-- Question: My name is Joe Donovan, and my question is: How do you get help for an immediate pain without a history of pain in that particular area and be treated right away without being told you have to wait a month?
Answer: Well, hi Joe.Thank you for you question. It brings up three important areas of getting medical care for these types of problems. Acute pain is different from chronic pain. Acute pain really is the body's warning system telling us that some structure or function has been pushed beyond its limits; it's causing a problem and that problem needs to be addressed.
Now that can be an additional problem in and of itself, when you can are already suffering from chronic pain and your doctor knows that. Because usually the doctor will assume that this is the same old problem, and -- What's the rush? -- why do they need to see you right way.
So the second issue that you raised has to do with knowing yourself and knowing when a change has occurred, so that when a symptom arises, you can figure out -- is this is a flare up of my chronic problem, or is this something new where an important change has occurred? In that situation, you have to be able to communicate with your doctor and his office staff in such a way that you say to them: this is a new problem for me; this is something that needs addressed sooner rather than later, and let me explain to you why it's different -- so that you can go through in simple terms and say: the pain is in a different location; the pain is an unfamiliar type; the intensity is more severe than usual -- some set of factors that will communicate clearly to the nurse on the other end of the phone or your doctor when he calls you back that this is isn't the same old problem and it can't wait and be handled in the same way.