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    New Doctor Anxiety
    SwimFree posted:
    Here's some background: I'm 21 years old, have had really bad back pain & spasms for the past 5-6 years. I've been to chiropractors, physical therapists, 2 GP's, 2 sports medicine doctors, and a pain management doctor. I've had X-rays, a bone scan, MRI's, and a plethora of blood tests. Everything has been inconclusive and my experiences with doctors have for the most part been a let down. Thankfully, my GP prescribed me Lyrica and I think it takes some of the edge off the general pain, however, it does not really help with the severe pain.

    I'm worried that history will repeat itself. I feel as if all the doctors are afraid to take any real action because they don't know what's wrong. All the answers are always a month away at the next appointment but nothing ever happens. The things all the other doctors did get repeated only to have the same result. Meanwhile, I'm here suffering in pain. Waiting till the next appointment (usually a month away) feels like ages. I guess I'm just afraid I'm going to have the same result with this doctor - nothing.

    Nothing has been easy in my quest for treatment. Every step of the way is a hinderance. Just getting the Lyrica- it of course required a Prior Authorization which the insurance ultimately denied because I don't have seizures or Fibromyalgia. Therefore, I'm paying $300 out of pocket for it. Thankfully, my parents can afford that. I asked my GP for an alternative, but he had nothing to offer. I am a pharmD major and really don't know why he wouldn't just switch me to gabapentin. Anways, the point is, every step of the way is emotionally taxing because it seems nothing ever works out. I try to stay as optimistic as possible, but its getting to the point where I feel like nothing is ever going to happen.

    I know that I'm going to go to this doctor and she's going to say "there's nothing I can do until you come back from school" (I live in CT but go to school in Boston). I feel like because of my age and the idiopathic nature of my pain, I'm not taken seriously. The last PM doc I saw said it would take 6-8 months for me to get better. I saw him for 1 year and I literally received no treatment whatsoever.

    On the plus side, the Lyrica that I was prescribed about a month ago doing some good. I just pray that this new doctor will be able to do more for me than the previous ones.
    annette030 responded:
    I find gabapentin works better for me than Lyrica, it is generic and far cheaper. Did you ask the doctor specifically for gabapentin? Some antidepressants are also used in chronic pain treatment and work for some patients. Did you ask the PM doctor who told you you would be better in 6-8 months why you were not better after 1 year?

    Speak up and ask questions, and sit and wait for answers. If the doctor doesn't answer a question, ask again, and again.

    I would also suggest sticking with one doctor unless he is really an idiot. Take the tests, films, etc. that you have already done with you, refuse to get them redone unless the doctor has a good reason.

    Good luck to you.

