Welcome to hw. As you've already discovered, this is a great place to come & vent & you will get a lot of support from everyone here. As to seeing a PM vs. your pcp, it really depends on how far your pcp is willing to go in terms of prescribing for you. I used to see a PM, but now I just see my pcp & I love him to death. The good thing about PM's is that most of them do procedures (some only do procedures & don't give out meds). The do never blocks & injections which are helpful to many people. Like others have said, there are alternatives to pain meds. Some antidepressants (like cymbalta & elavil) & nerve mediciation (like neurontin & lyrica) works for some people, it's something you many want to talk to you doctor about. Unfortunately, my pain wasn't helped by either procedures or antidepressants/nerve meds, so yes I do take pain medication. But like PAlady said, I absolutely hate taking the stuff & wish everyday that I didn't have to take it. But unfortunately, it is the reality of things. Sometimes we have to do things that we don't like. In terms of side effects, everyone reacts differently to different meds, so maybe you and your doctor can work together to find the med that works best for you & has the least amount of side effects, so you can still play with your little ones. Good luck!