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Accepting my pain, what next?


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Old 06-22-2018, 09:42 AM   #1
venidara
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Accepting my pain, what next?

I have recently started to accept that I seem to have chronic pain. I doubt myself often and feel like I'm overreacting and it can't be as serious as that, but I've been in pain more often than not for over two years. It slowly gets worse and lately it gets to a point multiple times each day where I am so overwhlemed by the pain that my brain just cannot process things right and I lash out in frustration. I decided I need to speak to a doctor, but it will be a while before I can and it is becoming unbearable, especially as I currently have to sleep on the floor. I have no idea what to do to manage this right now. I have a job on my feet and it's been under 4 hours per say so far but I am aching when I get off so badly. I'm also not sure how best to present it to a doctor? I see a lot of people talk about doctors doubting or dismissing chronic pain, especially in young people. I'm 22 years old and even those close to me seem to think I'm exaggerating to get something from them because nobody can accept that a 22 year old could have serious pain especially back pain. I also have had doctors regularly dismiss my concerns as purely caused by my weight and refuse to offer anything other than weight loss methods that have not worked for me I'm the past anyway. Any advice on bringing it to a doctor and managing until then?

Last edited by venidara; 06-22-2018 at 09:48 AM.

 
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Old 06-22-2018, 07:06 PM   #2
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Re: Accepting my pain, what next?

Welcome! Sorry you are going through this. I know how tough it is to have chronic pain, especially in the beginning. Definitely seek treatment. If a doctor doesn't take you seriously, then try a different one, and keep trying. Just be sure never to get prescriptions from more than one doctor. I would be matter of fact and say you made an appointment to discuss pain, and tell the doctor the location, type, frequency, duration, severity, what you've tried and if it has helped, identification of any triggering activities, how long this has been going on in total, how this impacts your quality of life (like if there are activities you can't do), etc.

In fact, I'd actually suggest keeping a detailed log of the pain for at least a couple weeks before your appointment. That shows the doctor that this is a significant problem and they are more likely to take you seriously. If you don't do that, its very likely they would ask you to do that and they may not do anything until you come back with that. Although doctors typically will start quite conservatively, such as having you try NSAIDs, muscle relaxers, visit a physical therapist, etc, they should at least listen to your concerns and have reasonable suggestions on how to address them, working towards diagnosis and treatment.

Excess weight is a common cause of back pain, so I can understand why a doctor would want you to try to address that, but that shouldn't be the only thing they offer. Your at least making some sort of effort on that front however may make a doctor much more likely to provide other treatment though.

Also, this may sound weird, but ensure you are dressed semi nicely (like something you'd wear for an office job, not sweats or similar), be well groomed, and polite but firm. Doctors, like all people, can have preconceptions based on our appearance and attitude. A patient who presents with non specific self reported pain, especially when appearing to be young and/or lower income, is more likely to be thought to be a drug seeker. Also, as you've noticed, overweight patients often report any symptom they present to the doctor with being blamed on their weight, without a thorough evaluation first.

Until you get in to see the doctor, you may want to try ice and/or heat, over the counter pain relievers (although those are not good to use long term, and you need to be sure you do not exceed the recommended per dose and daily maximums, and don't have any reason they are contraindicated), avoiding activities that make it worse, trying to correct anything that may make it worse (like ergonomics if you work at a desk / on a computer a lot), and slowly increasing light exercise (walking, swimming). Hang in there! Best wishes.
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