Hi Southviewgirl and Welcome back!
I agree that the majority of doctors just don't "get it" when it comes to chronic pain. Unfortunately the illegal market for many of the pain meds have tainted the way much of the medical community thinks about
treating pain. There are very good pain medications and doctors, who choose to spend the time, can dispense and monitor them fairly easily. You, I nor anyone else with chronic pain should have to put up with being treated like a drug seeker but unless we stand up for ourselves it's often hard to get around. If we get vocal then we are labeled and from then on no one will help us.
One place that is more helpful with treating chronic pain is a teaching/university hospital. They serve the patient from all 3 angles.....they train the next generation of doctors, they are the core of research in this country and many others and they work with patients, especially those who are either hard to treat or have trouble getting good treatment. I've been an advocate of them for many years although I've never needed to use them. There are a couple in Southern California that I WOULD go to if I lived in that area...namely UC Davis and Stanford. Their pain centers are amazing from everything I've read and seen. If you are interested in finding a teaching hospital near you here's a link that will get you started. It's located in the Chronic Pain 101 thread also.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_university_hospitals
I'm a bit like Char...neck/shoulder problems that could be looked into with surgery but the odds are just not good enough for me. I talked to my orthopedic surgeon that did several procedures on my hands/wrists. He told me that people like me with lower back and/or neck problems often have surgery only to fine the pain return within 2 years. I'll do what I can without surgery unless I'm driven to it by pain that can't be controlled well enough.
So there's my 2 cents too. Hope you find some answers or ideas that can help you....you don't need to, nor should you be suffering without good treatment.
Moderator on the Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain forums
“If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things.” Albert Einstein