When somebody suffers from chronic pain, it seems that they are often viewed as a drug user when looking for pain relief. Not just by family, friends, or co-workers either, but by the medical profession too. And if that person seeks help from multiple doctors for help, it just looks even more like an attempt to score pain medications.
When you look at the rise in drug abuse by way of opioids, it is easy to see why every pain doctor is cautious with prescribing medications. But unfortunately, it leaves the patient with no power but a lot of stress and still in pain.
So how can you get help from your pain doctor without seeming like a drug addict? Or are you just doomed to live with your chronic pain forever? Here we have a few suggestions from people who have been there and lived through it:
Be openly honest about your recreational drug use, if you have any. Hiding it will only put you at risk of any medication your pain doctor may prescribe backfiring. If you have multiple doctors, be honest with each of them what medications or other treatments you have tried. Have a copy of your medical records from each doctor you’ve seen, including any pain doctor, sent to the others. Again, not sharing this information could only have risks if you’re prescribed medications that may not work well with what another doctor has prescribed you. Ask questions on your pain doctor’s findings and if you don’t understand the answer or the prescribed therapy, ask for clarification. Answer all the questions your pain doctor may ask as thoroughly as possible, being completely honest and open. Keep every appointment – even if you wake up in severe pain that morning, don’t skip any appointments.
Sometimes, it isn’t that your pain doctor suspects you of drug abuse, but perhaps they didn’t understand how bad your chronic pain is? Misunderstandings are common between patients and their doctor which can lead to misdiagnosis. Here are three things that are recommended to make sure that doesn’t happen for you.
Be Your Own Advocate And Speak Up
As we stated above, answer your pain doctor’s questions honestly and thoroughly as possible. And ask questions. The more informed you are, the more you understand, the better your pain management treatment will be.
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If You Don’t Agree, Speak Up
If your doctor is prescribing a medication that you didn’t have a good response with before, let them know you’ve had it and what happened. But be willing to listen to their complete plan because they may be prescribing something to go with it that will offset that happening again.
And if you feel like your pain doctor isn’t listening to you, speak up. Let them know you appreciate their busy schedule, but you have made time for your appointment and you need their full, undivided attention while there.
Write Down What You Want To Ask
Before your pain doctor appointment, write down all the concerns and issues you have as well as any questions. Do not let the appointment end without your list being marked off as completely covered.