise including swimming, running, and playing golf; in addition, I want to “slow down” and appreciate the day-to-day of all that life offers. What are your New Year’s Resolutions? I hope they include taking care of you and living the quality of life you deserve. If your headaches are robbing you of the quality of life you desire, then I invite you to call and make an appointment to review your headache management. New treatments for acute and prevention of headaches are available and may be an option for you. I look forward to seeing you in 2013!

Susan Hutchinson, MD Director-Orange County Migraine & Headache Center