Later today I have an appointment at the pain clinic.
The pain specialist I’ll be meeting with is the one who completed my intake last summer. I like her because she is not only thorough she is also very sympathetic. She is an anesthesiologist who specializes in pain management. What that means is that she has extensive knowledge of medications in addition to how the body responds to pain.
Before I met her the doctors treating me questioned the probability that my congenital condition was causing me the level of pain I reported. When she examined me my responses to cold, heat and and external pain stimuli were not within normal ranges – I am hypersensitive to all three. She also confirmed that my range of motion is substantially affected by my pain.
When the pain specialist delivered her report, my family doctor/general practitioner finally stopped pushing me to take antidepressants – she believed my pain was psychological. Because of that belief she had a theory that a certain brand of antidepressant would effectively treat my pain – it didn’t even make a dent. Upon receipt of the pain clinic’s report, she finally conceded that my pain is very real and started prescribing the level of pain medications I need to cope with the pain. She also stopped making me take the pain-filled trek into her office every few weeks so she could ‘assess’ me, which was a welcome outcome because traveling to see her caused me a lot of extra pain.
My reluctant surgeon’s attitude shifted too. When I first met her last summer she was almost dismissive of me and my concerns. She actually told me in that first appointment that she had not reviewed my images ahead of meeting me and needed to schedule time with her radiologist to do so before she could complete my diagnosis. That did not fill me with a lot of confidence. However, after she received the pain clinic’s report she started investigating options for dealing with my congenital condition that might not cause me incremental long-term pain or have a long list of poor outcomes.
Without the pain clinic I imagine that I would still be foundering to find doctors willing to listen to me and develop the right treatment plan(s) or give the proper level of support for me to cope with my pain. It makes me hope that others who are living with chronic pain resulting from any condition/illness are equally as fortunate to get the level of care they need from their healthcare providers.
Three Days Grace – Pain