Hope from my doctor | MHAM Blogging ChallengeLast Updated:
I’ve written about my doctor many times before. He has such a sweet disposition that you can’t help but love and trust him. He’s got such a good bedside manner that creates trust and relaxation as soon as he walks in the room. I’ve never experienced that from any neurologist or psychiatrist. Usually they are abrupt and egotistical, but not Dr. Zwibleman.
Yet it wasn’t just one thing that he said that gave me hope. It’s what he knows about headache medicine. I’ve been working with him for two years and not once has he ever told me anything about Migraine or Cluster Headache that didn’t pass the “Teri Test” the first time.
What’s the “Teri Test”?
For a doctor to be worthy of my money and time, he or she has to pass this test.
If Teri Robert were sitting in the room with me, would she agree with what is being said? If not, then I know that doctor is feeding me line of bull. It’s time to run away as fast as I can.
Am I giving one person too much credit?
No way! I’ve learned the hard way that getting good migraine control requires me to pay attention to what she says. I’ve tried ignoring her advice, blowing her off, and doing things my own way. IT DOESN’T WORK.
- I didn’t get 27 migraine-free days by ignoring her migraine wisdom.
- I’m not starting my 7th month of remission from Cluster Headache because I told her to back off.
- It happened because I did exactly what she says to do.
“Fire his butt!”
I fired every doctor who failed the “Teri Test” until I found a good headache specialist who actually knew (a little bit) more than I did about headache disorders. It helps a lot that he is a migraineur, too. When he makes lifestyle change suggestions, I listen up because he has lived it.
The most amazing thing I ever heard from him was his “Introduction to Migraine Management” speech. He gave it to my (then) 16 year old son.
He started off by saying, “When dealing with Migraine, medication can only take you so far. There are three things to good migraine management: medication, trigger avoidance, and lifestyle changes. Now I can help you with medications. The rest you have to do yourself.”
When he talked about managing stress as a trigger, I was so happy because he focused on behaviors that can be changed rather than letting my son off the hook by blaming some uncontrollable, unseen force called “stress.” He hit all the important points — food triggers, dehydration, sleep hygiene, not skipping meals, watching out for stacking triggers, being careful to avoid medication overuse, giving preventives a good try and not skipping doses, and more. I adore him for making lifestyle changes a part of every treatment plan!
He is now our family headache specialist. Each of us have our own unique blend of preventives, abortives, an rescue treatments. I trust that man with my life. No one has been to the ER for an intractable migraine in the entire two years. His treatment plans are working because we are doing what he says and because he listens to us. We make a good team.
That’s exactly what Teri recommends and it works. If you want to know what I think about good migraine management, then just listen to the lady who taught me (or pointed me to the source of) everything I know about migraine.
The Migraine and Headache Awareness Month Blog Challenge
is organized by the American Headache and Migraine Association.
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