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Media Can be a Pain Patient’s Friend

I have had IC for 45 years and do what I can to further our cause. In 2014, I was losing my family doctor and also the doctor who prescribed my pain meds. So I went through the directory looking for a new family doctor. Every single family practice group in the area REFUSED to take patients who were taking pain medications, even if they received them from a pain doctor.

Actually, one group asked me to send a list of my meds, and then they would let me know if I could enroll. I had heard of other IC patients being unable to find a family doctor, but was shocked that it extended to ever single group I contacted. Not knowing where to turn, I called the local newspaper and asked to speak to the health reporter.  I told the reporter of my predicament and a couple weeks later my friends started calling to say I was the featured article on the front page of the newspaper.

The article was printed in the Asheville Citizen Times (North Carolina) May 1, 2014 and is titled “Easing Pain, or Prescribing Problem.”  A short time after that I called my preferred family practice group and was told that my pain medication was no longer an issue!  I felt like that was a victory for me and others that struggle for legitimate and necessary pain management. I have now been in this practice for two years, and my family doctor will prescribe my pain meds and makes it a point to stay up to date on IC literature.

So my advice, if you encounter problems receiving reasonable care due to being a chronic pain patient, is to call local media and tell your story. I have always found that most writers are looking for important, relevant, and new stories to tell. I hope the article I was featured in helped many other pain patients in my area.

Nancy Williams