This thread is to ask a general opinion of whether I should seek a pain management program and how to approach this with my doctor.
I have read some of the stories here and it further adds to another dilemma I have considered for a long time.
My major hangup about seeking attention from a pain management specialist is what I consider to be a relatively minor injury compared to the horrible diseases and injuries that others suffer. Call it guilt or whatever you want, but my injury seems petty or unworthy compared to the pain others have to put up with. A big part of me says "you're tougher than this" but at the same time I have seen my life and my happiness crumble because of issues related to my pain. Please, give me your honest opinion about who should seek a pain specialist's help.
A little backstory:
I'm a 27 year old man and for over three years I have been dealing with a shoulder injury I sustained while mountain biking. I basically took a jump and landed wrong (on the back of my shoulder) which tore my shoulder ligaments, cracked a few ribs, and gave me a nice concussion. I sustained a grade IV Acromioclavicular separation (AC Seperation) which affects my shoulder. I re-injured my shoulder close to a year after my initial injury and have had three surgeries (about one a year) since.
I now find myself in a precarious situation; I am essentially as fixed as I can get (I forgot my Orthopedic Physician's exact terminology) but I still have constant pain.
Over these last few years I have been prescribed Norco and occasionally Oxycodone for my pain. At times I felt dependent on the pain medication, not to abuse nor to simply have the drug-- instead, to keep the pain away. I don't believe I am an addict but at the same time I believe I need pain medicine to function. I find myself in constant fear of doing something to cause greater pain in my shoulder.