My Doctor Doesn’t Seem To Get It, What Can I Do?
artwork by Olivia
Part of life with chronic pain is knowing that a large percentage of people in your life will have no clue of what you experience on a daily basis. When one of these people is your doctor, what can you do about it? Here we will discuss what to do when your doctor doesn’t seem to get you or your chronic pain.
Why doesn’t my doctor understand my chronic pain?
This is a great question. Shouldn’t all doctors have an understanding of chronic pain and chronic illnesses? While it seems like they should, some are much better than others.
This could be a lack of exposure during their medical training or formidable years of becoming a doctor. It could also be due to limited patients dealing with a chronic pain disorder that led to less empathy. In some cases, it might even mean your doctor isn’t as understanding as you need them to be.
What can you do when your doctor doesn’t get it?
Be open and honest
One way to deal with dissatisfaction regarding your chronic pain treatment is to talk about it with your doctor. It’s possible they don’t realize the degree of your pain and they missed something. Unfortunately, health care providers are allowed a decreasing amount of time with each patient which means they can miss things. If you bring it to their attention, it’s possible they might show a greater degree of understanding.
Find a new doctor
If you speak openly with your doctor and they still don’t seem to get it, it might be time for a new doctor. Obviously, “doctor hopping” isn’t the best practice. However, when you are dealing with a chronic illness, you need someone who understands your needs. If your doctor just doesn’t seem to get it, you might want to find someone who does.
Look for a doctor who specializes in chronic pain management
There are many doctors, both specialists and general care providers, who have received specialized treatment to work with chronic pain sufferers. They understand the medical treatment as well as the emotional and mental support that you need. These are people who will work alongside you and take your thoughts into consideration regarding your treatment.
If it seems like your doctor just doesn’t get it, you don’t have to stick it out for the long haul. The solution might be as simple as having a frank conversation with your doctor about how your feeling. If that doesn’t create the solution you need it might be a good time to find a new health care provider that is trained in chronic pain treatment.
If you are someone you care about is living with chronic pain, there is support available to you. We at Flowly have launched an in-app community for users to share resources and experiences to help find answers to questions like these.