You are experiencing chronic pain in one or more parts of your body. You see your GP regularly. The best your doctor can do is tell you that he doesn’t know what’s causing it. Do not just accept that answer and walk away. Do your own research. If necessary, find another doctor. If your GP doesn’t know, someone else probably does.
Katie Roberts began experiencing joint pain as a child. She was also diagnosed with psoriasis. Her doctor did not make a connection between the two. As Roberts grew, subsequent visits with a variety of doctors attributed her pain to growing up. It wasn’t until she reached her late teens that a doctor finally determined she had psoriatic arthritis.
After so many years of no diagnosis and no treatment, the psoriatic arthritis had done significant damage to other parts of her body. She was told she was facing liver and kidney damage that could kill her before she reached twenty-one. Had her condition been diagnosed earlier, much of that damage could have been avoided.
Doctors Don’t Know Everything
It is true that some doctors bristle at any attempt among patients to advocate for themselves. They give the impression that they know everything there is to know about human biology and physiology. Patients dare not ask questions or suggest the doctor might be wrong. Nonetheless, the reality is that doctors don’t know everything.
The point here is not to disparage doctors. They know an awful lot, and they do good work every day. But how often have you visited your doctor only to hear something like, “Why don’t we try so-and-so?” When your doctor says, “Why don’t we try”, he is telling you he doesn’t really know. He wants to try the most common treatments for your symptoms without actually knowing why your symptoms exist.
Unfortunately, your doctor is only responding according to how he was trained. Western medicine’s inherent weakness is its insistence that there is a drug for everything. More often than not, Western medicine focuses on alleviating symptoms rather than actually fixing what is broken.
Chronic Pain Mean Something Is Wrong
It’s too easy for doctors who fail to immediately identify the source of chronic pain to assume it’s all in the patient’s head. For decades, fibromyalgia was considered an imaginary condition. It used to be called fibromyalgia syndrome because it had no known cause. But the millions of people who suffered from it were not imagining their pain.
Thankfully, things have changed, and legitimate research into fibromyalgia confirms that it is real. Research also suggests that it might be caused by an overactive central nervous system. The thing is this: we wouldn’t know as much about fibromyalgia as we now know had patients not stood up and refused to accept ‘I don’t know’.
Chronic pain means something is wrong. It’s no more difficult than that, explain the pain doctors at Lone Star Pain Medicine in Weatherford, Texas. They say that it might take doctors some time to figure things out, but a source of chronic pain can be found if you dig deep enough.
You Are Your Best Advocate
The long and short of it is that you are your best advocate. If you are suffering from chronic pain and your GP hasn’t been able to identify its source, it’s time for you to move on. Do your own research. Look around for other doctors. Make connections on social media. Somewhere out there is the answer; you just have to find it. Just remember this: you don’t have to accept ‘I don’t know’.