An Appointment with the Pain Clinic

Recently I went to see my Doctor to discuss my laparoscopy and what the next steps would be.  

When I had my consultant appointment, I was told that if nothing was found during the laparoscopy that I would be referred to the pain clinic in the hope that they would be able to help me get my pain under control.  When I saw the Doctor, it transpired that she hadn't received anything from the consultant following the operation. She offered to write to him to see whether they would be referring me to the pain clinic but when I confided that I wasn't feeling particularly confident in him, she immediately offered to refer me to them direct.

A few days later, I received an appointment in the post for the middle of August. I was relieved it would eventually be happening but a little frustrated at the wait and I shared something to my instagram stories to this effect.  Shortly after sharing, one of the mums from school, L,  sent me a message to say that was the department she worked in and that she would see if she could get me seen sooner.  Obviously I thought it was kind of her but didn't hold out much hope, so you can imagine my utter surprise when she telephoned me the following morning to tell me she had an appointment available for me the following afternoon!  

When I got to the hospital, the mum was there working and stopped to have a chat with me and told me that the consultant didn't usually see patients on that day but had slotted me in. I can't tell you how grateful I was for that and told both her and the consultant, who was really nice and immediately put me at ease.  I came away feeling quite emotional that I had been listened to and that a rough plan of action was being put into place going forward.  She went through my abdominal pain symptoms and asked about any other symptoms, which we went through and she was in agreement that she thought I did have fibromyalgia (my Doctor was a bit more wishy washy in terms of saying it was highly likely).  

In terms of my pain, she surprised me by saying that she thought it was likely to stem from a a bulged disc in my spine causing the nerve irritation. I say surprised, but I have had problems with my back on and off since my early 20s when I was hit by a car at low impact and I've also fallen down the stairs a couple of times (what can I say, I've always been clumsy!). I have frequent spells of back pain, where I feel like I'm walking with a limp and I wake nightly with pain.  She examined me and did a couple of simple tests which ended with her saying that she would be extremely surprised if there wasn't something there.    

So the plan of action is for me to have an MRI scan of my thoracic and lumbar spine to see if that shows anything.  Having looked at my blood tests for the past year, she also wants me to have further blood tests to check a number of things:

  • B12
  • Vitamin D - I've previously been very low in this
  • Iron - my last test showed I was low, which doesn't really surprise me with how heavy my periods are.
  • Inflammatory markers - to see if there's anything else going on.
  • Thyroid function 
  • Diabetes - apparently the last time this was checked was over a year ago which showed I was pre-diabetic, although I've never been told this, and I should be having annual blood tests to keep an eye on it. 

Despite all the previous tests I've had done, no one's ever mentioned my back to me before, although I've seen the Doctor about it numerous times over the years.  I'm feeling hopeful that we might finally get some answers. Depending on what the scan and blood test results show depends on the next steps.  If it shows I have a bulged disc I was told it was highly unlikely that they would operate on it but it would be a case of managing the pain through medication and physiotherapy.  That's a little scary to think of but at least I would finally have some answers1.  And it has to be said that because I do get claustrophobic, the prospect of having an MRI is not one I relish but I have at least four weeks before the appointment is booked in.

As a side note, whilst we've chatted a bit at parties and been out with other mums from school, I don't actually know L all that well so I felt quite overwhelmed that she had arranged this for me.  I took her a bunch of flowers as a thank you to her on the school run, its nice to show your appreciation and I think she was pleased.


  1. I'm so glad you have been given a plan of action and they have listened to you

  2. Fingers crossed for you, it sounds like quite a journey #TwinklyTuesday

  3. So glad you might have a diagnosis soon. Hope it all gets sorted soon.

  4. Oh my word this seems like the most useful appointment you have had!! Hopefully some good will come of it. You must be feeling more positive about things after that. #TwinklyTuesday

  5. You are really going through it aren't you? Keep seeking support and going as easy as you can on yourself. #TwinklyTuesday

  6. I am glad there is progress and a plan is in force to move forward X #twinklytuesday

  7. Compared to your other updates I feel like this one actually made some real progress. My doctor told me the amount of people low in vitamin is on the rise! #TwinklyTuesday