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First Pain Management Appt... Scared! First Pain Management Appt... Scared!

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Unread 08-31-2005, 12:53 AM
First Pain Management Appt... Scared!

Hey gals... I need some advice and/or words from the wise... and maybe a couple of s if you can spare 'em!!
I've never been to a pain management doc before, and I have my first appointment next Tuesday (Sept.6th).
I've been in severe, almost non-stop pain for years and have been through the whole circuit of several gyns and docs like most of you here have been. Well, my last gyn (namesake, lol) washed his hands of me yesterday (see my "X-Ray for Adhesions?" post for details, ha ha) and since I've had so many bad experiences, I'm kind of scared about the upcoming appointment with the new doc.
I think one of the things I am most afraid of is the fact that I get pre-judged as soon as people see me. This isn't something that I wanted to bring up here, due to the fact that I'm afraid I might be judged by it here as well, but I think it is key to my individual problem, so I have to spill the beans.
First off, let me say that I am probably the most Betty Crocker mom-type in the town I live in... My DH & DD are my closest friends. I don't drink or do drugs. I smile at everyone I pass in the street or at the grocery store. I pray for people in crisis... you get the basic idea. I just look different than your average Jane.
My DH & I are both full-time artists and are creative on the outside as well... I have tattoos (they are beautiful to me, but... well... you can imagine). To most docs, especially small-town docs, that equals drug-seeking psychopath. I can wear long sleeves and trousers, but when they want you in a gown for an exam, your full-length clothing is probably seen as a sort of contrived disguise that they "caught" you at or something... so I usually wear something nice, but I don't try to hide everything.
So I'm sort of afraid on that score. Nothing I can do about that except the usual. Just tell the truth: I want to be a happy, healthy, pain-free woman. I want to give back to my family. I want to create/work. I want to live. I want to sleep through the night. Etc...

I'm also afraid because I have no idea what to expect. Could some folks here with PM docs share their experiences? Do they keep a big spatula in the office to scrape you off the ceiling when they do the initial exam?? Do they NEED to? I'm super tender - in a LOT of pain and really freaked out about the whole thing. After the PM doc tortures me, what are the odds I'll go home with no pain meds of any kind? (That's what happened w/the gyn yesterday)

Okay... sorry for the lengthy freak-out... I'm just being a weenie... I'm scared. (Tell me I'm going to come out of this alive)
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Unread 08-31-2005, 04:06 AM
Reguarding being judged

Dear Slap....
Ok here goes..You seem to have a great since of humor...well I hope you do!! I mean NO offence in what I'm about to say so please take NONE!!
I am a divorced Mom of 2 boys.I am also a Non-drinker and Non- drug user! (Oh I hope your not judging me yet!!) And I DO NOT have a single tatoo!!!(Almost did once after my divorce??But didnt!!) However I am a pretty open minded person! And I certiantly wasnt put on this earth to judge people...I thought that was Gods job??
Anyway I would think that given the fact you have tatoos, and I get the impression you have many? I would think that any Doctor that sees this side of you (IF THEY ARE OPEDED MINDED!!)would stop and think for a minute and listen to what your seeing them for PAIN!!! Now from what I've heard, tatoos can HURT when you get them??!! So if you have some, or many,, I would think they would realise you must have a pretty high tolerance to pain!! And the simple fact you havent been on pain meds..should say something about you!!!
Listen girlfriend...If this PM Doc give you a hard time and you sence you are being judged by your apeirance ....SAY EXACTLY THAT TO him/her!! Call them on it!! And tell them how HIGH your pain tolerance is!
I for one am SOO stinken sick and tired for people being judged for their SIZE, SHAPE, SEX, LOOKS,WEIGHT,and COLOR!! And given the fact you have probably a little red, green,purple, blue.....
I really wish you the best!! And hope you have some luck with this PM Doc!! Let us know how you make out!! Take care...Netty
Unread 08-31-2005, 06:51 AM
First Pain Management Appt... Scared!

