Hippocrates said, “Practice two things in your dealings with disease: either help, or do not harm the patient.” Over millennia, that phrase has been summed up in four words: “First, do no harm.” Doctors must take the Hippocratic Oath, vowing to serve their patients with care and compassion, kindness and respect.
Pain doctors wish you knew that. As a matter of fact, they wish you knew a lot of things. Here are five things your pain doctor wishes you knew the next time you hear the words “the doctor will see you now.”
“I feel your pain” (But not always)
Pain doctors want the very best for you. They became pain doctors because they don’t want to see anyone suffer with acute or chronic pain. Because the cause of your pain may be hard to diagnose, pain doctors will do everything they can to get to the root cause of your pain. But sometimes, but what if the pain is psychosomatic, meaning that some physical conditions can be made worse through stress or anxiety? Pain doctors want you to get better, but wish you knew that while you may have physical symptoms, you may be better served through cognitive behavior therapy than pain management.
Pain Doctors are people too
While some doctors are put on pedestals (especially by their mothers), they are people too. They run late, get sick, can be disagreeable or grumpy and may encourage you to get a second opinion. Getting to know a patient takes time, but filling out paperwork, dealing with insurance, hiring (and firing) in their practice, plus being a parent, spouse, son or daughter, and even getting sick themselves, all contribute to that doctor’s bedside manner and focus. Pain doctors want you to know that they are people too, and they will do everything in their power to respect your pain and help you get well. Just be “patient” with them if they appear to be having a bad day. They drove in the same traffic you did.
You are part of the miracle cure
Pain doctors comment on how many people with pain are looking for a miracle cure, whether it comes in the form of a quick-fix cortisone shot, painkillers or surgery. Unfortunately, not every condition merits these “miracle” treatments. Pain doctors, rightfully so, are concerned about the wide availability and abuse of pain medication and are very cautious about prescribing medication that has negative side effects or can be addictive. Further, they are hesitant to perform surgery unless every non-invasive option has been exhausted. Pain doctors want you to know that, if there really is a miracle cure, the patient dictates its success by exercising caution during activities, using protective equipment, eating right and maintaining weight and good habits.
If Surfing the Web is Up, You May Want to Power Down
Doctors know that many patients are convinced they are one internet click from being medical doctors. Reading websites all day long, comparing symptoms in chat rooms, “liking” popular doctors on Twitter and Instagram, and watching Med-TV all can result in informational overload and misinformation. Sure it’s ok to Google terms or studies on credible medical websites such as the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control (and of course, our Blog!), but surfing to every website on the Web, or trying to diagnose a condition in 140 characters or less is a prescription for failure. Pain doctors wish you knew to take a detour off the Information Superhighway and talk to medical professionals who are experts in their fields and stand ready to provide a personal diagnosis that is unique to you.
No Pain, No Gain. Now what?
Have you ever gone to the Emergency Room or Urgent Care? The intake nurse shows you a chart of faces with expressions ranging from very sad to very happy. “Can you tell me your level of pain based on these faces?” she asks. One patient with a hangnail points to the face that appears to be writhing in pain. Another patient with a fractured hip points to the neutral face, then asks for a ginger ale. In other words, how can a pain doctor measure pain when one man’s pain threshold is another’s agony? Pain doctors want you to know that every person has a different threshold of pain, and there is no tool that can measure that.
If there is one thing all pain doctors want you to know, it is that they are not judging you or your level of pain, they just want you to be pain free. Sometimes that takes a simple injection; other times it could take surgery followed by years of physical therapy. Getting to know the whole person is important, and they want to accompany you on your journey to wellness. Contact pain doctor, Dr. Jonathan Kamerlink today at (561) 404-7667.