My New Pain Management Plan

Back in June I saw my new Pain Management Consultant(s). I have to say I was extremely worried before this appointment as I didn’t really know what to ask for anymore especially after a very unsuccessful appointment in my previous hospital.

I went in with no expectations and I left with more than I was expecting. I will try my best to write out my appointment so it makes sense however, my appointment was rather all over the place! I also seemed interesting enough to need two consultants…

Over the last few years I have done many pain management courses/programs including 3 weeks of inpatient so it’s safe to say I wasn’t really impressed when they told me I have to do another one!

They are asking me to attend a 12 week pain management course which consists of half a day every week. I am really unsure about doing this in the sense of psychology because I have not had great experiences with doctors in the past. However, I have agreed to do it as it means being able to see a Physio that deals with pain and I get to see a clinician on a fairly regular basis.

Now the next part of our plan I’ll be honest I am still slight shocked and quite frankly really annoyed about. Not because they recommended it but because my pain management consultants noticed and my gastro consultants and dieticians didn’t! My consultants looked over the last few blood tests I’ve had for other things and have noticed an increasing deficiency in Vitamin D and B12.

They have order blood tests which I got today to see how they’re looking now and then they would like to try me on supplements. It’s unclear yet as to whether I will be on tablets or injections. I did some research on B12 in particular and all of the symptoms that have come up or have been getting worse since I’ve had poor nutrition and hydration are symptoms of B12 deficiency. I am really hopeful that receiving supplements will help me to feel better and allow me a little better quality of life. My consultants also hope it helps with some of my generalised aches and pains.

Editing Note: Since I first began to write this post I visited my GP and after a lot of confusion I found out the my Gastro Consultant has sent a letter to my GP to summarise my first appointment with him. If didn’t get a copy of this as apparently it is a medical letter and not meant for me (although I am allowed to ask for it if I pay apparently…). Anyway at the end of the letter my consultant added that after going over my blood tests after my appointment that he thought I would benefit from Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D supplements. 

So, after my Gastro letter coming through, my pain appointment and the extra blood tests I have now been given some oral Vitamin D drops to save me from swallow another tablet! As well as Vitamin B12 Injections. I started by B12 Injections 2 weeks ago… I think? The B12 process has been done by the nurses at my GP surgery. I had an injection every Monday, Wednesday and Friday for two weeks. Now I have finished this I will have a booster every 12 weeks until… who knows when! I have noticed some minor changes thanks to the B12 but I will do a B12 update another time. 

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During my appointment one of the consultants did a physical examination. He had a look at my back which someone hasn’t done in a very long time! He had a feel of my back particularly my lower back where the majority of the pain comes from. He had a feel and oh my goodness did it hurt! I forget how sensitive my back can be sometimes. We checked my reflexes etc.

Now skipping to the end of my appointment the consultant asked me if I had any other questions and I did. I told him that I have always been told my back pain comes from somewhere different and no one has ever really cared about where it comes from. I told him I’ve been told its sciatica, something similar that I can’t remember the name of, it’s nerve pain, muscle pain and it’s just a part of my generalised chronic pain.

The consultant looked at me in confusion and said “it’s bone pain… how has no one ever told you it’s bone pain. As I said it’s the facet joints at the bottom of our backs. It’s more than likely that over time there is now muscle and nerve issues contributing to the pain but you have bone pain”. It sounds weird as I know my pain is in my back but knowing what it is and where it comes from is such a relief and I feel like I understand it better now. It is also something I am going to asked to be looked into further as they were discussing arthritis in my back.

So I have now got to wait on blood tests results which I probably won’t be able to get until I come back from holiday we are going on later this week (yay!). As you can imagine I am eager to get this all looked into and to start any processes we can because this next year is supposed to be dedicated to my health to fighting and advocating to see what more we can do.

Something the consultants also mentioned were injections which is something most people say no to when it comes to my pain. This is mainly because I have so much we can’t be injecting every little bit of body but they have said they would consider it for my back. Not right now though as I am “too young” (anyone else sick of hearing this?) and it comes with too many risks but they’re not saying no they’re just saying it’s a last resort.

Overall I think my appointment went well however, I am a little overwhelmed with what happened and I don’t expect what’s to come to be very easy but we are going to take each day as it comes and of course we know that these plans don’t always work out the way we’d hoped!

If you have arthritis in your back or have a Vitamin D and/or Vitamin B12 deficient then let me know what your doctors tried because this is a whole new area for me!

Of course I will keep you all updated especially when it comes to my pain management course as I know it is something people often ask me about.

For now though I hope you are all doing as well as possible!

Holly

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