Making a visit to the doctor’s for migraine or headache disorders can be quite daunting, especially if it’s your first time. This visit could be prompted by a few different factors, especially the fear that its symptoms may be tell-tale of a neurological disorder, which can severely impact your body. For that reason, here is a checklist of the things you would need to prepare beforehand, in order to make that visit a little less stressful and more successful in treating migraines.
Past Medical Records, Check!
By law, every individual has a legal right to their medical records, both past and present. And although some doctors and medical staff may be reluctant to provide you with what you need, they are legally prohibited to refuse to do so. In fact, once a formal written request has been submitted, they must provide you the required documents by the deadline stipulated.
That said, providing your doctor with a copy of past medical records can allow for a proper diagnosis of your condition. Additionally, the doctor may also be able to determine if there is a need to see a neurologist for further examination. A neurologist is the person best qualified to run a series of diagnostic tests to rule out underlying diseases or medical conditions.
List of Medications, Past and Present, Check!
Another important item which you need to prepare prior to your doctor’s appointment is a list of all the medications you’ve taken, both past and present. This includes both over-the-counter and prescription drugs, and does not necessarily have to be only those you take for treating migraine headaches. Do also remember to list down the frequency and dosage prescription for each drug. Providing a doctor with a complete history of your medications may help identify the presence of drugs which may cause side effects to your body, and trigger migraines.
Also, ensure that you note down any multivitamins or herbal supplements you have taken previously, or are currently taking as part of the same list. This is because there are a number of multivitamins or supplements that are wrongly perceived as being able to provide health benefits. Given the fact that there are no conclusive findings to back up these claims, it is best to stay clear from the uncertainty as they could, in certain cases, do more harm than good. Thus, listing down these supplements too, can help a doctor provide you with more suitable alternatives, void of any damaging side effects.
Journal of Your Migraine Frequency and Triggers, Check!
A migraine log can be extremely helpful in providing a doctor with better understanding of your headaches. Some of the key information which should be jotted down in your log include the frequency of your migraine headaches, the level of pain you experience with each headache, and the duration of each migraine attack. If you have managed to identify key triggers of your migraines, do note them down as well.
You can also opt to include some of the treatment modalities that you’ve tried in the past to alleviate your symptoms. By understanding your preferences, as well as the effectiveness of these modalities, a doctor may be able to provide you with a list of things you can do to better manage your migraine symptoms, as well as avoiding specific migraine triggers.
List of Questions, Check!
Always ask questions. No question is a wrong question. We’ve been told this time and time again, yet when it comes to visiting a doctor, we tend to shy away from asking all the important questions. Not only will this prevent us from obtaining a complete understanding of our medical condition or illness, it could also allow for misdiagnosis. This problem is very real, and sometimes can prove to be fatal.
If you must, type down these questions and have them printed out. Not only will this ensure that you’ve covered all aspects of your migraine management, it will also help you develop a sense of independence. This is especially important, given that sometimes you may have to depend on yourself for alleviating your migraine.
Confidence, Check and mate!
Last but not least, go into your doctor’s appointment with confidence. As daunting as it may be, a can-do attitude, coupled with confidence and willingness to learn may be just what you need for effective migraine management.
At the same time, headache disorders may affect your mental health, but do not let it bring you down completely. Take comfort in knowing that you are well-prepared to meet your doctor, and that nothing but utmost clarity will come as a result of your appointment.
Including these guidelines will not only help you develop a better understanding of your symptoms, but can also assure your doctor about the objectives of your visit. Thereon, rest assured that you will have migraine well under control.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.