I recently wrote about the concerns I was facing before my first appointment with a new primary care provider. Thank you to everyone who offered well-wishes and suggestions! I'm happy to report that it went quite well, I really like her approach - with one key exception.
Most importantly, she didn't express any disbelief in fibromyalgia (which is always the big worry!) She was familiar with my medical history when she came in the room, which is always a good sign, and she was far more interested in listening to me than in rushing through the appointment and telling me things I already know. She recognized that I'm knowledgeable about my conditions and appeared to trust my judgement in treatment decisions.
I'm also happy to say that she was absolutely in favor of getting me a TENS unit, and I had one within 24 hours of leaving her office. (Yes, I could have bought one on eBay or craigslist or something like that, but this way my insurance will pay for the unit, as well as replacement parts that I may need down the road.)
She spent a lot of time looking over my list of supplements, which many doctors simply disregard, and she was very positive about what I'm taking. That's a big difference from some doctors, who make the asinine (in my opinion) comment that all supplements do is give you expensive urine.
But then there's the one thing I'm concerned about - she doesn't want me taking Vicodin (hydrocodone acetaminophen) and said she doesn't generally prescribe it except for major injuries and cancer. This makes me nervous. I firmly believe that all serious pain should be treated in order to help people be more functional. When pain controls our lives, I take offense to the idea that our pain is somehow inferior to that of cancer patients. Pain disrupts sleep, puts life on hold, and can lead to desperation, depression and despair.
She did note that I frequently go 90 days between refills of 30 pills, and I told her I'd been on the same low dosage for 6.5 years. For now, because I have a tailbone injury that's causing a lot of pain, she's going to continue filling my prescription. I'm hoping after that, I'll be able to convince her that pain control is necessary for me to be fully functional. I wish I could manage without an opiate, but the fact is, with 9 separate pain conditions, sometimes I just can't.
So, all in all, I'm hopeful that she'll be a good doctor for me. I continue to be grateful for my medical clinic, which consistently seems to pick doctors who treat people with respect and stay current enough with research that they don't have the antiquated idea that fibromyalgia "isn't real."
About.com's Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome community forum (under Newsletter & Blog Topics.)