Friday, June 22, 2012

My Perfect Doctor

Migraine Awareness Month #19: "The Match Game."

Today’s Blogging Challenge prompt is to describe your perfect doctor to treat your Migraines.

Today’s prompt is an easy one for me. I already have three near perfect doctors. Count’em, three. I’m not trying to brag, I’ve just been blessed. See, I live in Arkansas, and have a doctor here, but travel to Philadelphia to see who I guess you could call my “primary migraine specialist.” Then I have a psychologist who I HAVE to mention when I discuss my migraine care, because he’s probably kept me alive multiple times over the past 14 years. I don’t have a preference between male and female doctors, but all my doctors right now happen to male. Just so you know, that’s coincidence.

We’ll start with Dr. Y., the “primary migraine specialist” in Philadelphia. He’s a guy you’d think would be kinda nerdy, and he’s very intellectual, but still super caring and really easy to talk to. He always remembers details about my life, my likes and dislikes, and I only see him 4 times a year. I find that impressive. After I give him my progress report during an appointment, he’ll take this long pause before he responds. I love that because I know I’m getting a thoughtful, well-reasoned response from him. I want his best idea for me, not just the next thing he’d recommend to any patient. The office runs pretty smoothly, I can speak to a nurse when I need to and can remember to take into account the difference in time zone and I don’t have trouble scheduling my appointments every 3 months. I don’t typically have a really long wait in the waiting room on appointment days, and while my appointments with him aren’t long, I don’t feel rushed either. That’s important. There is a dark corner of the waiting room, so if my eyes are sensitive to light that day, I can hide in that corner while I wait to be called to the exam room. That’s nice. He’s also had more success treating my migraines than any doctor I’ve seen in 14 years. I’m still searching for the silver bullet that will give me control of the beast, but until then, I celebrate any success I have.

My local neurologist is Dr. T. Dr. T. referred me to Dr. Y, which I think says something about both doctors. He’s also that super intellectual type of guy, but extremely easy to speak with. He’s very quiet and mild-mannered, and not egotistical at all. Like Dr. Y, he’s very, very thoughtful about his responses and seems to be quite protective of me, which makes me like him all the more. He’ll spend 45 minutes in the exam room with me, and never rush through an appointment. Granted, I might spend an hour and a half or more in the waiting room, but I don’t mind because I know he is giving his other patients the same kind of care he gives me. Dr. Y. is currently the guy who handles my main treatments and Dr. T is on hand for emergencies and to sort of keep things on track in case I need someone locally. His office runs very smoothly and is very receptive to calls and patient contact. The one area he isn’t perfect is that it takes a LONG time to schedule an appointment, but when you find a mostly perfect doctor, you have to share, I figure.

Finally, a conversation about my doctors would not be complete without mentioning Dr. D, my psychologist. He’s fatherly, sort of protective, and one of the most intelligent men I know. He’s been around now throughout my struggle with chronic migraines, so he’s seen me at my absolute worst. He’s never judgmental, but not afraid to exercise some tough love when it’s needed either. One of the best things is that he’s learned to walk in his office with me and immediately dim the lights and start turning off lamps! Now, that’s a perfect doctor for a migraine patient. He also knows when things are getting serious with my Depression and makes himself available outside the office by phone and email, and that has been a lifesaver—maybe literally. He’s taught me to cope with migraines, taught me things about myself that I didn’t know but should have, and he’s still trying to teach me about Depression. His office runs well too. Though he schedules patients fairly far in advance for a psychologist, his office is WONDERFUL about filling cancelations, so I can always be assured to have an appointment when I need one. I’m really lucky to have been referred to him by my very first headache specialist many, many years ago.

I’m very blessed with great doctors. I only wish all who suffer could have the same kind of medical care I have. May you too be blessed with wonderful doctors and medical care!

National Migraine Awareness Month is initiated by the National Headache Foundation. The Blogger's Challenge is initiated by www.FightingHeadacheDisorders.com.

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