Piss Off, Pain Management Clinics


“You have exhausted all of your options.”

That is what I was told yesterday when I was denied as a new patient at Massachusetts General Hospital. Western medicine has officially given me the heave-ho.

Because I have a “long-standing relationship with another pain management clinic,” unless I am being referred for a specific procedure that my current doctors do not have, I am not allowed to become a patient elsewhere.

It’s so strange to reach the end of the road. It’s one thing to be told that the doctors are running out of ideas; it’s another thing entirely to have someone tell you that there is literally no other procedure in existence. All the treatments they are willing to try have been attempted. Science and research have not caught up yet. This is as good as it’s going to get.

What they’re willing to try. That’s the operative phrase here. Despite my decade of experience in the medical system, despite never exhibiting pill-seeking behavior, my pain management doctors refused to prescribe any kind of opioid safety net. If the pain gets really bad? “Go to the ER.”

Really? That’s the best you can offer? “Go to the ER”?

“I don’t think you understand,” I told my doctor. “I’ll have to quit my job. I can’t function like this.”


So if you keep coming back and complaining, then the problem must be in your head. Even though I told my pain doctor that I am already seeing a pain psychologist, she insisted that I meet with one in-house in order to come to terms with the “new” me…

“Give her antidepressants. Give her nerve meds. Just don’t give her opioids.” That’s the reasoning my pain doctor kept parroting: “It’s been clinically proven that opioid medication doesn’t help chronic pain.” …

Actually, that’s not true.  It hasn’t been clinically “proven” because the research hasn’t been done.

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