    Take care, Annette
    tgteresa61 replied to annette030's response:
    Very good advice, Annette. I second the motion..I know how frustrating it is to have doctors just string you along (I've had fibromyalgia since Dec 2004). I've had to change doctors a number of times, until I finally got one who understands how to treat chronic pain (he is also the head of the chronic pain mgmt program, which I took and was very helpful).
    Keep asking questions, and demand treatment! You can't be wimpy with treating chronic pain, and you can't just sit there and suffer. It may not be in your personality, if not, get a friend or spouse to come with you to the doctor and have that person speak up for you. Tell them specifically what and where it hurts, how it hurts when you do this (sit, for example) or walk or stand for 1 hour etc. This gives them a better idea of what medication or physical therapy or acupuncture or whatever you need to feel like you can manage the pain.
    You need to stand up for yourself, and refuse to just take tests, without any good treatment. Your doctor should be willing to work with you, to find out what works best. They should be a part of your team. If not, my advice is try to find another doctor or a recommendation for one that can really work with you. Sometimes, that took me switching doctors 3 or 4 times..don't give up hope yet!!!
    Grammygirl44 responded:
    I hope you are able to find an answer, I've had issues for 10 yrs now and I've been to a couple of docs, neurologist, pain management, PT and I still don't have any answers either and every one of them just tell me they don't know and can't do anything else for me and cut me loose. I'm even getting zapped in the back of my head (like someone puts a tazor and zappes me) yet no one can help. I'm at a loss and broke from all the specialty fees and test. I'm just dealing with it now and hoping that I don't wreck my car with my 6 yr old son in it the next time I get zapped. I've already backed into a car because I got zapped while backing up but the doctors don't seem to care these days. All they want to do is get as much money as they can. I wish you all the luck to find a doc that cares enough to find the answer.
    miteone responded:
    There must be a different process in making gabapentin and lyrica. Even though the Health Insurance companies recognize it as a generic alternative, it is not always a good alternative. I have no problems with Lyrica. Gabapentin puts me in the bed with severe headaches & drowsiness and was much worse for me than the pain. I have been seeing the same Rheumatologist for about 20 yrs and was just barely managing pain until Lyrica came along.
    bluesky95 responded:
    Are you sure it's not fibromyalgia?It took 6 years for doctors to finally dx me with fibromyalgia.I tried the Lyrica.It seems to get me out of bed but makes me feel crazy in my head and I already feel crazy enough without it.So glad you are able to take it.
    I have no advise as I am in the same situation as you.I have been trying to find a doctor for 6 yrs.Al they want to do is throw meds at me that don't work so why take them.I would like to try PT,warm water exercise,and even acupuncure(sp)but I haven't found a doctor that will Rx that for me...good luck,hope you the best.
    ngrayned responded:
    Hello,I'm writing to because I know exactly what your'e going thru,I am 55 yrs old,been suffering since I was 28.Some days I don't know if I get go on,I had 3 back sur.,1 neck,many ,many e piduril blocks,All the DR's can't do anything,I too messed up.They say I have DDD,Degenerative Disc Disease....Just to cook a mealis very hard.I cry alot and ask GOD to please help me.It would be great to talk to you more,I get so lonely and bored.God bless, NGrayned PS,Im going to try Aqua therapy in a few weeks....
    dianedeaton60 responded:
    I have Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis. I have Chronic back pain. Has anyone diagnosed you to what your problem is. I went through the same thing you did. I finally went to Chapel Hill to get some answers. They sent me to the perfect doctor. I am like you, had all the shots, MRI'S, etc. They finally hooked me up with a 10's machine which works wonderful. I wear 4 electrical pads that send out electronic shocks. It has helped my back tremendously. That is something you can think about. Since I have chronic pain, I am also on Lortab which is a pain killer. Now I have severe chronic pain but with the Ten's machine and only taking 2 Lortab a day works wonders. Of course there are those days that you over do yourself. That is one thing that I can't do is some of the things I want to do. Just cleaning the house, I will pay for it the next day. You are so young and I would find out who the best Orthopedic doctor. They can find out more about what you have and then they might send you to a neurologist. But the Orthopedic doctor is who helped me with the Tens machine. Just a suggestion because I know the pain. The pain makes you depressed and high anxiety and then the depression makes your pain worse. They all go together. I understand where you are and it's like Isn't there anyone out there that can help me or try to find out what is wrong with me. There is definitely something wrong. You know. You are paying for the doctor's service so you do the talking and take your time talking to him. Don't let him rush you because he is the one getting paid for helping you. Also have you had any blood work to see if you have Rheumatoid Arthritis, Fibromyalgia, Lupis or anything?
    jpinmiss responded:
    Hang in there, am 72 and been having back issues since my 20s.
    Find a good spinal bone doctor and have him get you set up with a crackerjack neurologist. Get them to review all your records.
    If you have not had a MYLOGRAM on your spine , get one because the two doctors need that to locate what is the problem.
    Took me 20 yeARS TO GET RELIEF.
    Depression is your worst enemy and my belief in God has helped the most.
    Pray every morning for a better day and start with A (PMA), POSITIVE MENTAL ATTITUDE.
    good luck.

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