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Did you ever ask?

MackenzieMMackenzie Posts: 76
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:52 AM in Chronic Pain
Did you ever ask your pain mgmt. doc if he/she has ever experienced pain? After I'd seen my doc for about a year, he was going to implant a spinal cord stimulator and I was understandably very nervous. At my last pre-op appt. I asked him how he relates to his patients so well, if he'd ever experienced chronic pain himself.

He was frank and honest and told me about tearing up his knee when he was younger and the doc upon going back into a fully open knee joint ( this was pre-arthroscopic surgery)to debride infection, scraped off all the articular cartilage.

He lifted the leg of his scrub pants to reveal a ghastly scar.

Now we commiserate about weather changes when storms roll through, and I know the man I am trusting with my spinal cord and all my meds is as empathetic as they get, stoic about not taking meds himself, but can relate to me.

It's comforting for me to know this -


  • Mack,

    I've never had the "have you had chronic or severe pain" discussion with any of my doctors come to think about it. I wonder how one would go about asking such a question. The way you came up with yours was flowing, and made sense.

    I'm pretty darn sure my surgeon hasn't had much pain in his life, not so sure about my Neurologist though, as he seems pretty understanding. My last appointment *he* without me making comment of if my medications are helping stated "Your pain is not well controlled from what I can see."

    Now my Neurologist is an odd bird, he is Board Certified and a Diplomate in Neurology, plus a Board Certified Psychologist of all things! I am guessing his psychology training saw my unstated body language?

    When I was working, in order to carry pepper spray or tazers, we had to experience their affects first hand. Now with that stated, we didn't need to be shot to know it hurts, so I guess some doctors who many have never hurt a day in their lives can still be understanding and sympathetic. A doctor who has had chronic pain, it could back fire in that they think we should suck it up! So it could be a good thing, or could be a bad thing - depends on each doctor...

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • My pm has never, but he is completely understanding and compassionate. He is equally happy when treatment/injections help (I got a big hug and kiss on the cheek! lol) as well as when you are hurting, he genuinely wishes there was something he could do to take your pain away, and tries his hardest to find that something.

    My pcp has never either, but has experienced acute (temporary) neck and back pain, so is understanding of it, and sympathetic in that mine is chronic.

    As for your doctor, I also had the open menisectomy, and I can tell you, it was no picnic or walk in the park. Your doctor does know pain, if his was anything like mine...
    APROUD CANADIANveteranButNOTa doctor, my thoughts are my own
  • My GP says he never has any pain!
    So he has to rely on what I tell him about severity and so on.
    I often wonder if it makes a difference in his responses.
    So far he's been good and I have no problems, and he has lots of other patients in my position, so I think he's on the ball.
    He is always encouraging me to take as little pain meds as possible, which is good advice, providing I can still function.
    He trusts me now to judge what I need so if I need something stronger, I get it.
    Currently I am on a paracetamol regime with an occasional tramadol, so low dosage really.
  • My PM Dr broke his back in college playing football. And again in a
    plane accident 15 years later. So yes he knows pain.
    that why I trust him so much.

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