Should my doctor be able to provide me with a letter to confirm to (anyone) at my request that i suffer with migraine with aura?

I recently asked my doctor for a letter just to confirm that i suffer from severe migraine with aura (hemapleigic) and that at the onset of an attack i loose the vision in one eye, double vision, i can not speak coherantly, i am confused, loose co-ordination, paralysis down the right side of my body so i can not walk, vomiting and severe headache. my request for this was because i had a recent attack when i was out and had to pull over my car to the nearest safe place because i couldnt see where i was going and loosing co-ordination which to me is a very good reason to cease driving your car immediatly before you endanger the public and yourself. So i parked it but didnt realise i had parked in a public loading bay, but to be honest even if i had realised it would not have made any difference i was in no fit state to move it. When i stopped i went to boots to get some medication which i took and sat in the toilets because i felt sick until the medication started to work and my sight returned and my coordiation and so i felt well enough to drive my car home. Whilst doing so i returned to my vehicle to find a parking ticket. i challenged the ticket under mitigating circumstances the council now want a letter to prove i suffer these type of migraine and if what i have said is true about how they affect me and my ability to drive. i asked my doctor for this letter as requested by the council and he went mad, and refused. i was so upset he was talkling to me like i was a liar, he said i have hundreds of patients with migraine and they dont just abandon their cars get a ticket and then ask me for a letter to get them off. Can he actually refuse to give me a letter that states the truth about my codition no matter who it is for or why? I didnt see anything wrong in asking him to do this form me, as far as i was concerned at the time i did the only thing i could possibly do under the circumstances to avoid harming myself or others because of reasons beyond my control. what is so outrageous about that but he put the phone down on me and now i dont know what to do next . i have written to him a week ago to explain further but he has not been in touch at all . i dont know what to do, this is the first time i have ever had to ask for a letter and didnt expect to be shouted at and feel like a liar. thankyou any advice whould be great. madmaria

18 Replies

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  • what a horrible doctor. I would go and see another one.

  • I recently moved and cannot drive when I get a migraine because I,m dizzy, get visual disturbances and basically not concentrating. I asked my dr for a letter to the council asking for a school within walking distance because of this problem and they were happy to oblige. Your dr sounds ignorant and unsympathetic ....get a new dr or find out how to make a complaint about him/her it's unacceptable...good luck with the parking ticket...you can appeal it, I recieved a parking ticket when I abandoned my car when pregnant as I rushed off to find a toilet to be sick! I had the ticket refunded so there are some human reasonable people still on this planet!

  • Thanku so much for your replies i know this sounds pathetic i actually cried when i read them just because u understood what i meant. i have never asked a doctor in my life for a letteruntil now and he made me feel like a liar. and that i was using him. He is a relatively new doctor but i was diagnosed when i was twelve and i had them regularland back then drs hadnt got a clue sbout migraines and i didnt have any medication for them until i discovered migraleve which for me worked and was and still is my only med that works. but i had none with me and none at home so i did the only safe thing and logical thing imy haddled brain cud think of doing. park my car safely and get some meds inside me quick. and as anyone knows with these migraines time is of the essence if u get it at the onset u have a good chsnce of stopping the rest of the attack i have been trying different meds for my mental illness which have been prescribed by my psychiatrist snd i know it is these that are causing the attacks. but my doctor wouldnt even let me explain he just talked over me i was so shocked and upset i couldnt believe it.

  • I must say I'm a little shocked that this doctor has behaved in this way. I would expect him or her to be professional & give you at least a valid reason for not giving you the letter. I do not understand that.

    I live in Australia & I know over here it is the law that you notify the drivers license people of any health problems or medications you take & they can say you are not safe to drive. If this doctor wrote the letter he may be put in a position where he is actually suggesting that the sudden double vision etc is dangerous enough you are required to be off the road safely. Which if that letter got into the hands of the licensing people you could lose your license or at least have to be assessed. Then you can get into insurance. Insurance companies would have no problems using a letter like you are requesting to reject any accident claim you ever make in the future or even up your premiums. I just love insurance companies they really make you feel like the world has gone mad. :-)

    I am not suggesting the doctor is behaving any way but badly. If he doesn't want to write the letter he needs to tell you his reasons. I have mentioned the above as I have seen this happen & thought you should know. I'm not in the UK so things may be different over there.

    I would definitely see a new doctor if this is his maturity in handling things. You can find much better. Good luck.

  • Thankyou Karryon

    Things do seem different in the uk, but they seem to overlook anything here that isnt the norm, and they dont like you telling them either. its very much i am the doctor and i am god and you are the patient and do as you are told. which annoys me to start with.i am going to go and find my old doctor who left i know which surgery he is at its just gettting registered there that may be the proble but i can try thanks again for your supprt maria.

