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How long should I wait before seeing my doctor?
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SolemnHour posted:
Last Tuesday I woke up with a headache, nothing uncommon since I usually have upwards of nine or ten headaches a month. I took an advil and the headache went away for a few hours. However later that same day I started having what I can only explain as mini headaches. I started having sudden pains on the left side of my head that only lasted maybe less then a minute. These pains would start in the left side of my head and travel down to the brow area of my forehead. The next day as these pains continued I started feeling pain in the top of my head on the left side. The pain has not been constant, there has been hours where I will experience no pain. However, I have not had a day since this past Tuesday when I have been pain free. I was worried that it might have been a stroke, however I am not experiening any stroke related symptoms. The only other symptom I have is dizziness and I suspect that this might be from a sinus infection. The pain seems to be less and less every day, but I am still worried that something is wrong. How long should I wait before calling my doctor?
Thank you for your time.
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mymygraine responded:
There is no specific waiting time before seeing a doctor, but if you are concerned about your headaches, and if they have changed in character, which it seems they have, then go ahead and make an appointment. Ask your regular doctor for a referral to a neurologist with a speciality in headaches. Depending on where you live, the appointment may take 1 to 6 months to schedule, and your insurance may or may not cover it so be prepared to pay up front. Start making a record of what you eat every day, when your headaches start and stop, where they are on your head, and be very descriptive. Note weather changes on a daily basis, a sleep record of when you go to sleep, when you wake up, if you slept well or badly, and if you had a particulary active or slow day, or day out of the ordinary where you went to bed later than usual. Also keep a record of the severity of your headaches on a scale of 1-10, 1 being the lowest, 10 being the highgest. It sounds like a lot of time on your part, but once you get used to doing it, it will just take about 15 minutes per day. Purchase a small date-book just for this purpose and carry it around with you so you can make notes all day. The neuro you have an appointment with will probably send you about a 10 page form to fill out and all this information will help you answer the questions. You will get more definitive answers, and better tx plan if you start with a headache doc, than going with a doc that does not know much about headaches to start. If the headaches become really bad while you wait for an app't, call the doctor, explain to the nurse what is going on, ask for an emergency app't or a cancellation app't and they will get you in. Make sure you fill out the applcation form as soon as you get it.

Keep in touch and good luck!
 
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Chris_WebMD_Staff replied to mymygraine's response:
Hi and welcome!

That's right there is no specific time on seeing your doctor. Make the appointment and share your concerns and your symptoms.
Please let us know how you are doing, get to the doc soon.
Chrissy~ Difficulties are meant to rouse, not discourage. The human spirit is to grow strong by conflict. -William Ellery Channing


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A good read for overall migraine conditions
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