May 2018 Patient Spotlight
Scott was a self-professed active guy. But he suffered from lower back pain that was aggravated by sitting all day. Six years ago, his back pain progressed to where it affected his day to day. Scott stopped going to the gym. He couldn’t walk more than 50 feet without resting. He couldn’t even walk his dog. Scott’s pain doctor in CT didn’t prescribe opioids for more than a couple of months. After the script ran out, he offered to prescribe Scott a pain patch, and was reluctant to prescribe or even discuss much of anything else.
Then, six years ago, Scott came to Boston PainCare on referral from a coworker. Immediately Scott felt comfortable here. From the beginning, Dr. DiBenedetto and Dr. Silk took the time to talk with him. He felt respected, and more importantly, he didn’t feel judged. If fact, Scott reports that staff has helped explain his condition and treatments to him in such a way that he can now relay that information to friends and family to help them better understand his pain and pain management.
Unfortunately, Scott has felt his share of judgment from others who have questioned his chronic pain. His condition is not something Scott volunteers or normally talks about with anyone except a small circle of people. Too often he has felt disbelieved or judged — even by his local pharmacist! Scott shared how once when he was picking up a refill, the pharmacist cross-examined him about his opioid prescription in front of a line of customers. Scott felt attacked, and he felt like the pharmacist viewed him as a criminal or a junkie. When he told Kate Nycz about it at his next med management appointment, she just calmly told him to ignore them and find a different pharmacy because he was “doing what [he] needed to do”.
At Boston PainCare, Scott has received help with med management from Kate Nycz and Hannah Potler, and trigger injections from Dr. DiBenedetto, Dr. Silk, and Dr. Bazoberry. Here, Scott has been welcomed as an active partner in his care. Scott said, “Boston PainCare was willing to work with me to explore my options and by doing so, I didn’t feel controlled by my pain”.
Currently, Scott is recovering from very painful shoulder surgery, but despite the surgical setback, Scott feels much more functional. “I’m never going to run a marathon, but now I can walk my dog 3-4 miles, go to the gym, ride my bike — and I couldn’t do that 6 years ago.
“Biggest thing I’ve noticed is that I don’t feel judged. I’ve been on opioids since I got here. BPC has helped me decrease my dosage but there’s been no stigma attached to my levels or the type of pain meds I was on and continue to be on. Everyone at Boston PainCare has been very supportive and willing to listen. Their response to any pain issue has been, ‘Come in and we can talk about it.’”