Does your doctor believe you? How to find one who does.
Does your healthcare provider take the time to listen? Do you feel more like an inconvenience than a client? And when you share your symptoms and concerns, does your doctor believe you? You need to learn how to find one who does.
The relationship between a client/patient and a healthcare provider must be built on mutual respect and trust. A doctor sees many people throughout an average day. But you are the one and only you. And your health and well-being should not be compromised because a doctor is busy, distracted, or just plain disinterested,
I specialize in helping people suffering from nerve sensitization, a condition where the nerves become over-sensitive, leading to a wide range of symptoms, each of them life-changing. Chronic pain—in the neck, stomach, and back—debilitating headaches, bladder issues, digestive problems (including irritable bowel syndrome), and fibromyalgia can all be associated with nerve sensitization.
But here’s the challenge with getting it diagnosed and treated correctly. Nerve sensitization doesn’t show up on conventional medical imaging, like x-rays or MRIs. You can’t SEE an inflamed nerve. Even the sharpest medical expert can’t point out where a neuron is in a highly charged state.
No, it’s not all in your head.
Have you ever explained your intense, chronic pain to a doctor, friend, co-worker, or family member, and then noticed the look of doubt on their face? Without a “valid” diagnosis, they don’t believe you.
“It can’t be that bad if the tests don’t show anything wrong.”
“I think you’re being overly dramatic.”
What they’re really saying is, “It’s all in your head.”
But you know it isn’t. The slightest touch sparks agonizing pain. You’re afraid to bend or move because you fear the suffering it might cause. And without having the understanding and support of people around you, you feel isolated and hopeless.
How do you get help with nerve sensitization?
Your return to wellness starts when you find the right doctor, one who understands the condition and knows how to help you. Whether that means working with this healthcare professional or getting a referral to a specialist, you need to be in the care of someone who believes that what you are experiencing is very, very real.
Nerve sensitization is a complex condition. You can’t just throw painkillers or anti-inflammatories at chronic pain and expect lasting relief. You’ve probably heard the saying, “When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” Some healthcare professionals stick to what they know, And it’s not useful for you!
You need a practitioner who asks the right questions, understands the signs, and knows how to treat nerve sensitization.
Use this checklist to gain confidence you’ve found the right doctor.
- Considers the whole body. These are system-wide disorders. The right provider has you fill out a pain map, a visual of where all the pain is that shows they are considering the whole picture and not too narrowly focused.
- Asks about your non-pain symptoms that are commonly associated with nerve sensitization, including fatigue, brain fog, and sleep issues.
- Evaluates your mental health, including a history of abuse or trauma, because they know these issues contribute to your condition.
- Actually examines you to get a better perspective on your physical being.
- Discusses the impact of stress, sleep, and exercise, understanding that many factors affect your symptoms.
- Tailors a treatment specifically to you, not just according to a one-size-fits-all algorithm.
- Focuses on guiding you back to health—to the activities you enjoy and not just getting your pain score to zero.
- Asks about your activity—work, hobbies, and habits, which are key metrics for improvement with sensitization disorders.
- Promotes realistic expectations, a reflection of an honest professional who is focused on results, not just appeasing you and sending you on your way.
- Maintains a network of associated providers to allow for other treatments, such as psychologists, physical therapists, chiropractors, massage therapists, and acupuncturists.
- Understands the appropriate medications that are useful in treating sensitization, including nerve pain agents.
The right provider for nerve sensitization ticks every item on this list. I know it can be challenging to search for a healthcare provider, but you owe it to yourself to keep looking until you find the right doctor.
Visit AskDrShana.com to learn more about nerve sensitization, including how to diagnose and effectively treat it.