I had my first visit with a pain clinic on Wednesday. I was not expecting to be impressed. I have been passed around this group of doctors since December now and none of them really seem to know the difference between an acute spinal cord injury and a chronic injury. I was amazingly surprised. I have never been to a pain clinic before. I have never been to a doctor who wasn't pushing anti-depressants at me either.
My first visit consisted of talking to a care coordinator for two hours about three weeks ago. I can't even remember most of that conversation. Wednesday's visit involved talking to a 4th year resident along with the pharmacist who re-arranaged some of the meds I was already taking and added a couple of drugs none of which are anti-depressants. I can email this Care coordinator at anytime and I am expected to.I have never had that kind of patient/provider relationship.
I am set up to have an MRi on Friday because it has been 9 years since I have had any scans and I am also referred to a physiatrist who specializes in chronic aging spinal cord injuries as well as a counselor who specializes in people with chronic pain who can in the doctors words "connect me to the applicable community resources that I need". That will also include appointments with an orthotist and a urologist.
I had so much anxiety and worry over this appointment. I had to sign a contract that I would only see that practice and they would prescribe my meds and I would use only one pharmacy. They drug test every time I go. I really don't mind this now that I have met the Pharm D running the program and know that his goals and my goals are the same.
I think for me him just saying "I get it" meant alot. I did not have to explain in detail what being on fire meant and he did not ask me to describe it.
The night before my appointment I had not slept at all. We had storms and my legs were on fire all night long. So I was tearful and very truthful with him as to how the pain has effected my quality of life. I am not usually that open even with my doctors and maybe that is part of my problem....