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Those living with chronic pain may very well know what it’s like to not be taken seriously by doctors or to be treated with mistrust and skepticism. More pain patients are not only being denied the kind of opioid medication that they may need but can’t get their doctor to see eye to eye with them. What do you do with the doctor you disagree with?
If you don’t like how they treat you
Let’s acknowledge that plenty of good doctors will deal with patients who are trying to work an “angle” on them or are being uncooperative. This can understandably lead to frustration, but an unfortunate side effect is that you can feel some of the effects of that frustration, shown as disregard or even disrespect. You may have to work with a doctor to get them to treat you right. This may mean fervently taking notes during your appointment with them to show you are listening, doing your own research and being as specific as possible about what the problem is. Though it may feel true, saying that you hurt “everywhere” can get doctors defensive. Narrow it down.
If you think they got it wrong
Some level of trust in a doctor is essential, but if your experiences and gut tell you that your doctor is misdiagnosing you or not focusing on what is the major problem, it may be time for another perspective. Getting a second opinion can be awkward, but it’s worth seeing whether the problem is with the original doctor being stubborn or whether there really is an impartial, justified reason for the disagreement.
If they caused real harm
The wrong treatment can do a lot to exacerbate your pain. Whether it’s due to a misdiagnosis, a surgery that has gone wrong, or anesthetic errors, it can make your condition worse and endanger your life. Contact a malpractice lawyer here if you believe your doctor has genuinely put you in harm’s way. It’s the most grievous failure that a patient can experience at the hands of those who are supposed to care for them. Compensation may not be what you want, but you should hold the responsible parties to account.
Don’t rely solely on them
Your doctor might be an important partner in managing and treating your pain, but they shouldn’t be the only ones. There are a lot of health care professionals that can help. See more about physiotherapists here for an example. Your time and work with other care providers can also help you compile notes and show the doctor that you are seriously trying to improve your condition. If they see that, they may be more willing to cooperate and take your pain seriously. Doctors can’t see pain, but they can see patients who are serious about managing it.
Unfortunately, for now, the regulatory rules on doctors prescribing painkillers may mean that you will continue to have difficulty finding the doctor that completely sees eye to eye with you. For those living with chronic pain, this means it is essential to look for the alternatives available.
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