There is a lot of information on pain management. I even have a pain management doctor. But what constitutes pain management? I have several prescriptions for pain management – patches, pills, etc. I go to the gym and exercise to help control my pain. I do regular stretching and exercises for pain management.
As you can see, pain management is not just about medication and injections. I want more than that. But I am not sure my doctor understands that. If I go to my pain management doctor and tell him my pain is acting up, he always tells me the same things:
He never says lets take more pictures. Or 'let's see if there is anything else new'. Never. He just says here's more meds. Either shots or pills. I think I want more.
I did blog about this in a long day of doctor appointments. I saw his nurse practitioner about 2.5 weeks ago. All she did is order x-rays and upped my pills. My complaint is that I have new back pain higher up in my back. She is thinking fibromyalgia. I am thinking new issues. The x-ray did show some degeneration higher up in my back. I looked up what the x-ray showed and it has nothing exciting to say.
So why does my back hurt there? Fibromyalgia doesn't cut it for me. I know what fibromyalgia feels like. Trust me, I do. And my doctor and his nurse practitioner do not as they do not have it.
For the record the new x-rays were compared to my x-rays taken in December, 2008. That is the last time there were pictures taken of my back. It took an MRI then to tell us the whole story. I think I want an MRI to prove to me that there is nothing new going on. I think if you are being treated for something, you should get scans done periodically to make sure nothing is new.
I understand the over testing/over-diagnosis issues. I get that part. But since I was diagnosed with back issues in January 2009, I have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, have had several falls, and a few million other ailments. Its not like my back pain has lessened in the intervening years. It has increased. You can't keep just upping the meds without further examining what is going on.
When I made my last appointment with the NP, I was told that my doctor has said that if one of his patients sees another back pain doctor, they can't go back and see him again. That's a bit to proprietary for me. I should be able to see another doctor in the department if I can't see him. Also, when I saw his NP that is the second time in all these years that I haven't seen him. One other time, I saw his physicians assistant and that was years ago. I think I'm done.
I go back and see the NP next week. If she doesn't send me for an MRI or other scans, I think I will find a new pain management doctor.