alt=A woman in the foreground is silently crying while a doctor shrugs without emotion in the background.

Finally Getting an Appointment at the Pain Management Clinic

Last updated: April 2022

After suffering with months and months of pain, my family doctor decided to send a referral to the pain clinic here in Montreal. I had tried numerous treatments, but nothing has helped either of the diseases, that I have gotten diagnosed with.

If you have read my previous articles, I have written about how I got diagnosed, around the same time, with AxSpa and fibromyalgia. Lucky me! Between these diseases, there is almost always something going on with my body, every day. There's a long list of symptoms that I have been battling and trying to find the right treatment plan with my doctors, that can hopefully help both diseases together.

Finding the right treatment

It has been very tricky along this process of finding the right treatment. It has been hard finding something that can help treat both. I haven't been successful at all yet. I have tried numerous medications along this journey. Some medications have made one disease flare up more than the other. Some just haven't helped at all, and some medications have brought on new symptoms.

I waited months to see the pain management clinic with big hopes to get some answers and help. I prepared for my appointment before going, with notes containing all the medications I have tried, all my symptoms I have been experiencing and all the things I have tried to help my diseases like exercise, osteopathic medicine, physiotherapy, acupuncture, medical marijuana, a healthier diet, cutting gluten, adding vitamins...

I even went on their website to read about all the reviews they had from other patients that they have seen. I had read they had several specialists from dentists, rheumatologists, neurologists and so on. I read it would be a group of specialists needed depending on your case, that would work as a team to help figure out where the pain was coming and put you on a special plan to help.

After a year on the wait list...

I finally got an appointment to see a specialist at the pain clinic. The day of my appointment I was so nervous. When I walked into the office, I saw 2 doctors and both where residents. I had to re-explain everything from the beginning about my health. Got the weird looks. One resident said "You have been in pain like this and you don't go to the ER?" I had to go back to when I was younger. I had to explain all my symptoms I was having.

Luckily, I had everything written down because I can forget so easily. I had to let them know of all the medication I have tried. Gladly, I have tried a lot through the months of waiting for an appointment, with my family doctor and rheumatologist. They both examined me in the room. Then had to talk to a higher up doctor that never came in the room to meet. Usually, you meet the higher doctor, but I never did.

They told me everything I have already heard

As I waited a few minutes in the office impatiently, they finally walked back into the room. All these months of waiting, all to come back and tell me things I already heard, knew and tried. The resident suggested to keep exercising with my daily walks, try swimming and to follow the Canadian Food Guide, but I've already been eating healthy and lost weight.

As for medication, he suggested I continue being on Tramacet or to stop Tramacet and to try me out on Lidocaine infusions. He explained that there wasn't much for them to do differently for AxSpa and to just follow on with my current rheumatologist treatment plan. As for Lidocaine infusions, it wasn't guaranteed to help me. They wanted to try and see if it would help my fibromyalgia.

Disappointment

I was prepared this time with questions to ask. "Has Lidocaine helped others with the same conditions?" I asked. They looked at me with uncertainty. Their answer was not what I expected. "It's trial and error." How many of you have heard this before? Trial and error! I was disappointed to hear, once again these words. I wish for once I can hear, “this will help you with certainty,” from someone. I left the clinic upset.

I decided to be patient with Cosentyx, as it was just the beginning of being on the biologic and wanted to give it a chance to see if it will help. I wanted to try and stay away from medications that I know in the long run will do more harm. My rheumatologist also didn't agree with the treatment of going on Lidocaine and Cosentyx together. I don't know what the future holds, but for now I will continue taking one day at a time.

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