Review: Jefferson Headache Center (Philadelphia)

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Review: Jefferson Headache Center (Philadelphia)

Post  ConcordGrape on Tue Feb 05, 2013 1:59 pm

First I just want to say thank you for being so supportive. Ever since I found you guys I have mentally been able to cope with my migraines better and gain an increased understanding of the disorder.

That being said, I need to complain about my 1st appointment today at the Jefferson Headache Center. If anyone else has been there I would like to know if they had a positive experience.

I had to wait 3 months for this appointment...finally it was time! The visit was 5 hours. They gave me boatloads of paperwork/psychology testing, and then I met with a psychologist. After that I met with a nurse and finally the Dr. I did develop a headache during this time because of the hours spent in the office.

When I finally saw the Dr. everything at first was fine. Then, while talking about past medicines, I told him that I tried Cymbalta for a day and couldn't put up with the side effects (they kind of scared me). I also tried pamelor but went off it after 2 weeks because I realized it interacted with the topamax I was taking. He seemed baffled by this. In response I tried to go into more detail about the interactions--both topamax and pamelor keep you from sweating, and this was the most prominent/dangerous side effect I've had on topamax. Instead of listening to me, I could tell he had already made up his mind about me. He told me that Migraine is a disease and I'm not going to get better unless I am open to the treatments. He told me that lots of ppl get way worse migraines than I do and some of them are on 4 preventatives and take other stuff on top of that. Basically--if I'm not going to try things then why am I here?

I got the impression that he thought I was wasting his time. And that I was dumb and stubborn. I will admit, I can be stubborn about some things but this is not of them; I would do anything to not have migraines anymore. I tried to respond by telling him that I'm just concerned about side effects/withdrawal/interactions as I've had bad experiences in the past. He just told me, "well topamax and pamelor are the 1st preventatives we try, then we move onto other things." I've always been hesitant to take medicines that sacrifice another aspect of my life for some relief. I am biased too about medicines working/not working based on what I've read on here or in other places.
In the past other neuros have said, "well who knows if it will work but we can try". I understand he can't tell me definitely "this will work" about any of the treatments, but some are much more reliable than others. I've always had the impression that antidepressants had a modest success rate, and would have liked to ask him to verify this fact, but noooo I didn't even get close to asking any questions I wanted. He actually got up to leave before I could ask anything, and I ended up squeezing them in while he ushered me down the hall.

I felt so disrespected after the appt and actually started crying when I called my mom to tell her how it went.

All-in-all I find that dr's are not very helpful because they aren't available when I have an urgent matter to discuss, and by the time I'm in the office talking about it, its hard to recall the situation exactly as it happened. This leads to them not believing me or misunderstanding what I am trying to say.


Last edited by ConcordGrape on Tue Feb 05, 2013 10:36 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : removed dr's name)
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ConcordGrape

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Re: Review: Jefferson Headache Center (Philadelphia)

Post  Migrainegirl on Tue Feb 05, 2013 3:33 pm

Well I must say that dies not sound very promising. Yes you have to be willing to try things you personally have not tried yet ( we all react differently). BUT if it is something you already did try and had a bad reaction to, he should not be giving young hard time about that. It does not bode well for the doctors receptiveness to very real side effects you may run into in the future. I've been made very very ill by a doctor who refused to take me off of a drug I was having a bad reaction too.

Did he set you up with a new course of treatment?
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Re: Review: Jefferson Headache Center (Philadelphia)

Post  ConcordGrape on Tue Feb 05, 2013 10:09 pm

He told me to take pamelor again, and learn biofeedback. The psychiatrist also suggested biofeedback, so I'm going to try it. But since I'm not in as much pain as I was previously, I would like to try one thing at a time and see if perhaps I can manage with just the biofeedback before going on preventative meds.
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ConcordGrape

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Re: Review: Jefferson Headache Center (Philadelphia)

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