I made my quarterly trek to Philadelphia last week to see the Grand Wizard, Dr. Y. Though I hate the travel because flying often triggers migraines, I am always reminded when I see him that he is worth the trip. He always has a plan, and never seems too thrown by whatever I throw at him!
For this visit, I didn't have good news to report. I have had two months or so of crazy intense and frequent migraines. This has triggered increased depression, and I have not been able to explain why there has been an increase. I usually feel somewhat better when I can pinpoint the trigger. I live in one of those states that has been having insanely hot and dry weather--I mean drought conditions, so maybe that's it? Who knows. At any rate, the doc was great but he couldn't explain the worsened migraines either. It just happens sometimes.
I waited in the waiting room less than 10 minutes to see the nurse. At this clinic, protocol is to visit with a nurse to check your BP, weight and those kinds of things, and get basic information about medication needs and changes... Just an overall check in sort of thing. Then, you return to the waiting room to wait for the doctor to come and get you. After my check in with the nurse, which took probably 15 minutes because she was very thorough about wanting my medication list to be very updated and accurate, I returned to the waiting room, where I waited probably less than 10 minutes to see Dr. Y. It amazes me that I don't wait long there, because I never feel rushed during my visits with him. They must do a very good job of scheduling and not trying to cram hundreds of patients into a single day.
Once in the exam room, I explained my predicaments to the doc. How things had gotten worse, how Depressed (capital D) I had been, what my doctors here have done about it, etc. He thought a bit, and then began asking me questions and thinking out loud some. I asked him some questions about some meds I had heard of, he asked me some more questions, and before too long we had a plan. We are taking away a few meds and increasing a med I already take, as well as adding a brand new med. In addition, he wants to me to try to get some exercise, even if I can only start with 10 minutes a week. Surely, I can do 10 minutes a week.
All in all, I spent about 20 to 25 minutes with the doctor. In an age where the average time a doctor spends with a patient is 6 minutes, I feel very lucky to get real time with my doctor and his nurse and not feel rushed. If I had had more questions or more to talk about, we'd have taken longer. That's a good feeling to have when you leave a doctor's office.
I don't know if we have the right combination of meds this time. I have a feeling I won't know for a few weeks. To tell you the truth, I have stopped getting too worked up about new treatments. When we finally find that silver bullet, I'll let it surprise me, because I am passed the point of expecting it to happen. But I do feel like I have the treatment team that will find my silver bullet (or more precisely, perfect medication cocktail) and that's a good feeling. This waiting stuff though, waiting for them to find that perfect cocktail, it's killing me.