I'm curious

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I'm curious

Post  Brenda on Fri Jul 01, 2011 5:15 pm

I was just thinking about all the doctors I've seen over the years for my migraines and I was wondering if anybody else found the same thing that I did. Do you find that you're treated with more compassion and concern by your primary care doctor or your neurologist? I've tried several neuros in the past and I have found them to not have much compassion or concern for the pain that I'm in. Where as the last several family doctors that I've seen seem much more willing to keep trying things to help control these monsters. Neuros seem to have a set plan for everyone IMO. Maybe I've just seen crappy neuros. I don't know.
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Re: I'm curious

Post  Jewishmother on Fri Jul 01, 2011 9:27 pm

No matter what type of specialist I am seeing and no matter the treatment plan they prescribe I always double-check with my family doc. He knows me best and understands my body's particular issues with medications - he is also the first doc who believed that my symptoms weren't "all in my head"..............I use my specialists to gather information and then talk it through with my family doc - he sees me as a whole person - not just a brain, or a shoulder or a uterus. I feel free to cry in front of him without fear of being judged as weak or overly dramatic. He is in private practice by himself and not affiliated with a hospital or mega-group of docs and on the weekend if any of his patients need to talk to him we can call his cell phone. I certainly agree with you that primary care physicians are more compassionate and caring! L
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treat me, not my age (a new book)

Post  dcook60 on Sat Jul 02, 2011 10:07 am

a friend recommended this book highly, as i am now considered "aged" and also now infirm, with my broken knee ligaments and tibia. i requested it from the library, and it is marvelous! i read most of it yesterday. there are vast amounts of practical suggestions for everyone; whether it's their aging parents or themselves. really, it's a valuable book for anyone of any age, as it helps one to understand and navigate our present (broken) health/aka disease-care system.

this geriatrician m.d. (elder specialist) discusses at length the problem with specialties and sub-specialties, which did not even exist as recently as 30 years ago. the problem, of course is that these neuros and other specialists fail to see the entire person, as pointed out by jewishmother above. all they care about is the brain or the spinal cord, or other parts involved in THEIR specialty.

they don't get to know the patient, nor do they care to do so, even if they had the time, which they usually do not. this is my experience also, with neuros. they have a cookbook approach to medicine, and especially head pain. if the patient doesn't improve when thrown a new drug at each visit, then it must be the patient's fault.

a primary doc who knows you and cares about your entire being, psyche and all, is surely a true gem, and is worth keeping and cultivating for so many reasons. dianne
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Re: I'm curious

Post  Mini on Sat Jul 02, 2011 2:09 pm

My experince is just opposite - over the years I had two neuros and both are very aproachable and know all there is to know about migraine, so they get it immediately what I am talking about, whilst my GPs were often dismissive, or unsympathetic, and since they did not know how to treat it, I was often made to feel as if I am just making too much fuss about a "just a headache".
Since they could not help me, they made me feel as if it was all my fault.

This attitude has changed to some agreee over the years, as there is now more information about migraine and treatemnts in general, specially since the triptans first arrived, but I only ever found true understanding and help, from my neurologists (both in the same hospital).

It was such a relief, I almost cried with relief when it happened first time I saw my neuro and he knew immediately what I was talking about when I told them about "sore" spots on my scalp, or feeling disorientated and confused before migraine, or weak and tired afterwards etc. etc.
I almost danced all the way home I was so happy. I still remember that great feeling.

I hope you will be able to find a good neuro like this one day, Brenda. They do exists, just keep looking.
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Re: I'm curious

Post  dcook60 on Sat Jul 02, 2011 2:33 pm

mini, you are so very lucky to find such a neuro, and even two of them! may we all be so fortunate, when we keep looking and looking for the right person.

unfortunately, out of the 5-6 neuros i've consulted over the years, only one had an ounce of compassion. but he soon "gave up on me". like you said, they ARE out there, but it can be a daunting task to find the right one. the lesson is to never ever give up. dianne
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Re: I'm curious

Post  Mini on Sat Jul 02, 2011 3:30 pm

I agree Dianne, never give up.
I forgot to mention that at the time I have almost given up trying to get any help, but it was in fact my previous GP who has mentioned that there perhaps I need to see a neurologist, and referred me to him, so I am grateful for that becasue before that it has never occured to me that neurologists also treat migraines (I know, I know...).
This was before internet took offl so we did not have access to so much information.

