First Appointment Prep
Preparing Yourself for a First Visit
The world-renowned headache specialists at the Diamond Headache Clinic are committed to finding the right balance of treatments for your unique headache condition. To pinpoint an accurate diagnosis that allows us to begin treating you as early as possible, we need to accomplish quite a lot during your first visit. Please expect this visit to take about three hours.
What Should You Expect?
Your initial visit to the Diamond Headache Clinic will be a diagnostic and treatment experience unlike any you’ve had before. You will be asked specific questions about your headache condition during a very thorough initial examination.
- We collect a complete medical history. We provide our forms online to give patients plenty of time to prepare. You may want to involve your family in this process by asking them about their observations of your headaches. This conversation may help you identify some additional headache triggers.
- We conduct a nutritional assessment to help determine if eating behaviors contribute to your headache pattern. Observe your eating habits for several days so you know exactly what and when you eat.
- Some tests previously performed by referring physicians may need to be repeated. Please be patient through the testing process. It takes time — but it’s worth it!
- You will be asked to keep a daily headache calendar, recording headache severity, the amount and type of analgesics used, the degree of relief obtained, and provocative factors such as diet and menstruation.
- Your headache specialist will recommend either a series of outpatient treatments or admission to our private inpatient unit at Presence Saint Joseph Hospital for a few days to get your headaches under control.
Based on the total evaluation, the clinic physician will create an individualized, multidisciplinary treatment regimen that includes:
- Medical Therapies
Your clinic physician will suggest a program of specific therapeutic agents. Patient response is closely monitored to evaluate efficacy and minimize side effects.
- Lifestyle Modifications
You will be instructed in the areas of diet, recreation, sleep patterns and other habits linked to headaches.
- Alternative Treatments
Your medical and lifestyle treatments are augmented with alternative approaches that may include acupuncture, biofeedback, massage therapy, physical and recreational therapy, and psychological intervention.
How Caregivers Can Prepare Loved Ones for the First Visit
Your loved one is getting help from the country’s best headache clinic. Because we leave no stone unturned in our evaluation and treatment of a patient, the initial examination process can be quite lengthy. Prepare to spend at least three to four hours at the clinic on your first visit. Only the patient will participate in the examination process, unless otherwise specifically requested. You must wait in the reception area.
The patient receives a specific plan once the initial diagnostic session is complete. The family and/or caregiver will play an active role in the patient’s long-term wellness and treatment.
Are you coming from out of town and need a place to stay? Several hotels located on the north side of Chicago are a short commute to our facility. Please identify yourself as a Diamond Headache Clinic patient to receive a special rate. For a list of nearby hotels and links to their websites, click here.