View Full Version : pain clinic

03-18-2009, 07:19 PM
has anyone here tried a pain clinic for help with controling the pain. I was told that my rheumy is focused on treating the disease, and that a pain clinic would focus on just keeping my pain level where i could remain functional.

my dr. has not mentioned a pain clinic.....have any of you thought about trying one?

thanks.....and a big hello to each of you.

03-18-2009, 09:08 PM
A big Hello back at ya, Phyllis..........

Yes, I have used the pain management clinic at my local hospital and it was wonderful for my situation. It was when I was living in terrible pain from avascular necrosis of both hips. I went way too long with my hips deteriorating, and then got pregnant with my daughter right when I was scheduling my first hip surgery. I was already on 2 oral narcotics round the clock, Oxycodone and Vicodin, to control the pain and as soon as I discovered I was pregnant, my high-risk OB referred me to the pain mgmt. clinic so they could get me off the oral narcotics so baby wouldn't be born with withdrawals.

They were wonderful at the pain mgmt. clinic...I cannot say enough good things about them. They experimented with what pain med I could tolerate best and then implanted a continuous epidural in my lower back and I carried a small pack with an IV bag of morphine that ran through the IV tube straight to my epidural space in my back. The meds went directly to my spine and hips. I was able to control my own dose and had a visiting home health nurse that monitored me weekly throughout the pregnancy, in addition to monthly pain clinic appointments.

I certainly know that what I went through is a pretty involved medical situation that required the expertise of the pain management clinic, but their team approach was something that numerous people experiencing all kinds of pain were able to benefit from. Besides the main doctor that I saw, I had my own nurse that saw me every visit and was an 'ear' straight to the doctor, I had a psychologist that I met with every other month, a physical therapist, a nutritionist when needed, and my pharmacy refill contact, as well as a clinic coordinator that helped me keep my appointments all straight. I didn't need all of their services every visit, but they were available and familiar with my medical history should any need arise.

My special team took me all the way through my pregnancy, showed up on the labor and delivery floor when I was in labor, and followed me through my entire hospital stay to remove the implanted epidural and start me back on oral narcotics postpartum. And in that clinic I experienced some of the kindest, most compassionate people I have ever dealt with during my lengthy medical history. The kind of medical people I like to call "normal, everyday humans". I don't know if it was something unique to my hospital's pain clinic, but I'd sure like to hope that there are other pain clinics around with that great of staff as well. And another thing I liked about the clinic was their vast knowledge of all pain medications available at the time and the possible side effects and drug interactions.

I encourage you to investigate the pain clinic available to you, check with your insurance to see about coverage and talk to your doctor about giving it a try. I remember there were numerous pain management options besides the pain meds or narcotics, or combined with them...I actually tried combining things like TENS units and meditation in order to keep my oral narcotic use to a minimum postpartum. Because I have lived in tremendous pain at various times with my Lupus, I am of the mind that no one should suffer in pain endlessly...sometimes we need some help to get through the roughest parts. Doesn't mean it has to be forever...sometimes we just really need a break from the pain to keep our head on straight.

Man, every time I post lately it turns into a chapter in a book....sorry. lol

Hope this will be helpful....

Lori :cool2:

p.s. I also have great experience with weaning myself off of pain medication when it's time to quit. Been there....done that!

03-19-2009, 06:05 AM
thanks lori,

your story is similar to others that i have been told. my rheumy is great, but she asks if the dilaudid is working, i say yes unless flare is especially bad, and we go on. i think it would be advantageous to have a specialist deal with the pain....after all, we see specialists for dealing with the other symptoms associated with our various diseases/syndromes.

i see my rheumy next week, and i will inquire more.

i find that the pain is the main symptom that i get so down about, my patience runs low, aggitation increases, and i just want to stay in bed.....i would like to get beyond this....i can tolerate pain for a while, but eventually gets me down.

thanks for your reply.....i will let you know what my dr. says about the pain clinic.

sick n tired
03-19-2009, 04:15 PM
I haven't been able to use one because it is far from my home and my insurance won't pay for it anyway...I think Saysusie has said some time ago that she has utilized one in her area.

03-19-2009, 06:42 PM

i need to check with my insurance company...so far they have bee pretty good about everything.

sick n tired
03-19-2009, 08:24 PM
I hope your insurance is better than mine, Phyllis...mine barely pays for anything or they pay a piddling sum...We have so many hospital bills with me that we are selling our house, (or hoping to sell our house), to pay them off.

03-20-2009, 06:53 AM
hey sick n tired,

i just send my many drs. a minimum amount each month. they can't do anything as long as you send something. however, i find that the drs. receptionists are pretty pushy about getting their money.

so sorry to hear about your house....wish there was another way for you to get the help that you deserve.

sick n tired
03-20-2009, 12:42 PM
There isn't anything...I have been ill for many years without any dx...not able to work so I am not "insured" social security standards...we also give a little at a time to the doctors, but now our credit stinks...

03-21-2009, 11:11 AM
i am really sorry sickntired,

it is not fair that you are a victim of this economic disaster as well all of the medical issues that go along with lupus. I do not know of another disease that effects so many different body parts. I figured my medical expenses over the last three months and they totaled over $2,000.00 I still owe 1,200 of it....this includes 3 hospital visits. I have not even gotten a bill yet from my cardiologist....anyway, i just wish there was somewhere and someway we could get help for people who have been hit so hard, but still need to see drs.

my insurance company informed me this weekend that since my rheumy gave me an injection of steroids, they consider that a hospital visit, so the injection is not covered under my regular plan.....i am so tired of hitting obstacles.

sorry to drag on....i am having a tough time with fairness right now.

hope you are having a good weekend,

03-23-2009, 07:39 AM
Ain't that the truth about the Drs. offices being pushy about the money. If you think the Drs. office's are pushy, try the hospitals. When my boyfriend was in the hospital they made sure before he left that an admissions specialist came to his room. They wanted him to sign a lien on his car, future inheritances, etc.--anything they could get their hands on to pay that hospital bill. He refused to sign their lien. He said, he wanted to get legal advice before signing it.

Unfortunately, he fell through the cracks health insurancewise. He has no health insurance. He was supposed to get it in his new job, but the boss put him on probation for an extra two months. He was originally promised health insurance three months on the job.

At the hospital,they did provide good care though. One of the Drs. assured us they would give him good care irregardless of his ability to pay or not pay. It was reassuring because I could tell he really meant it. He was very compassionate.