Seeking chronic pain treatment facility
February 12, 2007 6:11 AM Subscribe
My boyfriend's mother has suffered from a variety of chronic pain issues for roughly 15 years and is in the process of trying to find a facility that is best suited to her needs.
posted by bilabial to Health & Fitness (6 answers total)
At the moment, her main issue is TMJD, accompanied by severe fibromyalgia, digestive problems, recurring candida, and what some doctors have suggested is Sjogren's syndrome. Needless to say, this is all accompanied by severe depression.
In the past she has been an outpatient at the Mayo Clinic (Florida and Minnesota) as well as an inpatient at the Johns Hopkins Chronic Pain Treatment Program. She lives in a fairly isolated part of Florida, and as such, her access to specialists is limited. Nevertheless, she has traveled extensively to work with jaw specialists, endocrinologists, rheumetologists, and has tried a wide variety of alternative and complementary medicine including massage, myofacial release, rolfing, reiki, aromatherapy, all sorts of natural supplements, yoga, and meditation (she has a strong connection to Buddhism). None provide her much relief.
The several month regimen of detox and physical/occupational therapy at Hopkins made an improvement on her pain level, emotional state and stamina, but it was short lived, lasting for only a few months after her stay there ended. She also felt that their approach was too clinical and narrow for the complex web of problems she has. What she's looking for at this point is a place that has the medical credibility and technology for safe diagnosis and detoxification (she takes a few pain medications and an antidepressant, all to very limited effect), a strong emphasis on alternative/complementary medicine, and an approach that can address the depression (as well as other emotional issues) associated with chronic pain. On the other hand, she's concerned about the lack of standards at certain cure-all spiritual detox centers outside of the U.S. The fact that many of those places don't take insurance is also an issue. My boyfriend's mother and father aren't poor, but a place that takes insurance is highly desirable. Traveling is also taxing on her, so she's looking for places within North America. However, all options, both on and off the continent are welcome.
She's working to address the depression, but again, the resources where she lives are limited. We'd like to keep the discussion focused on the treatment options rather than the validity of her sypmtoms and previous diagnoses.