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