Sunday, May 10, 2009

No Past Ghost Doctor Regrets - Part II

Although I don't really regret the path of doctors I have taken, some of their absurd comments still haunt me. While their comments may repeat in my head at times, I like to think of them as a way of trying to keep me in check or another chance to get a good laugh at the past doctors ignorance's and glad I knew enough to fire their sorry butts while not wasting any more of my time or money on them.

Let's see, what are some of my favorite comments? I think some of the more common comments we tend to hear from doctors that I have gotten are: "they're just headaches, there's nothing I can do"; "if this medication doesn't work, I don't know what to try next"; "your Migraines are caused by stress"; "just get more sleep". All of these comments show the ignorance about Migraines on the part of the doctors.

The more unique comments I have received from doctors: "it's not worth trying the elimination diet"; "sometimes you can go a little too far in finding triggers"; "you can keep doing what you're doing or retry this medication"; "you don't need to keep as much detail in your Migraine diary". Ok, these also show Migraine ignorance from my doctors.

First of all, I can't imagine any doctor not wanting a Migraine patient to try to find any triggers. What better way to identify food triggers then the elimination diet? Not worth it? Give me a break!

Second of all, how can you find too many triggers? If a trigger is a trigger for you, isn't it great that you've identified it and are able to eliminate another trigger if it is avoidable? And if it's not avoidable, perhaps there are other things you can do to make it less severe, but the bottom line is that at least you are aware of the trigger. On the other hand, I can understand if I feel I have too many triggers, but it's still better to know what they all are and not put some kind of a quota on the number of triggers I can have.

Third, if you have bad side effects to a medication that didn't work the first time, how can being bullied into taking it again make it work and cause no side effects the second go around? Honestly, if I wanted to keep doing what I was doing, I wouldn't have switched to going to him as my neurologist. I switched up again real quick after that visit!

Lastly, how can you keep too much detail in your Migraine diary? I can tell you, I didn't really keep too much then and especially now, I don't keep enough which is a big shame on me.

I've gone back and forth between Neurologists and GPs. I no longer see any of the doctors who made the comments above. I am currently seeing a pseudo Migraine specialist. Almost all of her practice is devoted to Migraine and headache patients. I like her, but like all relationships, she has her little quirks too. Nothing to make me fire her which is good because the next real Migraine doctor to try is a few more hours away!

Anyhow, whenever I think I may have found a new trigger, the comment about finding too many triggers inevitably pops into my head. I've always been a double and triple checker and am much worse now. I've got to prove it beyond any doubt before I will say it is a trigger for me.

As I stated upfront and in Part I, I really don't regret my decision about any of these doctors. If I didn't learn anything Migraine related from these doctors, I certainly learned other valuable lessons from them. These comments truly remind me that doctors aren't perfect and don't know everything. We have to stay on a quest to find a doctor who will fit our big picture need which is someone who we are comfortable with, we can ask questions of, give suggestions to and have real conversions with that is someone who will be a true partner with us.

Although I have some little idiosyncrasies with my current doctor, so far we have a good rapport. I have only gone to her twice so it is still a pretty new relationship, but I am grateful that it was not one that lasted only one visit like some of the others had as you could imagine by some of the comments above. She has plenty of fresh ideas which is something none of my other doctors ever showed.

I feel I am no longer a puppet of any of my doctors. I can now make my own choices and ask appropriate questions. If needed, I know where to go for research before and after a visit. It makes me feel so much more liberated.

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