Describe the approach you think is best when it's time to move on to a new doctor.I don't really have an 'approach' I know to when I've had enough. It a 'It's not me, it's you' sort of situation, but I don't say that. I say it with actions, as in, the action of 'these boots are made for walking'. I mean, let's face it most doctors suck with chronic pain patients. They just do. I'm just telling it like it is, from a gal with decades of fibro experience of doctors actually just not treating that condition. I used to think they must just not like having patients that are chonicly ill because they were so reluctant to treat me at all just because the condition has no cure, but obviously that isn't true because that is a lot of conditions... it must be more because of the pain and suffering that they do not actually want to treat due to being leery of precribing painkillers or lack of training on what to do with such patients. Who knows? Either way, most of them suck at it. But they are awesome if you have a head cold, asthma or hypothyrodism. From my experience anyway. Actually from my experience, awesome for any condition except chronic pain. At least they try with migraines. So kudos for that, but when their trying becomes harmful and they stop listening... well, no point griping about it because you can talk till you're blue in the face. Just ditch. See ya later sucker. You think they'd want to hold onto us sickly ones... we are consistent afterall. Month after month I have to go make a doctors appointment just for prescriptions.
Anyway, it's hard to find a new doctor around here. There is a severe shortage. So while I do my due dilligence of asking for referals and checking online to see how they rate... generally I actually have to phone clinics to see if any of them are actually taking new patients first and then personally interview any of the doctors who are.
1) Chat em up: always chat up a potential new doctor to get a feel for his or her bedside manners because you don't want to be dealing with an arsehat. I'm just saying sometimes they pretend to be listening but then cut you off and you realize they haven't heard a damn thing you were saying. You don't need one of them. Or one of the ones that has no damn sympathy for suffering at all. Why the hell they'd become a doctor in the first place if they can blatently ignore your suffering? You want to explain your medical conditions and have them actually pay attention... none of that ten minute cut off crap. Get a feel for what sort of personality you are dealing with.
2) Interview: Explain your migraine situation. The type, frequency, symtpoms. The whole thing. And ask them how they would proceed to treat them. Just to see what they say. I like to do this to see what their knowledge base is. Sometimes you will be real surprised on what they will say. Sometimes they don't even suggest triptans. Some will go straight for the easy answer, as in the most expensive, newest preventive on the market, but that is expected I supose because that is what they are taught to say. But if you then start explaining what preventive history you have had, what has not worked, what you are on now and then ask their opininion and they flounder maybe they will not work out... or maybe they will have some useful suggestions, or maybe they will concur with your treatment and suggest a new neuro. Whatever, as long as you are comfortable with the responses and knowlesge base. And not just with migraines... if you are like me you might have other comorbid conditions and those conditions WILL be his primary concern and they will affect your migraine treatment one way or the other so you HAVE to be confident in his or her ability to treat them and that they understand how the conditions affect each other.
3) Provide Info: Your doc can't act on what he does not know. Transfer your file obviously, but also tell him your medications. Provide him with a list of previous preventatives, why they did not work and any medications you are allergic to or had adverse reactions to. let him know treatments you tried. All your medical history and such. Keep a migraine diary so you can keep track of changes to your migraine frequency and intensity to keep him up to date.
It's diffiuclt to find a good doctor so when you do hold onto them for sure. And be honest with them because if you are honest then it makes their job easier. I find this to be difficult. I like my doctor now. He seems flippant at times and brief but he does listen when it is important and it does treat each concern I bring up. He doesn't pretend to know everything. He is refering me to a new neuro which is great. But the honesty thing is difficult because I have had so many bad doctors in the past who have not treated my fibro that Ive become so very stoic about symptoms. I wait and wait figuring 'they will go away on their own and if they don't then I'll mention it' or 'if it gets worse then I'll mention it'. Half the time forgetting about it until it becomes a big deal. And with pain I feel like I need to hide it. Like it is my job to hide it from everyone. So I have a hard time with honestly. But if your doctor does not know the pain is really getting to you then he can't help. Trust me one this one.
National Migraine Awareness Month is initiated by the National Headache Foundation. The Blogger's Challenge is initiated by www.FightingHeadacheDisorders.com.