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Referred to a Pain Management doc

DedalusDDedalus Posts: 101
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:33 AM in Chronic Pain
Hello all. I got some good news yesterday. I am NOT going to have surgery!

Now of course, that leads to the bad news... I have to learn to live with my pain. To that end, I have been referred to a Pain Management doctor. I looked through the site a bit and couldn't find anything to answer my questions. What should I expect out of the first visit? What should I expect overall?

What I have been hoping for all along is to have a doc I can develop a relationship with. A doc I can count on to be there and not to "fire" me because I don't get better on their schedule. Is a pain doc the right place for me? Or is it just a place other docs dump their unwanted patients?

(Why do doctors make it sound like I am a failure in some way just because their treatments didn't solve the problem? They really have a way of making you feel like a horrible person for not getting better even though you've do EVERYTHING they tell you to do? It is so demoralizing and depressing!)
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1

Comments

  • Great! Your last paragraph made me think you'd already seen a PM or had had surgery and it failed. =))

    I am not the best person to answer this question, since my PM experience so far has been a nightmare from reactions to meds they tried me on, and other things, that really aren't totally the fault of the doctor (I think).

    I think you will find that the best way to approach it is "this doctor must earn my trust, but I must earn his as well". (Approach it as if you are going to go swimming in an area (ocean, lake, pond) where you've never been before. Carefully, pay attention to everything, (above and below the "water"), and watch out for dangerous elements.)

    Don't hold anything back. If you feel he did not hear you when you told him something important about your health, repeat it, or ask if he heard you. (mine admitted yesterday that he did not know I had HBP, yet I know I told him.)

    I'm sure there are others here that can probably help more. I am horrible at talking to my doctors. I know what I should do and say, but somehow they always intimidate me, and I forget important things, or I just give up.

    Good luck, and I'm sure you will find it will be a beneficial experience!

    >:D<
  • that's a good question. maybe the dr.s want their day brightened up by seeing success stories all day long. the person that's a wreck and hasn't responded to his care becomes unwanted.
    well i guess all you can do is keep looking. hopefully the right one will surface.
    all you can do is go in, be honest and hope the dr. is interested. try to forget the old failed relationships and look for a new beginning.
    pete
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  • that's a good question. maybe the dr.s want their day brightened up by seeing success stories all day long. the person that's a wreck and hasn't responded to his care becomes unwanted.
    well i guess all you can do is keep looking. hopefully the right one will surface.
    all you can do is go in, be honest and hope the dr. is interested. try to forget the old failed relationships and look for a new beginning.
    pete
  • that's a good question. maybe the dr.s want their day brightened up by seeing success stories all day long. the person that's a wreck and hasn't responded to his care becomes unwanted.
    well i guess all you can do is keep looking. hopefully the right one will surface.
    all you can do is go in, be honest and hope the dr. is interested. try to forget the old failed relationships and look for a new beginning.
    pete
  • Hey pete, tell her again! lol

    I've had bad experiences with my pain management doctors, but I know there are others here who have a good relationship with theirs and are getting the help they need.

    My first pain management doctor was a real jerk, I'd use much much harsher language but it's not allowed here. He is an anesthesiologist by training and said to me that he doesn't believe in prescribing opiates. So all he did was use me as a pin cushion, giving me every injection you can think of. Some helped, most didn't, and the last ones increased my pain astronomically.

    The worst part is that the only reason my primary sent me to him was so that he would either handle my meds or give her guidance so that she could do it. So I really had no one to do that, she continued to prescribe, but refused to increase dosage or try something else. So here he is increasing my pain, and there they both are not willing to help me do anything about that increased pain. I'm not mad at my primary for this, she explained that I am her only chronic pain patient and she just doesn't know what to do for me and is afraid of hurting me if she messes around with opiates, muscle relaxers, anti-depressants for nerve pain, etc. She's actually a great doctor, the whole family loves her.

    Anyway, so we fired him, I was reduced to curling up in a ball crying all day, and it was all his fault, so time to find someone who knows what they are doing! I'm seeing a new pain management doctor, she's actually a prescribing nurse. I'm not thrilled, but it's only been a month and a half. I am doing better but still in far too much pain to lead a productive and functional life. Right now my biggest complaint is that she refuses to prescribe any breakthrough meds. I have long acting meds that are bringing my pain down to a certain extent, but I still have at least a couple times a day that are really high pain, and the worst of it is usually at night so that I can't sleep.

    Anyway, wish me luck that things start turning around and I am doing the same for you. I hope your pain management doctor turns out to be someone with a lot of compassion and who wants you to be productive and useful, instead of one of these jerks!
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  • I haven't a real pain doc, but, I was sent to a four-week pain management clinic. Their main goal was to, at that time(2 yrs ago), eliminate my two vicodin a day (for P.T.);however, their claim to fame was breathing, and bio-feedback. If a doc were to go to this extent, I would have needed 160 office visits!
    Of course, deep breathing helped after a half-hour, but, then I had to leave the couch for the REAL WORLD. Needed it back about ten minuters later!
    Techniques are wonderful.
    Needing them are...well, not so much.
    Bring lists, and take notes. Good luck.
  • Sounds like I am in for a wonderful experience. And yes, that is sarcasm.

    No wonder pain and depression (and sometimes suicide) go hand in hand. And my situation is pretty mild compared to many of the stories I read here. It's shameful the way we are treated by the medical community.
  • Try looking down in the pain management section of the forum. You may find some info there.

    Non prescribing pain docs can be, well a pain...
    If you get stuck with one, I have found that repeated intervention BY my PCP have helped work out the details to get me my pain meds. For me it seems that one can not rely on the Pain doc, PM, to do any of the footwork or whatever to help the PCP prescribe.

    Once we learned the PM would not lift a hand to help the PCP on his own, my PCP simply started calling him and would not take no for an answer.

    After three years of back and forth I am now the proud, har, har, owner of a Spinal Cord Stimulator. My PM will actualy go out of his way to come in and talk to me when I am in for adjustements etc, yeat when I was searching for the right answer for me, well....

    Anyway, if you are stuck, I would always default to the PCP. Mine has told me it is his job to take care of me in some form if he can't find anyone else to do it.

    Try to keep an open mind. When we go in expecting a bad experience we usually end up with one.
  • I agree it is VERY depressing. I have been through it all, to no avail. For a year did physical therapy and finally had surgery about 3 mos ago. I wish I could have opted to have the surgery back when I very first had the pain, but the doctors make you try all the conservative approaches first, such as, therapy, injections... etc.
    I wish you LUCK - take care.
  • Dont put all PMs in the same arena. My PM is VERY good. Upon my first visit i told her i wanted relief from my chronic pain but would not take any hard narcotics or opiods. She stated " I DONT BLAME YOU". We have worked thru several med theraphies to no avail so now she stated my only option would be a SCS. She never forced anything on me it was always a team effort. ME and HER. Got my SCS and am happy with it. So keep trying to you find a GOOD PM. One that works with you not against you.If you live in NE Florida i know a good one
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