Being referred helps. I have one friend who is a nurse, she helped me find the pain doctor I am with now. He is also a pyschiatrist. He is wonderful. I made sure they had all my medical records, and my past drug screens from my former pain doctor, I didn't have problems.
The biggest obstacle you will face when finding a pain doctor is drug seeking. They want to rule that out right off the bat. Your medical records, your surgeries, and your illness can help with that. For you, just from your post, I think it will be more of a question of why did you wait so long...
You should expect a delay too, it took me about 4-6 weeks to get into my current pain doctor. And some info for you, when you do find a pain doctor, and you are their patient, should anything go wrong, anything at all, and you want to see another pain doctor, they have to keep treating you, scripting you meds, for up to 3 months while you search.
CD dx @ 13 (1987)
Prednisone 20mg every other day
Zantac 150 - Twice Day