At the beginning of May I attended pain management at our local hospital, the basic outcome was that I was prescribed a drug called Duloxetine and I spoke with them about my depression. I had phoned them about my depression about 2 months before and I was phoned by the pain management psychologist who said she or a colleague would see me after my next appointment, that didn’t happen but they said they would talk to another one of the clinic psychologists and get her to contact me but the Duloxetine would help with pain and my low mood.
Here is why I stopped taking Duloxetine

So the very next day I sent an email to the pain management team to tell them that I had a bad reaction to the Duloxetine and that I wasn’t taking another and would go back to Nortriptyline. About a week later I received a phone call from one of the team nurses and I told her what happened, she sympathised and said she would speak with the consultant about it.
Two days ago the nurse rang back, I was in bed as I was having a rough day and so she said to my wife that I should start taking the Nortriptyline again (which I said I was doing already) and the consultant would see me army next appointment which is about three months away. She advised that maybe I should make an appointment to see my GP.

So a specialist team has in the past couple of years
Failed to reply to voice messages and emails when I have had a massive flare up but called within an hour when I complained.
Prescribed a dose of Fentanyl that was too high and I ended up in A&E with breathing problems.
Ignored my request for help with depression
Discharged me when I failed to attend because I was in too much pain
Told me to see my GP despite the fact my GP referred me to them

Please don’t get me wrong, I appreciate that chronic pain is hard to treat but surely this level of care is unacceptable?

Chronic pain patients are not given the appropriate level of care, if the pain was a symptom of cancer, MS, Diabetes or any other disease with specialist services, it would be dealt with quicker and there would be counsellors trained to deal with that type of patient.
Pain management preach that we shouldn’t talk about our pain because it focuses on it and therefore makes it worse, where as I have found the opposite to be true. The people I have talked to on Twitter and forums have helped me through very difficult times and whilst I was waiting to see the consultant at my last appointment, a group of us had an amazing chat in the waiting room and I would find it beneficial to have sessions like that where I meet with other chronic pain patients to talk about how we feel and how our pain affects us.

There is still a very long way to go with the way people with chronic pain are treated by our hospitals, I acknowledge that it is very difficult but people are having their lives put on hold and living very difficult lives, something needs to be done!

By Zechariah Richardson

Over 50, disabled, husband, father and gramps who reviews products and writes blog posts about his life, beekeeping, gardening and whatever pops into his brain!

2 thought on “Pain management a service or a let down?”
  1. Patients shouldn’t talk about their chronic pain? Why is it then that my CRPS consultant told me during my 1st appointment, that seeing a counsellor is an important part of your overall treatment plan?!

    There are some right idiots out there masquerading as ‘healthcare professionals’.

    Sorry you’ve had such a rough time of it.


  2. Your pain management team are out of order – it’s shocking to discharge you just because you weren’t able to make the apt because of the pain, a complete piss take in fact… And why they ask you to speak to your GP about medication when it should be them sorting it out is a joke and something my last chronic pain team did… I haven’t made my mind up whether it’s a service or let down just yet, my last pain team most definitely were but will find out over the next few months how this one goes… If I was you I’d be insisting your pain management team do the prescribing of medication and you want to try another anti-depressant now. Jeez, they really do rile me… Sorry to hear you’re dealing with such incompetent idiots that should be helping you instead of making it difficult…

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