I wanted to reply to your request-I have been seeing a Pain Management Specialist since May to treat my pain due to adhesions and nerve entrapment due to my hyst last Nov. (I've posted on the adhesion subject before) I really like him. He is very well respected and according to my Gyn the best PM Dr. in this area. He must be, the office is always full of patients and sometimes it takes hours to see him. My course of treatment, so far hasn't included any form of injection and as he said two appts. ago he is "trying hard not to stick me." That is fine w/ me I don't want to be stuck. He's been trying medications to treat the neuropathy. No "pain pills" according to him and what I've read they don't help this kind of pain anyway. The whole thing is frustrating, but I am trying to be patient until we get the right combo to work. Sometimes I do feel like a lab rat though. I see him today probably for a refill on the latest med. Good luck on your appt. next week and keep us posted.
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Unread 08-31-2005, 01:20 PM
First Pain Management Appt... Scared!

Hey, Slap!

I wanted to reassure you that you will come out of this alive! And, offer a heartfelt

I agree that some people will prejudge you based on appearance. I truly hope your PM is not one of those people. In fact, I hope this PM is the most supportive, knowledgable, wonderful doctor you've ever experienced.

Keep us posted. We do care.
Unread 08-31-2005, 02:59 PM
First Pain Management Appt... Scared!

Hi again!
I wanted to say - hopefully your PM doc will be as wonderful as mine! And to top things off - mine did a total "eval" of my pain, and my medical history before she ever asked me to get undressed. So she never had a chance to judge me based on what was under my clothes! That being said - going to the Pain Mgt doctor has been a Godsend. She has been so incredibly kind to me. And she actually believes me that I'm experiencing this pain. I've had so many doctors look at me like I had two heads - saying "you have nothing in there - why would you still be having pain!?" So, while she has hurt me trying to find out where my pain is coming from, she always makes sure that I have meds to keep me comfy. And she appreciated the fact that I didn't necessarily want to be stuck on narcotics the rest of my life. So she had many options for us to try.

Good luck! And let us know how it goes!!!

Tons of s coming your way!
Unread 08-31-2005, 03:47 PM
First Pain Management Appt... Scared!

I've had very good results with pain mgmt. I found my docs to be nothing but helpful, not judgemental at all! A pain mgmt doc should understand about pain as that is their speciality and they deal with people who are going thru it on a daily basis.

My first pain doc took a very thorough history of my pain and problems. I did make sure to have all my records with me so they could see what has been done and the things I have tried to help relieve the pain. The doc was glad that I had brought everything in. I also brought in a list of the meds I was currently taking and meds that I had tried that didn't work. That saved some time as she didn't suggest something that I had already tried. We talked, she examined me and than we talked about a treatment plan.

Good luck with your appointment! I hope the doctor will be kind, caring and will help to bring you some relief.

Unread 09-02-2005, 07:54 PM
First Pain Management Appt... Scared!

Dear Slap--
Your story sounds similar to mine (I have a few tatoo's myself and I am a pre-school teacher at my church!!). I am seeing a PM specialist for the first time on the 14th of September. I have heard good things about PM's and that they can also use alternative methods such as acupuncture. Lucky for me my gyn has been so good to me. I had my fourth surgery for adhesions and endo in April (I had my hyst in oct. 2003) and he simply told me that besides another surgery there was nothing more he could do and would I be open to going to see a PM. I knew that I wasn't going to have another surgery any time soon, so why not....

I feel the same way as you do-- I just want to lead a pain-free life and give back to my family. I honestly don't know what it would feel like to not have pain or discomfort or worry that what I am doing, I will pay for later. It's hard for those around me to fully understand what this feels like. I am just sick and tired of feeling sick and tired, ya know??

Best wishes to you and I hope your appointment goes well. May this be a solution to your pain and you can be freed from it and be the woman you want to be....

God Bless..........Crystal
Unread 09-05-2005, 01:16 AM
First Pain Management Appt... Scared!

