PHOENIX, March 15 (UPI) -- Cindy McCain, wife of Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., says when she first sought help for her excruciating headaches, she was told to go home and have a drink.
In an 18-minute personal podcast, part of an online series hosted by the American Migraine Foundation at the Web site americanmigrainefoundation.org/resources/podcasts.aspx, McCain describes her long and frustrating quest to get an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment for her migraines.
She said the search was hampered by physicians who didn't take time to listen, by her gender, and by her feelings of powerlessness in the face of an indifferent medical establishment.
She says part of the answer is for migraine sufferers to speak up and for doctors to listen.
McCain says she thinks another problem in seeking a diagnosis is being a woman.
"If my husband had gone in and said he had a headache, quite frankly, I think they would have stopped everything and done every test possible to find out what was causing it," McCain says.
However, migraine is not just a problem for women, McCain says an estimated 36 percent of returning Iraq war veterans suffer from migraine.
McCain is calling for more funds for migraines research and help for military men and women with migraine.