Anyway, before I went to see that first neurologist I was almost certain that nothing will ever help me since I had so many disappointments, so I was convinced that it would be a total waste of time. I was so wrong: in the first place it was healing experience to have someone believe what you say, and to tell you that this is "normal" in terms of migraine, that I am not mad, or imagine things, or make them up since no one belived my strange symptoms.

He was a good listener and gave me time to explain, and took notes as if it was all important (which of course it was). I did not believe that anyone could help, yet this was my turning point for me in terms of more effective management of my migraines, the result is better quality of life, and feeling that I am more in control.

I have migraine today but it it is level 4, instead of 8 as it would be in the past. I stiill hate it, but at least I can write and function to some degree, and I appreciate that. I think they also helped me to come to terms with what is realistic expectation, or what is not.
I hated it when my first neuro left, and it took me a while to get use to the new one but he is all right, as well. I think this is becasue it is a teaching hospital and they work on migraine research, so they are interested.
I just wish I got on better with my GP, but this is another story.


Last edited by Mini on Sun Jul 03, 2011 12:01 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: I'm curious

Post  Brenda on Sat Jul 02, 2011 3:36 pm

I've pretty much given up looking. I only went to the last one because my primary doctor thought she may have some trick up her sleeve that neither he nor I knew about. She didn't. Her advice was to give up the pain meds for breakthrough migraines completely, and to only take Triptains 2 days a week. I tried it her way and when I reported no change in the migraines she still didn't want me to use anything for the other 5 days a week when I am miserable. Her response was to just "hang in there until some new treatment becomes available." I'm sorry, but living in severe pain while taking care of a husband who is not well is NOT an option. As long as my primary doc is around and willing to treat me, I'll stick with him.

I'm really glad you found good neuros who actually care. The ones I saw have all been very cold and distant. The first one I saw put me on amitryptline alone. It made my heart race to 180 beats per minute. I thought it was going to come right through my chest. When I called the office to see what I should do they checked with the doctor. He said he was busy and to tell me he'd see me in a month. I really thought I was going to have a heart attack. I was SOOOO angry at him. He turned me off of even trying for a very long time.
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Re: I'm curious

Post  tortoisegirl on Sat Jul 02, 2011 7:41 pm

Oh yeah I do much better with my primary doctor. I see a ton of specialists and still he manages my care, prescribes most of my meds, etc. He is very patient and never seems to give up on my case. Very open to suggestions. He has appointments available in the evenings and last minute. That said, his knowledge base of course isn't skewed towards headaches. I see my neuro as a consult and sometimes the primary can then follow through with the suggestions. I do have a pretty good neuro, but its the typical long wait for appointments, and he just doesn't know what to do with my case anymore.

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Re: I'm curious

Post  living on Sat Jul 02, 2011 10:00 pm

I've only ever seen a neuro once. Well, twice if you count his assistant or whatever. It was at a hospital. They did an MRI and found nothing. She (assistant) was nice, he (main neuro) was a pig. He spent no time at all with me and told me to keep eating imigrans and to go away. That was years ago now. I haven't bothered with a new one. This whole process took ages too...must have been around 9 months - maybe more than a year - on a waiting list to see first female neuro, 3 months for MRI scan, and then a further month before the follow up appointment with idiot neuro guy.

I just go and get a new prescription when my short imigran (imitrex) script runs out (only 20 x 50mg tablets on it total) and whatever else might be handy. I don't really have a particular GP that I see because I'm not looking for a cure - I just see whoever is available at my local clinic. They have my file and they're an award winning clinic - best in our State.

These migraines have changed I've realised - I'm getting more "dopey" episodes and pins and needles and I never used to get that. So I guess I should brace for another evolution of the 'migraine ride'. Off to the doc this arvo and will mention it then. Not going to bother with a neuro though.

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Re: I'm curious

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