Let me start by professing my admiration and dedication to the headache and facial pain population. I have felt intrigued by this very special group of people since my first encounter in medical school. The majority of individuals act stoic even as they deal with debilitating headache and facial pain conditions. In order to treat this population successfully, having time to listen and tango are requirements.
Unlike other specialties that can typically focus on the now, come up with a plan, and then see you back in a few months, this does not work very well with headache and facial pain. There are flare-ups and management of acute headache and facial pain exacerbations along the way as well as the need for multidisciplinary care and coordination.
Hearing the full histories of patients’ journeys and battles with headache is tremendously important - as important as discussing current headache(s) and the impact on their daily lives. Making a plan that is in sync with the patient’s history and future goals is what I strive to do - - and I follow their progress closely to make tweaks to their plans along the way.