Have you found a good doctor? Tell us about your journey to find the right doctor.
I actually have gone through a few docs and neuros in my 20 years with migraines. In my most brutal time period with migraines I had an indifferent doctor and a neuro who ‘ran out of ideas’. He was in fact an awesome neuro and had gone through numerous things with me that I had simply not responded to, but then came to the time he simply had no idea what to do. It was bad timing since I was pretty desperate for relief at the time. And I was having issues coping and managing the pain. However, a completely indifferent doctor was something else entirely. For shame on a doctor when you tell him you are having serious pain control issues and he does nothing. I was as direct as a stoic person like me, who doesn’t like to ‘complain’ about pain could be that I was having issues with pain management… as direct as I could ever be. And ignored.
Nevertheless, my spouse had an awesome doctor. She had done her due diligence with his problematic IBS and found he had gastroparesis. She had followed up on that and sent him to a specialist who properly is treating him. She did a follow up MRI and coincidently found his kidney cancer in Stage 1. My mom insisted I find a new doctor and I wasn’t having any luck doing so, so she suggested my spouses. I am so glad she did.
This doc is methodical. Meticulous. She listened to him and he doesn’t communicate the best with anyone. Doctors around here are packed, especially when they are good. People sometimes have no doctor to see because of the shortage. She was no exception. She wasn’t taking new patients. But she took me because we are together, not married, but long term common-law.
I went in and I did my interview with her. I said all my medical conditions and the pain control issues I was having. Laid it all out for her. She told me due to the multiple pain issues that the pain clinic was the best idea to start with and another neuro was a secondary idea, although they likely would have no further ‘new’ ideas. Indeed that neuro did not but we did begin on ‘old’ ideas and we did manage the vertigo. However, the pain clinic has been awesome for me in pain management of my conditions and just coping skills altogether.
She really is a quality doctor. She actually does listen to what I say. No matter what it is she listens. She did a full work up on my IBS like she did with my spouse because she was concerned about the symptoms, but it is just complicated by my migraines. Just the flare up digestive symptoms of migraines… as we can get. She is incredibly smart. Doctors have to know a broad range of general things. But she knows quite a bit more than that from my experience of what we have talked about. I do not get blank looks from her when I talk about specific things anyway. She would never assume, for example, that my peripheral neuropathy was a migraine aura when it had happened. Which my doctor at the time had. It had lasted weeks by then. I knew it wasn’t. And if I knew it wasn’t the same, and I knew that was abnormal statistically, then certainly that alone should have caused further testing. But nada. Her deductive reasoning skills are great.
Anyway, aside from her intelligence, which is greatly valued, is her the fact she listens to what I am saying. When I say this is a problem she listens. When she tells Me I have to change something, I listen. She communicates quite well. She is not arrogant or condescending. She has a perfect calm, concise bedside manner. She has never implied I am exaggerating about my pain. She gently gave me a little trouble when I waited several months to mention a minor symptom because it wasn’t bothering me. It wasn’t hugely important or urgent it turns out, but still, sort of something you should mention when it is odd not several months later. Just an oddball chronic illness thing. But I think with chronic illnesses we tend to focus on the major things and less on the minor things and never want to be seen as hypochondriacs. I have never gotten that vide from her, but I have from previous doctors… like my symptoms are not important, my pain isn’t that bad… like I don’t matter. Or like they don’t have the time or patience for a chronically ill patient. She does have the time for a chronically ill patient. Well, she is busy as hell, but she gives me more than ten minutes of her day.
I feel like she can handle a patient like me and that she would ‘catch’ any medical issues outside of my existing ones instead of thinking it is all under that existing umbrella. Which is a problem with some doctors. I don’t like to think where I would be without her to be honest. But it wouldn’t be in the same position as now, I’ll tell you that.