  • I really wish you the best with sorting out your GP. When my old GP left about a decade ago I was so lost. I have so many medical conditions & take some pretty horrid drugs which combined made it impossible to find a suitable GP. I spent a few years with doctors who were rude or just plain ignorant & like you I was the one educating them as they knew little about my conditions.

    I now have a lovely GP who is just brilliant. I also have a General Consultant Physician who coordinates all my specialists & tries to ensure all parties are taking care of me properly.

    My heart goes out to you & your daughter suffering from such bad types of migraine aura. I agree definitely get rid of the idiot & go to someone else. Doctors are not meant to make you feel upset & worried. I just saw a Neuro a week ago & he asked who I had seen before & I told him the previous Neuro was rude & I didn't want to go back to him. I've been waiting to see this New Neuro as I heard he is kind & patient. He said he hears people say that others were rude all the time & he also said he doesn't understand why they feel it necessary to behave badly.

    Good Luck.

  • Oh, I am so sorry :( My doctor has written me plenty of letters over the years for various things. You are NOT being unreasonable. Find a new doctor, you are going an understanding and compassionate doctor to get you through all of life's up and down's with migraines.

    As a side bit of migraine humour: one day I started feeling a migraine coming on, while I was at university. I quickly went to my car to drive home(a 20 min drive), and of course, I suddenly felt nauseous as I was going over a very busy bridge. I tried my best, but I ended up puking everywhere in the car. Just what you need when your head is dying. :)

  • hi there thankyou for your support on this one i know he made me feel so stupid for asking i hate him now, and normally he is so nice. ??

    on the humour side of things my god you have to have a sense of humour if you get migraines i had an incident with my daughter as she gets them too and the first one she has was at school and didnt know what the hell was happening to her. she was scared stiff (this just goes to show how many schools and teachers are ignorant to this type of migraine and they should have to be trained in these kind of illnesses when dealing with children) any way the teacher phoned me in a panic telling me my daughter was so drunk she was staggering incoherant and vomiting all over the place and would i come pick her up and that this behaviour would not be tolerated.

    i got great joy out of telling her that she wasnt drunk she was ill and had a migraine with aura and that i had them too. She didnt know what to say to me but a sorry was good enough and a promise to learn more about migraines! kind regards to you maria

  • You sure need humour and a lost sense of humanity... oh the embarrassing situations that I have been in, and of course no one has a clue what is wrong with you. I am glad that you told the school teacher off. There needs to be a lot more migraine awareness and I am not sure how we can do that. People who don't have "real" ones just don't understand. I hope and pray that my two boys don't get them. They are 3 and 4 now. Take care and find that new doctor!!!

  • Thankyou bondchic i hope your boys dont get it either like you say people who have never had one think you are making it up how terrible they actually are, most just think its a headache and you are whimp for lying down in a dark room, drama queen, ha bloomin ha!! it should be taught about migraine in schools especiallly pre-teen and the teachers need to be aware what they are dealing with instead of presuming they are drunk or on drugs. you take care too hun and thankyou again for your support maria

  • Doctor have to give letters but now you usually have to pay for them - but you should not have told him the reason was a parking ticket! Say you also now need it for jobcentre or work something like that.

    LET ME KNOW WHAT HAPPENS.

  • hi thankyou stara i know i just didnt think because i knew i was telling the truth i never thought of lying, thats why i was so gobsmacked when he turned on me like he did. i just thought this is logic get a letter reason i was not safe to drive no problem but obvioulsly with this doctor there is a major problem. i shouldnt have to lie he should be educated enough as a doctor about migraines to at least check my records first or see me at the surgery and discuss it rather than rant down the phone at me. i will let you know what happens thankyou again for your support maria

  • He is so wrong in so many ways really . Yes he should give you a letter .are you under a specialist for you Hemaplegic migraine the reson I ask my specialist told me I had not to drive full stop , because with H/M can come on very fast sometimes with no warning you might not have time to pull over . Also you can get the I'd bracelet with all your details of your illness on there and it can be on a computer with the firm your have your ID bracelet with . Go back to your doctor and point out a few of these points if I were you . I'm so sorry for the way you have been treated all I can say not all GP are like yours thank god . Elliott x

