I have 7 herniated disks and DDD
3 Nov 2013
Don't expect much mainly take your history and set up a pain regimen. They will offer you tests later in to determine what level your pain is. I was with a pain management for a year and it was a waste of my time. They said no to surgery and my primary said yes so it was a long battle that I one. Be your own advocate. Know your pain and know what your body needs. Have you try a physitry (sp) a pain doctor?
3 Nov 2013
Hi and welcome to DC. This is a great support group for those of us with chronic pain which I am sure you must have with 7 herniated discs. You certainly have me beat.
As far as pain management goes it can vary from doctor to doctor and state to state. They will want to know what you have tried so far. Many options available. When I started they referred me to physical therapy and I signed an agreement to not get pain meds from anywhere else. And agreed to random drug screening. Next I did steroid injections, nerve blocks, nerve function tests. Basically I have tried it all and am still on medication but my pain is finally manageable. I now go every 3 months in order to continue my prescriptions.
I hope you can find the right treatment to help manage your pain. Unfortunately there is no cure for spine conditions , just treatment. I have finally accepted that after 3 years. I hope it goes well and check back in and let us know how it went.
4 Nov 2013
Lucy explained it. I just want to add, do not ever ask for a narcotic pain med. They then think we're drug seekers and are very reluctant to prescribe anything. Keep a pain diary and keep track of the pain level in the 1-10 format, where it is, what kind it is, aching, burning etc, and what you did for it. I'm going to see a new one since I moved. I was handed a folder full of papers to fill out, by my primary, and that gives a good idea of the first visit. Your history, what makes pain better what makes it worse. I also have the narcotic contract, so you can get a chance to read it well. You will also have random urine tests, some docs do them on the first visit some don't. If you are on several medications, take the info written out, name, dose and how often you take it. I prefer to be able to hand them my info and have the time to talk to him about my pain.
I keep a list of my meds in mednotes, at the top of the page, then when I am going to a new dr I just print it out. Also take a written list of anything you want to talk about or ask. I know I'm a babbling idiot when I get into the office. Here is something I have heard that I think isn't right, but this happens. They judge us by how we look, are we clean, are our clothes clean and well cared for? That kind of thing. I guess only drug abusers are scruffy.
4 Nov 2013
it can vary quite a bit. the number one thing is don't expect to walk out of there with precriptions(s) in hand on your first visit. that sounds really sh***y, I know. Especially when many people have waited weeks, even months, to get a referral and appointment. This is the number one reason that I've chosen a more expensive PPO option over HMO. its very liberating to be able to go where I want, & not be at the mercy of a GP.
Pain management offices do this "getting to know you" process, its usually a pain in the arse because its designed to frustrate and drive away tbkse that really don't need the meds. They'll give you another reason for it, but its BS. I've seen a few different ones & finally found a great one who doesnt demand that I go to Tai chi, support groups, PT... but rather lets me CHOOSE what interests and works for ME. A good PMD also knows that pain mgt is achieved typically with 2-3 meds, not one. Watch for signs that tbhe care about YOU & not only how the FDA is going to look at them. Some are so focussed on that, it clouds their judgement when treating patients. its sad how the abusers bave ruined it for us all with real pain. but its a catch 22 because some of the people buying medication off the street ARE pain patients themselves. They have been underprescibed by scared doctors and suppliment their presciptions themselves. i actually fear what may happen in a few years if my issue ends up being lifelong. who knows what hoops we will have to jump through just to get our medication a few years from now :-( I wish you luck & hope you found one of the good ones.
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