I realized a couple of things as I was preparing for my last doctor's visit. Although I keep a daily diary, I really don't look at my diary until I prepare to go to my next doctor's visit. My Migraines get worse in the summertime.
How often do you tally up your Migraine diary to figure out how you are doing in a given Migraine period? What I mean by a Migraine period is from one doctor visit to the next. I keep track of my Migraines in a daily diary, but I really don't look at it or analyze it from that diary.
As I prepare to go to my doctor, I transform my scribbled daily diary into a spreadsheet that spits out into a weekly and monthly graph. I can immediately see how my Migraines are evolving week after week and month after month. I also take the monthly Migraine values and add them to the end of a chart I've been keeping for almost four years. This gives me the visibility of how my Migraines have been doing over an extended period of time.
After evaluating my last set of graphs, I could see that my Migraines get worse every July/August and December/January for the last few years. I also take this graph and break it out by the doctors I've had over their given periods of time. On each doctor graph, I added in a trend line to easily see how my Migraines have reacted under each doctors care. It's really not as difficult as it sounds.
As I reviewed my graphs, I could see that my Migraines under my current doctor are still on a downward trend even through it is August and my Migraines are increasing as my annual tendencies indicate they would. I did have a good visit with her about a week ago where we discussed several paths we could take for my treatment. She went through the various medication classes and how my options are limited because of a medication I take for another disease. We decided together which way to proceed and that I will check back with her in another two months.
I am getting very discouraged with Migraine disease. I know that sounds funny; who wouldn't become dissuaded by chronic Migraines especially during their peak months and after having Migraines for most of their life. They are starting to affect too many other things in a negative manner now.
I try to question things in my control all of the time. I frequently question myself about the medications I take, different non medical options I can try and even if I have the right doctor for me at any point in time. Medications are frustrating because it takes a while to see if a new medication or dosage is helping before you can decide if it's helping or what to do next.
I also run through the pros and cons of my doctor. I believe she is still good for me. She is so much better than any of the previous doctors I have gone to for treatment. We definitely work together on my next steps. As a double check, I have taken the test; Is Your Doctor Right for You? a few times. She passes with flying colors whereas previous doctors had failed miserably even though I didn't need this test to tell me that. Other doctors had passed, but I knew I still needed to move on because they were good doctors and just couldn't help me with my Migraines.
My current doctor knows Migraines and Migraine medications. Although she is very good, I know she is not the top in her field, but I do believe she is still good for me right now. My doctor is also a member of the American and International Headache Societies and has gone to some of the conventions they offer.
I am also comforted in the fact that I do have my next doctor picked out, who is tops. It's nice to at least have that next plan if or when it is ever needed. There is nothing worse than not knowing where you need to go next. I've been there too many times in the past too; where you don't know who to turn to after and just stay with an inferior doctor getting substandard care. That is no good.
With this next doctor, my biggest hurdle is that money issue. I would have no right to complain about the distance to get to those offices even though it would be very tiring to get there. I hear all of the time how the money thing would be worth it, but it's just a hard thing to comprehend as bills pile up and unexpected expenses keep hitting home.
I don't know whether I should be encouraged or discouraged about finding this latest pattern of additional summer and winter Migraines. I think my Migraines are just getting the best of me lately and maybe because it is a peak Migraine period. I want to break all of these patterns now. I am ready to be Migraine free...