1. Know your pain
This might sound ridiculous at first. After all, you’ve been living with you pain for quite some time, right? You know it, in and out. That may be, but when chronic pain becomes a part of your daily life, it’s easy to not pay the kind of attention to it that you once did. Details like what time of day it occurs, how you would describe it, can all blur together. For example, is it worse in the morning when you wake up? Or in the evening after you’ve been active all day? How would you describe it? Is it dull and constant – or sharp and intermittent? Is it a dull ache? Or more of a burning sensation? When pain becomes part of your daily life, it’s easy to stop thinking about these details.
But when you go to your pain physician, details like these are crucial. They can determine one diagnosis over another. And consequently, one treatment over another. So next time, pay attention, jot down the details, and be as specific as you can.
2.Know what has already been tried
When I ask my patients this question, I’m surprised at how often I am told “absolutely nothing!”
But what they really mean is that nothing has worked so far. When I question them further, I usually find out that quite a few different treatments have been trailed but failed. Have you had Physical therapy? Chiropractor? Acupuncture? Surgery? Injections? What medication have you tried? Make a list and take it with you to the appointment.
That will not only save time, but it will prevent you from having to undergo these treatments again.
3. Know your own medical history and medications
You would be surprised to find out how little some patients know about their own medical conditions- or even the medications that they take on a daily basis. On one hand, it’s understandable. The history can be complicated. Medications names are not easy to remember. But again, the doctor seeing you for the first time needs to understand your case in and out. So keep a list of both you diagnoses (high blood pressure, diabetes,etc) and a list of the meds you take every day. Include the dose and frequency. Keep the list in your wallet or purse so that its readily accessible any time you need it.
Remember, the doctor is seeing you for the first time. If you’ve had an extensive medical history or long standing problem, understanding your case can be like trying to put together a jigsaw puzzle without ever having seen the cover picture. So the more help you can provide, the better the doctor can understand your condition and provide treatment options catered to your specific needs.
If you're experiencing pain and want to know more about what options are out there for you, call Pain Medicine Group at 941-365-5854 and we will serve you at our 3 convenient locations in Orlando, Sarasota, and Ft. Myers.