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First PM Appointmen/What To Expect?

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Old 02-14-2007, 07:24 AM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 55
ssmith1018 HB User
First PM Appointmen/What To Expect?

Hello Everyone,

I've posted before on the spine disorder board. They were very helpful. I will explain a little about myself. I've had neck, shoulder and back pain for years. I've had 2 wrecks, thrown off horses, very active in sports, when I was younger. I recently had ACDF surgery at C5-C6. While at post-op appointment, I complained about lower back & sciatica pain, along with shoulder pain. An MRI was done on both. The lumbar MRI came back with just a slight bulge at L4. So I don't know what is causing all this pain. I can't even go shopping at Wal-Mart anymore. I almost took one of those little electric carts the other day, but I thought that is really ridiculous. I am only 49 years old, but I feel like I am 70. I am on hydrocodone now for pain. I take 2 pills of 5/500 in the morning, then grit my teeth & bare it until mid afternoon. This dosage helps about 2 hours, then the pain starts to come back.

My doctor referred me to PM doctor. I don't have a clue what to expect, or what to ask him. I know I need stronger pain pills, but I have to be able to work. Right now, I spend half the day looking at the clock to see if it's time to take another pill. I've been to chiropractors, ortho doctor and primary doctor. I just don't know what else to do. Can someone give me a little advice. Thank you.


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Old 02-14-2007, 07:42 AM   #2
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: USA
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ozzybug HB Userozzybug HB Userozzybug HB Userozzybug HB User
Re: First PM Appointmen/What To Expect?

Hey Sue
Although I am saddened to hear yet another person is suffering with chronic pain, I'm glad you found us and that you are on your way to getting some help in managing your pain. You have definitely come to the right place.

There are so many things involved with pain management, and not all involve use of opiates in treatment of pain. Your first visit may be rather long. If your doctor doesn't have you fill out tons of paperwork prior to your first visit, then you will more than likely have tons of paperwork when you get to his office, so it may be a good idea to get there at least 15-20 minutes early. Normally, they have you list out every injury, surgery, diagnostic test, medication and the names of all the doctors who have treated you for your injuries related to your chronic pain. They like to have dates too, so if you can write it all down and have it with you, it will make the paperwork move a bit more smoothly.

If there are several practitioners at your PM's office, you will more than likely see the actual doctor for the first visit and he/she will spend a lot of time examining you and asking tons of questions so they can get a true picture of what's going on and what will be a good starting point in treating your pain.

If opiates are going to be any part of your treatment, the doctor will probably have you sign some sort of contract which will list out the rules of his practice. Make sure you get a copy of it to take home with you if they don't offer one. Some PM doctors do not use opiates, so if this one doesn't he/she will make that clear at the first visit.

It's a good idea to list out any questions you need to ask and take that with you as well. This way, you won't forget anything you need to ask. Your new doctor will be able to discuss the "plan of attack" and will hopefully be able to give you some sort of real expectation as to what kind of improvement in pain levels he hopes to be able to work you to. Please know that the goal of pain management isn't to make all of your pain go away, because that just isn't a realistic goal. There are many ways to help treat chronic pain. These things include, but are not limited to PT, E-stim, hydro therapy, trigger point injections, medications, bio-feedback, massage therapy, meditation, etc. There are so many more than I can even remember. It's also good to get help with some coping mechanisms as well, and sometimes PM doctors like to have their patients speak to a therapist/phychologist as well. Mine hasn't had me do it yet, but he does have it in his paperwork.

I wish you the best of luck. Keep checking back. You will get so much help and support here. I can tell you that since I've been with my PM doctor, my pain levels have gone from an 8 down to more like a 4-5 level and I've actually been able to improve my day to day activity levels. I am so thankful for that. Even though there are many things I'll never be able to do again, I'm able to do more than I thought I would prior to being put in pain management.

Take care!!

Last edited by ozzybug; 02-14-2007 at 07:55 AM.

Old 02-14-2007, 07:04 PM   #3
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Hawthorne, California, USA
Posts: 1,109
kkmom HB User
Re: First PM Appointmen/What To Expect?

Hi, Sue I am also on the back boards. I have only been to pain management for the esi, so I not familar with the other thing they offer. I do hope they help you in finding some type of relief in your pain. I do know that they do help with that. So you take care and I hope you start to feel pain free soon.

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