Every couple of months I see my hematologist and every couple of months I report some sort of pain. In December I mentioned my joints were becoming stiff and painful so he set up a referral to a rheumatologist before referring me to the pain clinic, worried pain meds would mask underlying problems.
Yesterday, during my physical exam, the doctor checked movement and range of motion of the major joints. Before the exam, she asked which area was most painful. For me it’s generally my right shoulder near the scapula, followed by my hips.
She manipulated joint by joint asking for my comfort level. Fine, fine, decent, and that actually feels good in a painful way-if that makes sense. Then she had me lay on my back and lifted my bent leg to the side.
She did the other leg. Same pain.
About an 8-9 on the pain scale.
“You’ve been living with so much pain for so long that you don’t even recognize it anymore. I’m sending you for X-rays and blood work. Results will be in Monday. We’ll talk then.”
If you’d have asked me a year ago if I had chronic pain I’d have said no. Then I learned that your daily pain baseline should be at 0, not 3, I began to realize I might have chronic pain. I still justified it away because I only occasionally had 6-8 level pain, so I’m good, right? Apparently some people don’t have daily pain?!?
This is your public service announcement that long time, low level pain probably needs checking out.
#ChronicPain #Rheumatologist #ouch