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Interview 04- Chronic pain

Age at interview: 50
Age at diagnosis: 45
Brief Outline: Multiple tests all negative. Diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. Treatment' Physiotherapy Pain management' Pain Association Scotland Living with Pain course. Current medication' amitriptyline, quinine sulphate, diclofenac sodium (Arthrotec), co-codamol (Kapake), omeprazole (Losec).
Background: Medically retired care officer; married; 3 children.

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Advises people to tell their GP about any side effects, which she emphasises, can vary from...

Advises people to tell their GP about any side effects, which she emphasises, can vary from...

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 So it was like a continuation of everything. So you've got to be very careful, you've got to know your doctor, you've got to be very frank with your doctor and say to him look this is what's happening with this tablet. They've heard it all before, they're not going to hear anything that's going to shock them, so it's a case of if you're honest with your doctor and say “Look this is nae, this really this isn't working, is there anything else you can suggest”. 

 
As long as you've got a good rapport with your doctor you can sit and talk about any tablet you're going to be put on, he will give you the most major side effects that goes with it, and you can discuss it with him, if it’s going to be beneficial to you and is there another tablet that doesn't give you so many side effects, if there is would it be because you're on some other tablet, would it be counteractive to that tablet.
 
So as I say a good relationship with your doctor you need to have, you need to discuss it with him or her, and say “Look what is the best thing for me”. You've got to be willing to try different tablets. I mean even if the doctor says to you these tablets side effects are horrific, it might not be the side effects that you get, because every person is different. 
 
So it means that you're not getting the same side effects as somebody else is getting on the same tablet, so as I say it’s your body, it's the chemicals or whatever the makeup of your body, it’s how that deals with any foreign substances that you put in it. And you have to actually be aware and be able to turn round and say to the doctor ok I'll try it but if it doesn't work I'll come back.
 
 

She thinks that doctors have “a language all of their own” and forget that people might not...

She thinks that doctors have “a language all of their own” and forget that people might not...

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 Well as I say communication is one of the main things that you've got to do. But if you don't know what's wrong with you, and the doctors don't know what's wrong with you, and the professors don't know what's wrong with you, and this one doesn't know what's wrong with you, it can be very hard to communicate. 

 
Because the simple thing is doctors aren't too bad but surgeons and professors and all the rest of it in the hospitals and all that, they've got a language all of their own and they forget, they went to school for what 6 years to learn all these fancy words but we don't know what they are. 
 
So communicating with somebody, like a professional, like a professor or a doctor or whatever, they know the medical names for them, we don't. So you've actually got to say “Excuse me, go on and say that in plain English”, because you would need to have one of these medical dictionaries and you would be there all week trying to figure out what the one word was that he said, so you've actually got to say to them look “I don't understand what you're saying”. 
 
He might understand what he's saying but you don't so you've got to say to him “Look you have to explain it to me, in my language not yours”, and that can be quite, because an awful lot of surgeons and professors can be quite look down their noses at you kind of thing. “You're supposed to do as I tell you, what it used to be years ago”, you didn't answer the doctor back, you didn't do this and you didn't do that, you did what you're were told. 
 
Whereas now you seem to be more open, you can actually say to them “No I don't agree with you”, without being a very bad person, do you know what I mean? Whereas years ago you don't answer the doctor back, whatever he says is wrong with you that's it, you've got to live with it. But you don't now, it's a case of you have to ask them to tell you what's wrong with you in your own, in your language not theirs.
 
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