So, you’ve booked your first pain management appointment in Oklahoma City. Congratulations! You might be wondering, “what now?” That’s a good question to ask since heading to the clinic unprepared can leave you feeling frustrated and unfulfilled. Here’s everything you need to know before you go so you can make the most out of your time there.
What should you prepare before your visit?
- History of your pain issues: You’ll need to give your pain doctor a good idea of your symptoms and condition. This means you’ll need to have a detailed record of your issues, including how severe the pain is, the various symptoms you’re experiencing, when you began experiencing these symptoms, and any medication you’ve taken. It might be difficult to relay all this information to your doctor, so it’s a good idea to write it all down or bring any relevant hospital records you have.
- List of questions and concerns: Take note of any inquiries or concerns you might want to bring up with your doctor. Don’t forget to leave space or bring an extra notebook to jot down your doctor’s replies. As much as possible, you want to leave the clinic with all your concerns addressed and clarified.
- Photographs of your symptoms: When you first start noticing any visible symptoms of your condition, try to take as many pictures and videos of it as you can. Since certain symptoms can come and go between the time you experience them and the time you visit the doctor, it’s good to have proof of them.
- A companion: You’ll be receiving a lot of information from your doctor, so it’s good to have a companion with you there to help you process everything. They can also serve as a form of comfort to help you get through your appointment.
What can you expect at a pain clinic?
Make sure that you arrive early so you can fill out any paperwork and check-in at the reception. Once you’ve submitted all the requirements, you’ll be asked to wait. When your name is called, you’ll be ushered into the doctor’s office.
During your first visit, you’ll meet with a generalist or a nurse practitioner. They will ask you initial questions, such as:
- When did your symptoms begin?
- How would you describe your pain? How would you rate it on a scale of 0 to 10?
- Has anything made the pain feel worse?
- Have you taken any medications to relieve the pain?
- Has the pain interrupted your sleep schedule?
The nurse practitioner will relay this information to the primary physician. Upon your initial appointment with your doctor, one or more of the following may happen:
- Physical examination
- Assessment of pain
- Overview of your medical history
- Various diagnostic tests
- X-rays or imaging tests
Once you’ve gone over all the details with your doctor, they will give you a probable diagnosis and prescribe you a list of medications or discuss treatment options with you. If you have any questions, this is when you can ask them. Always ask for clarification if you don’t understand anything. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to get a clear picture of your condition and your treatment plan before you leave. Don’t forget to note down the replies from your doctor. Your doctor will then schedule a future appointment, if needed.
Being prepared before your pain management appointment will ensure that you’ll make the most out of your time there.