Saturday, December 29, 2012

Migraine Specialist’s Lights Brutal

In the month of December, I went to my doctor’s office once a week. These visits gave me the time to think about what really aggravates me about the office and to sort things through. The first three visits were not with my regular doctor, but the last one was with him.

I had wrong expectations around my doctor’s office from the beginning. I was under the impression that his office was like dying and going to Migraineur heaven. I heard the office lighting was very soothing, there was little noise and no smell triggers to set us off. Well, two out of three …, no I can’t even say it. The lighting in my specialist’s office is horrible!

I remember the first time I approached his office for a visit. The door has the sign pictured above – “Please Do Not wear Perfume or Cologne on the day of your appointment. Scents can trigger headaches in some patients.”

My first thought was - Wow, it really must be as great of an ‘office’ as I have heard; the long commute should be worth it not only because I was finally going to a true Migraine specialist, but they seem to take care of the whole you here.

Well, the office does not have anyone wearing perfumes and it is relatively very quiet, but that’s where it stopped. It’s worth repeating, the lighting in my specialist’s office is horrible!

The waiting room is full of exposed CFLs! There is not a darker area anywhere to be found. The examination rooms are probably bright enough to lead Santa’s sleigh on the foggiest Christmas Eve on record! I can definitely understand needing that type of light when performing procedures, giving oodles of shots and things like that, but for talking or before and after those procedures, I can’t think of a single reason why my Migraine specialist’s office needs to trigger a Migraine for me every visit.

I am embarrassed to say this, but I have taken comfort by sitting in the hall and only going into the waiting room at the last minute. However, I have found that there are scents in the hallway, but the lights in the rooms are much worse than the occasional passersby who have a bad scent.

I had mentioned this ironic discrepancy to some of the nurses throughout various visits, but they always gave excuses or said that’s the way my doctor wants his office. By the time I saw my specialist, I was already seeing spots and lines and wanted to get out of his office as quickly as possible. I would go through some of the things on my list and be glad to get out of the illumination nightmare as quickly as possible.

There was too much going on in my life during my summer visits with one of those visits being the worst visit I’ve ever had with a doctor (not because of him). Before this last visit with him, I realized I needed to go into his office with several different communication plans so I would definitely talk with him and only him about the lighting.

I found the plan that was appropriate for that visit. He defused me in a kind of lousy way, but at least I brought it up to him and will again during the next visit.

His first quick remark was that the lighting sucks. Then his off the cuff sarcastic comment was basically around funding. Really? I’m funding my visits to him every time I go there plus taking a day off of work. My two hour trip has easily turned into a three hour trip both ways plus parking is not cheap in this city either. My doctor is very good and works very hard, but I also get charged for every little thing I request.

His next statement was that they may be moving their offices to a different location in the hospital. If or when that happens, the lighting will be taken care of and be much better. But what about now?

I will talk more about the lighting during my next visit. I am half contemplating bringing in boxes of incandescent bulbs for the waiting room too. Honestly, I don’t get the hypocrisy between these Migraine triggers.

How is the lighting in your Migraine Specialist’s office? Is it dreamy like it should be or nightmarish like my doctor’s office lighting? How would you handle this ludicrous situation if it were your doctor?


Migrainista said...

Same sort of thing at my migraine specialist's office. Bright, bright florescents that are inescapable. The rooms are also quite bright but I can usually talk him into lowering the lights, which is possible as there are multiple sources controled seperately.

Sounds like you are doing what you can to change the situation. I find that wearing a hat and glasses takes the edge off during my visits.

MigrainePuppet said...

Hi Migrainista - I was wearing a hat to my appointments before the Botox treatments. I know this sounds lame, but the hats leave marks in my forehead and I'd rather not have the hat marks before he gives me the shots even though it probably wouldn't affect anything. I also haven't found good sunglasses that I can wear indoors yet. I have been checking out the TheraSpecs and there is a 20% coupon available for them until Monday the 31st.

I just don't get a Migraine specialist's office exposing its patients to this huge trigger. Good luck with your bright visits too...

Linda Peters said...

I also take issue with extremely bright doctors' offices. I acknowledge the importance of the doctor being able to see, but moderation might be something to consider. l've made a habit of wearing sunglasses inside - sometimes even two. (I wear tinted prescription lenses, & add clip-on sunglasses. It's not always easy to see everything, but it's better than the alternative.)
I wonder how other people with light sensitivity manage in a world where it appears that brighter is better. Linda

Health Through Adventure said...

I had this same exact issue. Every time I went to go get help to make my migraine better it got worse when I went there. Thankfully I went ahead and bought a pair of glasses to help with photophobia ( which significantly helped. Now if there was only a way to get rid of people's perfume without having to wear an awkward nose plug.