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Pain Clinic finally

Pain_is_mePPain_is_me Posts: 69
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:54 AM in Lower Back Pain
I finally got the call for an appointment at the pain management clinic. I've been waiting since last October and they said it could take a year so I was thrilled to hear from them. I go on July 13th unless there is a cancellation, then I'm in earlier.

They said the appointment will take 3-4 hrs - is that normal? And they are also sending me orders for a bunch of bloodwork. I was told they are doing a full physical except for internal so not sure what else they'll do to me for so long. Has anyone been to an appointment that took this long? What do they do?

At least I am confident that they will do a thorough assessment. They are sending me some information in the mail and a 17 page booklet that I have to complete - no idea what this is either but it should be here this week. This is coming at a good time since I have been ordered to stay off work till at least the end of August. The orthopedic surgeon is referring me to a spine specialist out-of-province so I'm hoping that will happen before September too. I got the approval in the mail today from the provincial medical board for this appt to be covered by medicare; I hadn't even considered that they could refuse. phew!

So if anyone can give me any idea what this pain dr. appt might entail it would be great, I'm a bit nervous. I hate having no idea what's going to happen.


  • If you're in the Canadian system (I'm guessing based on your wording), then yes, a year wait for a referral is not uncommon (sadly). I've never had to fill out a 17 page form for a doctor, ever. But do what you must because a good pain specialist is worth the hoops. Very worth it. As for a 3-4 hour appointment, that seems a bit excessive, unless they're imaging you (many pain clinics own or share space with imaging centres) or doing an EMG or other testing. I think 2 hours is the max I've ever had for an appointment.

    Good luck on your appointment!! :)))
  • that my apt. was two hours long. He just went over everything that i had happened since my accident. Medications i had taken,if they helped or not,suggested ones that he might put me on.But i have taken everything he had suggested. He also went through all the therapies that i am doing.
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  • I think you had your appointment yesterday. How did you get on? I am very interested to know because I have also been referred to Pain Management. Here in the UK we also have to wait a long time for an appointment.

    I think my neurosurgeon has intended for me to have cervical steroid injections. He has also referred me for EMG and nerve conduction studies. Have you had those?

    Hope that things went well for you and that there is now a plan to help you. :-)

  • Had my appointment yesterday and was very happy with the doctor and nurse and how they conducted the visit. It did take almost 4 hrs but didn't seem that long. The nurse did the intake part then dr. did the physical exam, very thorough, patient and understanding. Then we went into his office to discuss a treatment plan. He first went over the invasive treatments like cervical steroid injections and cutting nerves (don't remember what its called really). He said it was too late to get any relief from the injections, it should have been done last year when I was hurt originally. Now the nerve damage is done and he didn't feel it would help. The nerve cutting didn't seem like a good chance of any prolonged relief for the nature of the treatment. I'd have to travel to a hospital 4 hrs away to have it done besides so opted not to do that. So then we talked exercise and medication.

    He went over every med he could prescribe and why he felt each was or was not appropriate for me. He narrowed it down to opiates and related drugs from tramadol to medicinal marijuana (he is the only dr in my province licenced to prescribe this). As much as I hate being in pain I am opposed to feeling stoned all the time so decided to start at the bottom and work up if need be. He prescribed tramacet with a gradual increase to 4 per day which will take about a week. I am on 1 morning and night now and can't say its helping much but I will give it a chance. He also increased my Lyrica from 100 mg twice daily to 250 at night and 50 in the morning. I thought this would make me more sleepy at night but tonight I can't sleep at all so not sure what's up.

    After discussing all this with the doctor for about an hour I went back to see the nurse to talk about nutrition and exercise. I've been put on a low glycemic diet which I have done before (self imposed for FMS) so its not really new but its been a few years since I fell off it. I know I felt better on it there's just so much I love that I have to give up... really missing my coffee, wine and carbs. I could have black coffee but its just not the same without milk and sugar for me.

    They didn't talk alot about exercise but did show me a pressure point therapy technique that should help with the muscle tenderness pain he noticed in my hips and buttocks. I was given a booklet of exercises and just told to pick 4 or 5 that target the lower back and core muscles and work on that for now.

    I'm in quite a bit of pain tonight and can't sleep. I hope the new medication starts working soon. I've been quite depressed all evening - I just wanted to cry. Hope I can sleep soon and wake up in a better more positive mood.
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