For inclusion in your own personal packet of useful materials and forms, we suggest keeping a
headache diary especially designed for recording information about your CH cycles and attacks. Many doctors like to see a patient's history in written form. This is likely to be more accurate and complete than extemporaneous comments made during a consultation, especially if you are in pain at the time.
An excellent tool for describing the nature and level of your pain is
Lois Randall's Chronic Pain Scale.
The author says, "What makes this scale unique is that it allows you to create a personal scale using your own words to describe how your pain feels to you and how well (or not) you are able to function at each of the levels."
"After dealing with chronic pain for some years, I realized that I needed a better tool for talking with my doctors: a scale that would describe my perception of pain. I invented a way to describe the intensity of my pain in terms we all understand, and I can easily revise it any time my situation changes."
If you are seeing a new doctor, review this article by Teri Robert. Among her suggestions: it is a good idea to print or write out questions to carry along with you; don't hesitate to ask for clarification of comments made during the consultation; and take notes if you are given detailed instructions.
To avoid misunderstandings at your hospital emergency room consider using Teri Robert's
Form to Assist with Emergency Care. This form, verifying your cluster headache diagnosis, can be reproduced on your doctor's letterhead and filed at your emergency room. Medical personnel there will know which treatment or medication has been prescribed for you.
This section of our site is not yet complete. We plan to offer more materials for you to use in conjunction with the next visit to your doctor - whether you are a new CH patient or a seasoned one.
Last modified: 2002