Jeanette provides three tips for women to help them advocate for their back pain.
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As a survival of failed back syndrome, I’d like to give women three tips in getting through this situation. When seeing your surgeon, I think that it’s so important to have advocate or friend with you, somebody who could be there to backup your questions, back up the answers, help you with memory, help you emotionally, someone there to just be a friend. I’d also say to keep excellent notes especially if you are visiting multiple doctors, keep notes of when your pain changes, of when your medications change of things that work and didn’t work, write everything down, everyday, just write down a sentence. And last I would say to be absolutely honest with your doctor and have no fears with your doctor. Look at them almost as a friend and to give them all of your fears, all of your worries and to be absolutely honest with them. When I say be honest with the doctor, be ready to be honest with yourself. Give all the information and go in with the list of questions so that you can make sure you get all of the time that you need. Don’t be afraid to ask for more time. Don’t be afraid to ask for more questions. I would actually have my list and when we were done with our appointment I would say, “Let me look at my list and make sure I got all of my answers from you and that I feel good living this appointment.” When you’re in that much pain and when you’re not much medication, things can get a little bit blurry. So having someone there and also having a list in front of you really helps.