Saturday, March 20, 2010

Next Step Migraine Doctor Visit

There were a couple of things I had to talk about with my neurologist during our appointment this past week for my Migraines. These were things I was not comfortable talking about with her even though I should have been. She doesn't make me feel as apprehensive as I was, it's more me doing it to myself. These items were very important to me and I needed to bring them up to her.

Luckily, the visit ended up going very well.

First of all, a little background. On my first visit with this Migraine doctor (actually one year ago today), I went down a whole list of what I was looking for with my doctor. At that point, I had gone through enough doctors and didn't want to waste our time so I wanted to make sure we were on the same page about a few things.

One item on this list was that I did not want to retry any medications I had already tried. You see, I've had some doctors put me back on the same medication, that did nothing for me, up to three times. She agreed with everything we talked about including this last point.

During this visit with her and at my request, I was switched back a Migraine preventative I was on previously. I stopped taking Verapamil last September after some intolerable side effects due to raising the dosage too high. I wanted to go back to it this time because I have another genetic disease that unbeknownst to me, the Verapamil may have been helping as well as my Migraines a little bit.

I started taking Verapamil shortly before my disease seemed to go into a remission of sorts. Although I hadn't noticed anything during this time, soon after I went off of Verapamil in September, my disease started showing signs of progressing again.

However, I never put any of these connections together until I read an article a couple of weeks ago about how they were testing the use of Verapamil with my disease. That was when I linked the Verapamil into this same time frame of my improvement and decided I had to go back on it to see if it does indeed help. Hopefully, I will find out within the next month or two if Verapamil actually makes a difference for me. Oh yea, and it would be an added bonus if it helps with the Migraines too!

Another huge thing I needed to talk to my doctor about was rescue medications for when my Migraines get out of control. Since my last visit with her, I had seven and twelve day Migraines which really needed to be broken sooner then they were. One problem I was facing was that I heard she no longer prescribed rescue medicines. I think once you get to a certain point with your Migraines, you really need to have a rescue medication lined up and I had passed that point.

I never wanted these medications around the house or it could have been that I just never wanted to face the fact that I may need them. Sometimes, I play too good of an ostrich with my Migraines for my own good. I am ready for rescues now and will take the appropriate care of the med in my home.

The way I brought up rescue meds to her, really left her no choice if she is a good Migraine doctor. I didn't threaten her or anything like that, but without realizing it, I had also left myself no choice if she did not prescribe it. I basically told her I was ready for the next phase in Migraine treatment. She never blinked an eye about prescribing it. She immediately went into her way of calculating which medication would be best for me based on all of the meds I am currently taking. This was a huge relief.

I have to confess that these two items made me even more concerned than I needed to be because I was looking at them as possible deal breakers with my relationship with my doctor. There was no need to worry as I was very relieved when I didn't have to make that decision. I am not ready to move on yet even though I have already picked out the next Migraine specialist I would want to see.

As a bonus to my visit, I also brought up my son to her and how we just realized he gets Migraines too. We talked about him for a little while which I'll save for another time. This went well too as I felt a little funny talking about someone else during my visit with her but she was really great.

It was a huge relief when the visit was over. I'm anticipating double dipping with using the Verapamil; to help out with both of my genetic diseases. I hope I never have to try the rescue medication, but it's nice to know I have it if I need it.

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