What Is Your Best Advice For Someone Diagnosed With Chronic Pain?

What is your best advice for someone diagnosed with chronic pain?

— -- Judi: Go to the doctor. Tell them that you have pain. If the meds they give you don't work, tell them they don't work -- there is a medicine out there that will help your pain, and you may have to go through a lot of other meds to find it.

Abby: Yeah, I would give them two pieces of advice. First is: anytime you go in to see any kind of care person, come with a list of questions -- and ... give a copy of it to the caretaker, and you have one. That way, because - they have only their 15 minutes to see you. And this way, you can start directing the conversation and you are not going to forget what you wanted to ask. And also, have a list of all your meds. Have it with you, so that ... you can always refer to it and you are not going to forget.

Judi: Don't be afraid to take strong medications, because when they first put me on OxyContin and said, "Take it around the clock," ... I thought, "Oh gosh, that's going to turn me into a zombie." And instead, because it relieved the pain, it did the exact opposite. I became a lot less zombie-like, and a lot more like myself.

Cindy: And in fact, pain can get a lot worse if it's not treated.

Mike: Like you said, that people have a false stigma in regards to meds; when they're used properly, they help us function.

Cindy: I think with medication, you have to ask to yourself, "Is this helping me function better than it was before I didn't have it?" If the answer is "no," then you are on the wrong thing or you should get off of it. If the answer is yes, then it's helpful.

Judi: And just because it works for one person, doesn't mean it works for someone else. Like for me, Methadone was horrible.

Mike: Exactly right. We had talked about that before, I remember you saying that, right.

Judi: And the OxyContin is what works for me.

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