Posted 10/4/2014 4:14 AM (GMT -8)
I'm sure you've all had this reaction from doctors. When they see you're in pain management it sends up this HUGE red flag. I totally get that in ER doctors but I don't with 'regular' physicians.
First of all I would like to tell you that I am not a drug addict. While it peeves me that I have to come out and say that, I completely understand why doctors are leery. I have never abused the medications I have been prescribed for pain. I have been on long and short-acting narcotics for a fairly long period of time. I am aware of my physical dependence on these medications. I am also aware of the difference between physical dependence and addiction.
When I entered pain management I felt like I was giving up. "Being put out to pasture," so to speak. For most patients it is not an easy decision to make, especially when one is aware of the stigma.
I want you to know that in a good pain management clinic, it is expected that:
Patients undergo regular toxicology testing. Patients are sometimes called in for random pill counts. Patients are forbidden to obtain narcotics or sedatives from any other physician. Patients must comply with suggestions for alternative therapies in most cases. Failure to follow these strict regulations usually results in discontinuation of treatment by the physician after a brief, gradual taper. If that were to happen, no other pain management doc will ever treat you.
Any pain management doctor worth their salt will look for the lowest effective dose, require patients to undergo physical and psychological therapy and address BOTH mind and body. The best pain management docs truly desire to help their patients get relief with the least amount of medication possible.
I have been suffering with chronic pain for over a year with no end in sight, despite my many efforts to find the root of the problem and treat it effectively, I still haven't gotten the resolution I desire. There are thousands of patients suffering every day who have been dealing with this way longer than I. The day-to-day struggle of chronic pain is not something one can truly understand unless they've dealt with it. Not being able to take care of your normal daily responsibilities. Pain interferes with every aspect of your life, from work to family to friendships, and chronic pain sufferers become isolated and depressed.
So please, then next time you see a patient who tells you they are in a pain management program, instead of labeling that person a junkie, understand that a) they're not coming to you for meds. This would be a violation of any pain management contract, and b) they know you think they're a junkie. You might as well come out and say it. Good patients strive to be honest with their doctors, and good doctors should be honest with their patients.
Please hear my plea, and be kind to us chronic pain sufferers. If there was a magic way we could all get relief from the constant struggle of pain, we'd sign up. Unfortunately that magic bullet doesn't exist. So what we can do now is simply be proactive about our treatment with support from a good medical team.
I may be in pain management, but I am still a person that deserves effective treatment, along with all the other chronic pain sufferers in the world.>>
what did I miss?