Bless every single one of you... I think I've found the greatest board on earth!!!
((Netty)) I was positively bowled over by your opener, lol! Thanks for the great advice... I actually did use the tattoos as pain level gauge argument in the ER the other night (been off of here a few days due to the trigger point injections aggravating the pain problem, ugh)! I greatly look forward to getting to talk to you more here... you strike me as a true gem.
((dixiet)) I've read up a lot on the neuro approach. Due to severe imbalances after my hyst., I've been on Cymbalta and Topamax for Manic Depression. These two have completely leveled out the condition. I've read that these two drugs are also used to treat CPP and are two of the most popular. Do you have any experience with either of these? In any case, I've been on these for months and the pain has been increasing. Any insight to share? I really appreciate any help you may be able to share. I hope your PM doc will find the right treatment for you soon... I know how you feel about the whole lab rat thing... that's what I've been going through for years with different docs, flubbed diagnosis, et al. I truly feel for you. I wish you the best!
((michelle35)) Thanks so much for the support & hugs... that means a lot! It's great to know there are people out there rooting for ya
((cortney)) Hey sweetie! Gawsh, I really hope my doc is going to be even half as great as yours! I can't tell you how many times I've gotten the, "but there's nothing there" speech. Just because it doesn't show up on X-Ray doesn't mean it doesn't exist... ugh. I really appreciate the hugs and support... it really helps!!
((Kim M)) Your reply really set a lot into motion for me. Here's what I did last night - I wrote up and printed out a document containing the following: Surgical procedures relating to pain- Related in-office procedures (Trigger Point Injections, etc.)- Dietary measures I've taken- Excersize & physical activity- Alternative physical (meditation, deep breathing, abdominal massage, etc.)- Homeopathic remedies- Other (heat/ice therapy, etc.)- Rx med. history relating to condition... Basically, I listed everything I've tried (with sidenotes on the reactions acheived with each) over the years to get the pain under control - whether they were under a doc's advisement (Rx) or my own idea (yoga, homeopathic medicine, vegetarian diet, etc.). That way, he'll have a definitive list of the things that have worked, failed miserably, et cetera. Thanks for the best wishes & the hugs!!
((Crystal)) Thank you so much for sharing that with me... It's horrible to know that you are experiencing the same issues, but I hope you will see a comrade in me - as well as the other women here. We'll ALL get through this, love. I know it feels like we're hanging over the canyon by an eyelash, but we have to hang tight. When you feel like you might lose your grip, come here and ask if you are alone. There are so many waiting to catch you.
You keep everyone posted... I'll keep everyone posted - and let's keep our fingers crossed for eachother and everyone here
Very, very best wishes!
Unread 09-05-2005, 01:06 PM
First Pain Management Appt... Scared!

Crystal: What you wrote about "leading a pain free life and giving back to your family" sound like my exact thoughts and words. I feel like such a burden to them because I have been in pain and discomfort for so long. I am the type that just has to talk about it. I can't act like everything is fine when its not. Therefore friend, co-workers, family etc. have started avoiding me and don't want to ask "how are you"? They don't want to hear. I've tried many things to relieve pain and have thought each surgery was the answer, but no. I hadn't even thought about going to a pain management specialist. I guess I didn't think they dealt with female issues. I will have to see if I can find one in my area. Do you think a female doctor would understand better?
So great to have all you sisters to listen and understand!
Unread 09-06-2005, 06:33 AM
First Pain Management Appt... Scared!

Dear Slap:
Just wanted to let you know that cymbalta is the new med I am taking. PM has me on 900mg of Neurontin and 30mg of the cymbalta a day. It does seen to ease the pain. "Flare ups" don't get quite as intense or last as long. The down side is the side effects the cymbalta killed my appetite, makes me very tired, causes me to "zone out"-I catch myself just staring in space sometimes-it also aggrivates the constipation I've had due to the adhesions. But anyway, we'll see how it goes. PM did give me a three month break from coming in, unless I need him and that thrilled me. Until last Nov. I only went to Dr. once a year for annual exam, I've probably been in about 2 dozen times since then. Again good luck on your appt. and keep us posted.

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