Research, Research, Research…..
Over the last 7 years it took me 3 tries to find the right neurologist. Sometimes it takes a few tries, and takes a few months to feel them out. But when you realize they are not helping you or hearing you, it time to move on or find a new neurologist. The biggest thing is find the right doctor that fits your personality, your needs and fits your family’s needs too.
You can actually do a lot of research online. I found the neurologist that I have now by doing a lot of research online and looking at reviews. There is a lot of websites that have reviews on doctors. Of course there will be those few bad reviews but if a doctor has mostly bad reviews then it’s probably best to look at a different doctor.
The last neurologist I had was referred by my primary doctor and after a year of struggling with her and the clinic I decided to find a different neurologist. So not all referrals mean they will be great neurologists, not to say they might be.
Once you have the appointment with your neurologist, make sure to ask questions. You can never ask enough questions. If you have a doctor that’s not talkative and doesn’t say much and just want’s to give you a bunch of medication with out even talking to you, that’s probably not the right doctor, I had a few doctors like this, it was extremely frustrating. I would be in with the doctor for 5 minutes and all i came out with was new medications.
Finding the right doctor can be tricky but within a month or two you should know if it’s the right fit. The neurologist I have now, I loved him straight away, i’ve been seeing him for over a year now. He was the only doctor that has told me about upcoming treatments they are developing, like they are coming out with an injection you can take that will prevent migraines for up to 6 months to a year. It hasn’t come out yet but he always keeps me updated. He lets me talk and then he tells me what he thinks, and then decides with me. When I have problems at home he responds the same day and even calls me himself, not his nurse call me like I’ve had with previous doctors.
When your having severe migraines or even bad headaches the best thing to do is get in the care of a really good neurologist. The first thing they will do is order a CT scan or MRI if you haven’t had one done recently. When you do see a new doctor it’s always best to get your records transferred so they can see the whole picture, and you don’t have to explain from the beginning. Now it’s not as hard as it was years ago because they have this electronic system called “Care everywhere” which most hospitals and clinics have, you just have to give them permission. So when I transferred doctors it was easy.
So when finding a neurologist my tips are:
- Try get a referral from your primary care doctor, although it’s not always needed.
- Consider the experience of the neurologist
- Review patient survey reviews online for the doctor you are seeing
- Quality of the hospital or clinic the neurologist is located at
- Check your insurance, you don’t what any surprises
- The style of the doctor (i.e Communication etc.)
- A doctor that respects your values, religious decisions etc.
- Decide if gender is an issue (Ex. Some people prefer a female doctor if they are female etc.
So in conclusion, finding the right neurologist for you is very important and is the best way to start getting you feeling comfortable. They can prescribe a lot of different medications that can prevent migraines and headaches and medications that you can take when you get the migraines that can make the pain and nausea bearable. So when you suffer from these chronic migraines it’s very important to be in the care of a great neurologist.
If you can’t see a neurologist due to insurance cost, try to see a primary care doctor because they can sometimes prescribe some medications to help for nausea and may be able to help you with other medications with your migraines especially if they know about your insurance problems.
One last thing I want to add is, for those of you who don’t have insurance and can’t afford to see a neurologist but are really suffering. There are programs at a lot of hospitals for people who don’t have insurance or people who don’t have much insurance coverage. They go based of your income and expenses. They will cover 20 %, 50% or 100% of your bill based off your income. So if you think you can’t afford it, just call the hospital or clinic up and ask if they have this. A lot of private clinics don’t offer this, but all the main hospitals seem to in my experience. I have Medicaid now, but a few years back this was the only way I was able to get care was with these programs.
If you have any questions please comment below or contact me.
Thanks for reading
*Disclaimer* I am not a doctor or health care professional, I’m just sharing and writing about my personal experiences and offering advice.