Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Open, Honest Communication with Your Doctor is Important if You Suffer from Chronic Pain

Doctor Holding Folder http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/Healthcare_g355-Doctor_Holding_Folder_p148627.html
Chronic pain can sometimes be very difficult for doctors to pinpoint the exact cause of your problem.  I know that it took me over three years to get a diagnosis on what was causing my back pain.  You have to be persistent with doctors and make them find out what could be causing your pain.  However, it is very important that you be patient with your doctor when they are trying different procedures or medications.  Your doctor is most likely trying to solve your problem with treatments that are minimally invasive.  You never know what might give you some relief unless you try their suggestion.

Keep a log or journal of all of your symptoms, triggers, and pain levels so that your doctor can see how your pain affects your life.  You can even photo copy your log or journal and give it to your doctor.  Anything that you can give your doctor about how you are feeling and your pain levels the better off you are.

Disclosure:  This post is for informational purposes only as I am not a doctor or a lawyer.  Please seek medical or legal advice for your individual case.  The opinions reflected in this post are my own and reflect things I have been told to do or what I have learned.

Talking to your doctor is very important, as everything that you tell them is documented in your file.  This is important, especially, if one day you decide to file for Social Security Disability or Social Security Supplemental Income.  Documentation is the key to your cases success or failure.

Tell your doctor EVERY symptom that you experience, even if you think it is too much information (TMI) or embarrassing.  After all, they probably have heard it before, they did go through medical school for a reason.  Here are some examples of things that you should tell your doctor (some will be graphic):

  • constipation from taking pain medication
  • how you fix your meals each day
  • whether or not you drive
  • examples of your day to day life
  • pain when performing certain tasks
  • sexual problems (lack of orgasms or unable to feel sensation in your penis)
  • hemroids
  • side effects from all of your medications
  • how your pain affects your social life
  • are you gaining weight from lack of the ability to exercise
  • stomach issues (vomiting, diarrhea, heartburn, acid reflux)
  • how your issues affect your family life (household chores, laundry, yard work,ect)
  • how does your issues affect your job (can you work, does your lack of ability to do certain tasks irritate your bosses/co-workers)

This is just a small list of the things that you should be discussing with your doctor at each visit.  Talk to your doctor as if he is your best friend, they are listening and taking notes.  The last thing you want to do is to go into your doctor and tell him things are going well and that you are fine when you aren't.

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