Why Do Doctors Ignore Our Pain?
The amount of pain I have with IBS has greatly increased in the past year. My tolerance for this pain is wearing thin. At times it seems almost unbearable, but I have no choice but to endure it.
It seems this pain is ignored by doctors. It feels like our suffering does not matter. Why are so many of us finding no relief for pain levels that disrupt daily life and drastically decrease our quality of life?
Failing to find effective pain relief
I have bouts of both IBS-C and IBS-D. Treating one triggers the other, and there is no treatment that works for both sides of the coin. In the past, some doctors have simply thrown antispasmodics at me to treat cramping. It sometimes relieves a decent bit of the pain caused by cramping. The problem is it triggers severe IBS-C flares.
For many years, I have simply endured the pain. I have adjusted to a certain level of pain, and my tolerance for pain increased. However, the level of pain is increasing and I have no idea what to do about it.
Coping with pain that is dismissed by doctors
I have spent many days in misery as of late. Even if I fast, and it is becoming much harder to fast, I find that it does not always make the pain stop. It may decrease at times, but I still have cramping and burning on a completely empty stomach. Sometimes the burning pain of an empty stomach is somewhat relieved by eating, but then it causes more intense cramping. It is a relentless cycle that seems to have no end.
The problem with this cycle of pain is that it is largely ignored by doctors. The dismissive attitude of many members of the medical community is hard to swallow. Some medical professionals refuse to acknowledge the effects IBS and pain have on our quality of life. Why? Why are digestive disorders ignored when it comes to pain? Is our pain less important? If you have ever spoken to your doctor about IBS pain, did you feel like you they were concerned?
Seeking solutions to relieve chronic pain
I am not saying all medical professionals ignore IBS pain. I had one doctor many years ago who was happy to throw pain medication my way. His answer to any complaint I had was to prescribe more pain medication. I replaced him fairly quickly. While I would like to get rid of my pain, a never-ending cycle of pain medication without limits was not, and is not the answer. I felt like he prescribed pain medication to silence my pleas for help rather than try to find a solution to the root cause.
Admittedly, there is no real solution. For decades, I have survived without any type of medication for pain. With increasing levels of pain, I know pain relief is going to become an issue. It is becoming an issue. In the near future, I may need medication for occasional pain relief. Thanks to the opioid crisis here in the United States, attaining a prescription for any kind of pain medication is no easy feat. What am I supposed to do?
Enduring relentless pain with no relief
With all the restrictions in place, doctors have largely stopped prescribing pain medications for many issues. IBS pain is ignored, and that is a big problem. Many of us endure relentless pain. Some days it seems unbearable, but we have no choice. We are ignored. We are treated like our pain does not matter. What are we to do when our doctors are not concerned with our pain?
As I sit here facing another day filled with pain that is rendering me useless, I am angry. I am angry for all of us who suffer from IBS pain. Why is our pain treated as “less than” the pain of other chronic illnesses? Why are we ignored?
Have you found ways to cope with your pain? Have you had any success with pain management? I would love to hear how you are managing your irritable bowel syndrome pain.
Do you live with any sleep disorders (eg. insomnia, RLS, sleep apnea) in addition to IBS?