I have been a patient of Dr. Merle Diamond's for over 18 years. That means that for over half of my life I have been going to the Diamond Headache Clinic. I was my parent's version of Juliana. When I was 15, I started having headaches, but they weren't the normal "pop a couple Tylenol and feel better" kind of headaches. When I had these headaches (we didn't know they were migraines at the time), I had to be in the dark with low sound. My head felt like it would explode. My parents dragged me to all sorts of doctors trying to figure out what was wrong with me- chiropractures, accupuncturists, neurologists, psychologists, etc. Finally, someone mentioned the Diamond Headache Clinic (if only the internet had been as accessible back then, it would have made it easier to find help).
Ever since I started seeing her, Dr. Merle has always included me in on decision making for my medical care. When I had a grand mal seizure from an allergic reaction and had to go on seizure medication for a year, she understood that I didn't like being on the medicine and got me off of it as soon as possible. When I went away to college, she gave me her home email address so I could email her anytime I was having migraine problems or had medicine questions. When I had my brain injury, she's the doctor who got the ball rolling on all of my tests. With Juliana, I've emailed her my questions or asked for her opinion and she's always been honest with me. She's even given us some names of doctors that may be able to help us get a diagnosis.
Today I had a "checkup" appointment with Dr. Merle. Ryan took the day off and drove me downtown (sometimes I get injections that render me a bit useless- and I had a feeling that I would be getting one of those today). As usual, we heard Merle before we saw her, which always strikes me as funny because you are in a place that deals with migraines. Her first question was about Juliana, and we discussed everything that we have been through. Then she asked me about my migraines, and while my gut instinct was to lie and say they weren't too bad, I knew she would see right through it, so I came clean and told the truth- that some days are worse than others. That I have a headache every day, and a migraine at least 3 times a week minimum. We discussed if it was stress related or if it was seasonal related (winter has always been my bad time) and agreed that it was probably a combination of both. Then it came time for "negotiations". She wanted me to go back on a specific medicine that I don't like. I refused. She tried to convince me to go back on it, if only for a month, because it does help my migraines and she doesn't want me in pain. I refused, but then I gave her my reasons: it makes my mind fuzzy, it makes me groggy all day, I can't wake up at night and since Juliana gets up once or twice a night to eat I could fall down the stairs and get hurt, it makes my hair fall out and I gain weight. The great thing about Merle is that if you make a good case for yourself, she respects your decision and doesn't push the issue. We came to a compromise, and changed the doseage of a different medicine, and she gave me a shot to help with the migraine that I have been dealing with since Saturday.
This is how the medical profession should work. This is how a doctor/patient relationship should be. This is an example of an excellent doctor. I love this lady, she is the best!