Your migraine Doctor will ask a lot of questions. Are you ready for them?
Being "Forewarned is being forearmed; to be prepared is half the victory." by Miguel de Cervantes
How long have you suffered the headaches and what is the frequency of your attacks?
How many started in your sleep?
What parts of your head hurts during an attack?
Do you get early warning signals with your migraine headache symptoms to tell you that a headache is coming?
But wait - there's more ...
How disabled are you by the experience?
Are you aware of any triggers that bring on an episode?
And are you aware of any alleviating factors (bed rest, avoiding glare, medications, and massage) that help reduce the pain?
I want to stress how important it is to become your own best adviser as you navigate the road to pain relief and reclaim your life.
Don’t settle or give up too early like I did and end up suffering needlessly.
Seek treatment from a specialized migraine doctor and get back to your life. You are worth it, you will find some relief. Persevere.
And be prepared ahead of time for your 15, 20 minutes or half an hour appointment. You have to make the best use of your time and money.
Let's keep this very long journey, as short as possible.
Here are some helpful things I’ve learned along the way to keep in mind along your own journey:
1. Write down questions you have before each appointment and write down the answers.
Before you see your doctor, you might like to have some information recorded. The information can become overwhelming, so make sure you understand. Ask more questions if you don't understand.
Write down your symptoms and the extent of your pain and how it affects your quality of life, in case you feel overwhelmed you can still get your questions out to be answered.
2. Keep a record of medications you’ve tried that don’t work.
There are quite a few pain killers, abortive drugs and prophylactics for your Doctor to trial with you.
Keep a list in case it takes some time.
Try these headings : Name, Dose Used, Duration of Trial (date started and date stopped) and Outcome. Side effects are important too.
Please click on this link to print out a medication tracker form I use to keep track of my medications.
3. Discuss alternative therapies before you try them.
There are an overwhelming number of non-drug approaches and alternative therapies (i.e. acupuncture for migraines, migraine pressure points or acupressure, chiropractic, physiotherapy, yoga, massage, meditation) available that claim to effectively control pain.
The best results are usually when these therapies are used in some combination.
Ask your Doctor about recommending ways to relax and cope with pain. Let him/her know if your pain feels worse when you are exercising, stressed, depressed or anxious.
These alternative therapies and CD's all work for me, give them a try:
4. Make another list of vitamins and supplements for migraines you take as well.
Along with the list of over-the-counter medications you take or have tried that work or don’t work - make another list that includes all the vitamins and supplements you take as well. Make sure you also add the dose and how often you take them.
For example - some herbs like St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum) can adversely interact with some migraine medications and should not be used in conjunction with antidepressant medication.
5. Keep a pain journal to record the frequency and intensity of your pain.
Describe the quality of your pain – is it sharp, crushing, throbbing like a heartbeat, or pressure like burning, stabbing, shooting or tender. Also, monitor how well your migraine prescription medication treatment plan is working and record what makes your pain worse or better.
Record additional symptoms –
6. Know your triggers.
Your migraine headache triggers won’t change so don’t be tricked to think they will lose they effect one day. They will not.
7. Write out a migraine attack treatment plan.
Once you have one, let your friends and family members know what they can do to help you when you are out of commission. That way they won’t feel useless or helpless.
Please see my lifestyle migraine headache new treatment plan to assist you with more details.
8. Educate and support yourself.
Check out the Migraine World Summit for patients by patients.
You will get top notch doctors answering all sorts of questions.
You can buy it now or wait until it comes around again for free.
It's up to you, but I didn't hesitate to get this information.
Why suffer any more than you have to.
Ask your migraine doctor to help you find information on-line and look for support groups or a counselor or psychologist who specializes in chronic pain management in your area or online.
I can recommend this company for getting on-line counseling for migraine support around the clock 24/7.
Come visit here often, and check my Blog for whats new. Better yet subscribe to the RSS feed or bookmark some pages to come back to. Stay in touch by joining the mailing list.
9. Carry your pain killers with you.
Be prepared for an attack. The sooner you take your abortive the easier the attack will be. I carry my Naramig and an Ibuprofen with me at all times, so when I feel my early warning signals, I can take them. This is a key factor in migraine prevention.
10. Watch the dosage recommendations.
NEVER EVER take more medication
than your migraine doctor's recommendation, never ever!
Even if you vomit it up – don’t take more. You risk overdosing.
Go for the ice packs and alternative therapies above.
You might already know this one, but it is just so important. I never knew this until I read that it was a leading cause of death among migraineurs.
You might like to read my article on Medications for Migraines: What You Need to Know, for more details.
What other effective tips do you use to deal with doctors appointments? Share your experiences with other readers.
Until next time, be well and be pain free,
Migraine Treatment Options
Prepare Ahead To See Your Migraine Doctor