Ramblings: Headache Medicine, Finis

I know that I have at least a dozen people who come here that were former patients in our headache clinic. It is with great sadness that I must announce that our last glimmers of hope to resurrect such a clinic now seems highly unlikely.

I had a 38 year career in headache medicine. In the height of that career, I was a headache consultant at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. Dr. James Moren, headache specialist, had joined me about seven years ago with our shared dream of bringing compassionate, intelligent care to a very large and often neglected population of chronic headache sufferers in the Pacific Northwest.

I was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma and associated renal failure in Jan, 2019. I had to reduce my hours to 1/2 time as I prepared to undergo a bone marrow transplant. Dr. Moren increased his work-load to make up for my absence. It was my ambition and plan to fight hard to recover from the transplant and to return to work after six months. Just before my return, the hospital had a change in its administration. Because of my illness, they saw me as no longer valuable to the hospital. The hospital therefore eliminated my position and the clinic. Closing the headache clinic was also not Dr. Moren’s ambition. We both wanted to work well into our seventies, as there are no other places for these patients to go.

We attempted to create a new clinic in Bellingham. On the threshold of starting that clinic, COVID hit. I had to go back into quarantine and Dr. Moren continued trying to create this new entity. However, because of the complexities of medical business, the hope of creating this clinic was thwarted (prohibitively expensive).

I hope the best for all of our patients and that you can find good care in our unfortunate absence.



Posted in:

6 responses to “Ramblings: Headache Medicine, Finis”

  1. That is really too bad, both you and Dr. Moren were the first doctors to ever give me hope. Because of the both of you I am now so much better….I completely attribute that to you especially. I also want to thank you for renewing my faith in the medical professions abilty to be compassionate and pro-active. Because of you I learned that I did not have to be ashamed of what I was feeling. You will always be the best medical professional I’ve ever encountered!!! I follow this because I enjoy seeing all the things you write and am so happy to hear that you are doing well. You will never be forgotten as the absolute best care I’ve ever received!


    • I’d repeat what Staci Sproull wrote above but that would be redundant. Please know I share her exact sentiments and am alarmed by the way health care administration can be intolerant to patients in need and abrupt with their decision making, placing value on the mighty dollar over patient care.

      You had a thriving practice of patients with severe and varied needs but had to play the game with insurance companies and their lack of fair reimbursement. I’m sorry your practice ended, Mike and I’m sorrier you have had to endure your medical events and treatment situations.

      Please know how very valuable you are, with or without your practice. You’re a brilliant thinker, bold writer, rare authentic Christian and a humorous light in this dark world.

      Thank you for everything,

      Kim Hayes


  2. So Sorry to hear this. :earning from your example in coping with life and thriving as a living soul. We have just leff Mexico and now are in Massachusetts because Mf Covid. Yes I was hoping to consult with you or Dr Moren. If you know of a compassionate wise headache provider , please take a moment to send me a note. Both you and DrM embodied the ethic I was raised to believe was the best way to be working in medicine.
    Very grateful for your friendship, however distant.
    with love in every breath.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: