"Pain Clinic"

About: Solihull Hospital / Pain Management

(as the patient),

In February, I went for my third visit to Solihull pain clinic. The previous two times were suggested by my doctor due to a long term neck problem. On my second visit I saw a psychologist for long term pain. She was very helpful and also it was so good to just talk to someone. This time I had asked my GP if I could see the psychologist again. I was told that I had to be referred again to the pain clinic to get to the psychologist.

As soon as I got into the room at the pain clinic I explained to the doctor that I simply wanted to see the psychologist. He said that he would get to that. He asked where I had pain with a drawing of an outline of a person in front of him. Not thinking I started to mention where ive had problems in the past, due to years of sport, including that id had an MRI of my lower back. He looked up the MRI and explained to me that I had three slipped discs through wear and tear but that it wasnt bad enough for an operation.

To get to the point he told me that I suffered from a condition where im more sensitive to pain than others and gave me some paperwork to take with me. Also that if I did sport I should be healthy! Despite not knowing what sports I did and how many doctors over the years warned me to stop. I didnt think I would suffer later on.

When I got home and looked at the paper work, I saw that I had been diagnosed with ME/Chronic widespread pain (cwp) or fibromyalgia. I was really upset as I hadn't once mentioned chronic pain anywhere except for my neck. I know that there's nothing that can be done for my neck and it degenerative. To have this diagnosis on my record is ridiculous as I think that I will never be taken seriously again whenever I go to the doctors. I have decided to not go to anymore referrals again if at all possible. Especially as the physio I saw the next day was treating me as though I was making a fuss. I mentioned my MRI showed three slipped discs, to which she said so if you gave anyone on the street an MRI, most would have something wrong with them. It was obvious she had read the notes from the pain clinic before.

I have suffered miserably with neck pain for most of my life but continue to look after my housebound mother and younger sister. I've done their gardens, shopping, housework and basically ran their homes, including raising my nephew as well as my own children for many years. I carry on despite pain and yet I'm now being labelled a person that notices every little twinge and runs to the doctor. Nothing could be further from the truth. I'm so upset by his judgement of me.

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Response from Margaret Mitchell, Deputy head for patient services, Heart Of England NHS Foundation Trust

Dear JT, thank you for taking the time to provide us with your feedback. Certainly if you would like us to investigate this matter further for you we would be happy to do so. Please contact Patient Services Team on 0121 424 0808 or by email to bhs_tr.Complaints-ConcernsandCompliments@nhs.net

Kind regards

Margaret Mitchell

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