  • Hi Elliot thank you so much for your information i presume you are in the uk as this is where i am. and no i am not under a specialist for my migraine because i wasnt diagnosed properly at the beginning because drs werent aware of migraines then like they are now. i was diagnosed with migraine with aura when i was about 15 but i had been getting them regularly and only having paracetamol which did nothing, and basically just had to cope with it which actually scared me to death because i knew nothing about why i had them I just had to get on with it. I cant remember if i found the meds that helped or i was prescribed them, but didnt find them until i was in my 20's which are migraleve and if i take the yellow ones at the start it stops them developing into full blown headache vomiting etc. so i never bothered with the doctor again as i was managing them myself, and as i have got older i get them very rarely thank goodness but i always found the doctors pretty useless at giving any meds that helped. But over the years it should be all over my medical records the diagnosis and lots of other times that i have reported having migraine to them as part of other reasons for visiting the doctor like when i get pregnant i always get them and after the birth i always get them thats the hormonal bit lol!! I feel the reason i am getting them back now and so severly is because i have been trying meds for my mentall illness and they are messing up my brain chemistry hence causing a migraine attack. but the doctor should know this anyway. I am so annoyed with him you wouldnt believe he made me feel like a fool. I had no idea about this bracelet id either that is such a good idea. how do i go about getting one of those? thank you so much for your help tracie.

  • Hemiplegic Migraine may not be on your medical records: for example I saw a nurse who was a skin specialist a few years ago, who told me I had moles which were possibly cancerous and she wanted to arrange to have them removed. I never heard any more about it so checked with my new GP. He looked back at the record and there was just one word - "moles". Which made it look as if I was making things up. I will soon be asking for access to my own medical records so I can check what is and isn't there.

    Re: your GP understanding migraine, no, they get very little training and most of them don't 'get it' unless they suffer from migraine themselves or have a close relative who does. Their first response is usually 'It's stress'. You should definitely see a specialist and get a proper diagnosis. If you're taking other medications for a different condition the interactions with migraine meds should be looked at as well.

    By the way, if you use Migraleve, you are supposed to take the pink one first. It has an anti nausea ingredient and may stop the migraine developing. You can only take one dose (2 tablets) in 24 hours. The yellow one is just paracetamol and codeine and you take that if the pink one has not worked. *This is not medical advice, just what is in the Migraleve instructions* But if you see a specialist you may find there are other more suitable medications.

  • Tracie you need to go to your GP and ask to be referd to a migraine specialist pending where you live . I'm under a fantastic specialist at London . The Natianal in Queens square . He found out what type of migraine I was suffering from after 15 yrs of miss dieanosisse . I have Hemaplegic migraine , also I suffer with a rare form of migraine called SUNCT . So if you get under the proper people then you will get the best treatment for you .

    As for the bracelet just put in SOS bracelet on web and it come up with all sorts of things you can get . Hope it helped . Pauline x

  • Hi Pauline

    I will do that definately and go online to get the bracelet. it just goes to show though it all depends on the luck of the draw, where you live ,and your gps awareness, and knowledge of different types of migraine.I have basically had to teach myself about migraines by looking on medical sites because i have recieved no info on them from any gps. i had forgotten because i was young at the time but i did see a specialist years ago who told me it was a migraine with aura which could be hemaplegic because my mother suffered with the same sort of thing but not as severe as the ones i had. So i was prepared for at least one of my daughters having the same thing, so it wasnt a shock when it happened. But i think that it should be taught about migraines in schools before the kids hit their teens, and the teachers should be knowledgeable about it too and to look for the signs, because if a child has one at school for the first time, it can be a very frightening experience, all of a sudden you cant see out of one eye you are dizzy you loose the feeling down you right side and worst of all you can not communicate to tell anyone what is happening to you. Well that is what it was like for me, and i can tell you i thought i was dying.

    I just cant believe that my gp has never come across a migraine like mine before and just dealt with headaches or he just thought i was lying. But either way because he has only been my doctor for about 6 months he should have at least looked at my medical records before he started spouting about something he obviously knows very little about and secondly he shouldnt presume i was lying about what happened. Just because there are other people that lie about things doesnt mean to say every one does and i certainly wouldnt lie about something so serious as this type of migraine occuring. i wouldnt wish that upon anyone especially myself and wouldnt like to tempt fate by lying about it. if he had been stood in front of me i swear i would have slapped his face i was so angry and upset about the whole thing because his attitude totally shocked me. I actually wrote him a letter fully explaining the situation and other reasons i wanted to see him face to face that was over a week ago now and he hasnt even had the courtesy to reply. thankyou again for your support you are all very kind.maria

  • I emailed got SUNCT , Hemaplegic migraine , chronic daily migraine fibromyralga and these  all been confirmed by a specialist.  I wonder why have they not done a trial  to see if they all linked .

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