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Chronic pain


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Ahhhhh ... chronic pain, a very sticky issue indeed! I have suffered from chronic pain for about 4 years now, and I truly did suffer! Most PCP's will ignor the severity of the level of pain reported by the patient. Many will not Rx narcotic pain medication - instead trying the suffering individual on every drug class of medication known to man kind first. Then, if they do break down finally, and Rx a narcotic, it will not be a medication strong enough for chronic, severe pain, and it will only be enough to be comfortable 4-8 hours a day - leaving the patient to suffer for the remaining 16-20 hours. Not good by any standards. However, there is hope! Request a referral to a pain management clinic - these MD's are anesthesiologist's who specialize and deal with all kinds of pain on a daily basis. These folk's are creative, and can come with a well rounded, multidiscipline approach to your particular pain - you will not be treated in a "one-size-fits all" fashion, because (as you already know) no one person is the same as the next. They will strive to alleviate your pain to a threshold that is tolerable to you to improve your quality of life (the key idea here is not erradicate it, because that may not be possible). Some medications they may try are (just to list a few): anti-inflammatories (Nsaid's), steroids, muscle relaxers, transdermal patch or extended release and/or immediate release narcotics, antidepressants (not just for depression!), and/or many other types of medications not typically used by family practice MD's/DO's. Inaddition, other approaches in conjunction with medication are nerve stimulators or a TEN's unit (a low volt electrical current placed on the skin -transdermally - by patches and lead wires, which is adjusted by the patient) can be a good adjunct to med's. Also, Physical therapy, massage therapy, a referral to a pain psychologist/psychiatrist (to deal with anger, guilt and depression issues that come naturally with chronic pain), and perhaps trigger point injections (steroids with a local anesthetic into a single or multiple painful areas) is also helpful for some people. I have even had epidural steroids. And last - but not least - acupuncture and a good (and gentle!) chiropractor is also other options that you may find helpful. The point I am trying to make as briefly as possible is that multiple modalities are available and utilized in a pain management clinic for the chronic pain patient - who has more than likely agonized for years, suffering excessively and needlessly. They will believe you, ask your opinion, and even allow you choices. Pain management clinics are very busy places - keep in mind it is common to have to wait for your initial appointment as much away as six months, but believe me, it is so worth it! In the mean time, keep a pain diary to perhaps make connections with events that increase pain, or alleviate it you may not have noticed otherwise. Rate your pain on a scale of 0 (no pain) to 10 (worst pain ever!), and describe it (shooting, throbing, burning, aching, etc). also include how well do you sleep due to pain each night(quality, and number of hours on the average). I can't stress enough to be prepared before your appointment, jot down a medical history (i.e. previous illnesses, surgeries, when your pain first started, what you have tried in the past with other doctors that did/did not work, etc...). also list all prior medications you have tried for your pain, dosages, length of time tried, if it helped - this will prevent "reinventing the wheel" in a manner of speaking, and eliminating the possibility of your doctor prescribing a drug you have already tried without success,thus prolonging your suffering and wasting valuable time. Your first appointment will be long, so be prepared for that as well. With each follow up visit you need to be prepared as well. Remember - these MD's see many people in their clinic each day. Write down questions (in order of most to least important) prior to your appointment that you may think of - trust me, in the rush of your appointment you are likely to forget something important! Most of all, good luck! I assume you may have suffered with your pain for years, and some chronic pain is invisable to the naked eye. Friends, family and even one's doctor can sometimes be unsympathetic and even not believe the pain is as bad as reported. Remember that you have the right to proper pain control, and to be comfortable. I hope that this may assist you in obtaining a more enjoyable and a better quality of life. Also remember that I believe you.


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