Thursday, October 4, 2012
BE YOUR OWN ADVOCATE!
We’ve all talked about how often we feel our doctors aren’t listening to us, and while we all agree there are doctors that are just not getting it I believe we as patients have a responsibility to make sure we communicate our needs to our doctors if we are to get the best care possible. Even the good doctors want a patient that can communicate clearly and concisely what is wrong and come prepared to discuss their questions and concerns. I have always recommended getting as educated about your IC before you ever walk through the doors of your doctor’s office. Go to the ICA website and read all you can; read the AUA Guidelines; print out things you feel are pertinent to what you want to discuss. Here are some tips that I think can help make the time with your doctor more productive.
#1 Write down questions in order of priority, keeping a pain or voiding diary, and be ready to talk about your medications or any treatments you’ve tried or are currently using. Take notes as you discuss your questions so when you get home you don’t forget what you talked about.
As a prominent pain doctor has written: “Currently in America, the vast majority of "pain management" practitioners have not completed accredited interventional pain fellowships. This is important because without proper training, there is no proof of one's knowledge, experience and proficiency in one's field. Even when a practitioner has passed medical school, completed an anesthesiology residency, completed an accredited interventional pain fellowship, and has passed all their board examination, there still can be variability in competency and outcomes.”
So, see if you can get a referral to a good pain doctor that understands chronic pelvic pain and IC. Do your research and find out what their qualifications are. A few resources to help you might be the American Board of Pain Medicine; the American Pain Society; the American Pain Foundation, the American Academy of Pain Management, and the American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians.