I had a followup with my pain management doctor today. I have been under his care for about 4 years now and we have formed a good relationship. I think he knows me fairly well, how to read my pain levels, my mental state, when we need to try something else, etc.
A week ago I had an RFA C2-3-4, so today was followup, and he also did some trigger points on the other side.
He proceeded to do a particularly painful series of injections in the base of my skull, so that the steroid would form a line and give me the best relief on that upper level where he couldn't do the RFA. That thing hurt like **()@. I mumbled an expletive as he was doing that area, because I did not expect it to be that bad. Afterwards he told me that "this hurts bad", but he went ahead and did it on me because he knows that "I am Tough."
What a compliment!
I've had some small concerns over the effects my medications are having on me, and we discussed those concerns. He explained and reassured me that all was well physically with me. Also, we discussed the fact that it takes me 4 months to go through my bottle of percocet, which I only take when I just can't stand it anymore, or when I want to go out somewhere and enjoy it. I routinely take tramadol, and it does help somewhat, but the perc definitely does a better job. My wonderful doctor said to me: "Cindy I know you will never become addicted to what I am giving you." My response was "why do you say that?" He said because I take the meds the way they are meant to be taken, and even though he prescribes it to me as 120 percocets to be taken 1 @ 4 x day if needed, I responsibly take it as a breakthrough and only when I absolutely have to. He has complete trust in me with my medications. He asks me what I need, treats me with respect, listens to me, and tries to find the best remedies for ME, not for what will make him the most money. In fact, I'll share another instance.
I was trying to have an SCS approved. We discussed this at my monthly visits for over a year before I finally decided I was ready for the trial. Then it took 7 (yes seven) months for my insurance to approve it. During that 7 months, my PM doctor had done some more training on pain pumps, (which he was vehemently against previously) and given my situation that most of my pain is nerve related, and that it is over multiple limbs, Dr. H started having reservations about doing the SCS, as it would only help my neck and one arm. When he offered the SCS, it was the best thing he believed in that may help, but he never thought it was the gold key to my pain relief. The month that my insurance approved my SCS, I was so happy, I had hope that relief was in sight. But Dr. H backed out of it, stating that he now felt that I should use a pain pump with a medication to target the nerves, because it would help all of me, not just part. I was devastated, and a little bit angry, because he just ruined the hopes that I had of relief. At my next visit with him, we discussed the SCS again. He told me that he had given my case a lot of thought. He explained to me that he could make A LOT of money if he went ahead with the SCS. He himself does not do the pain pump, so he didn't stand to earn anything on that. But because he wanted to do what was best for me, he only felt it right to rescind his suggestion of an SCS. It was the right thing to do for the patient, but the wrong thing to do for his finances.
Now that is a good doctor!
Just wanted to share that there are some great pain management doctors out there who truly do have your best interest at heart. If you move to Idaho, I'll give you a referral!
Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!