Action on Pain

occ health idiot


Long story. Ready? :-/

I've posted a few times before about my chronic pain and the fact that I am finding things increasingly difficult. I am currently managing to work full time as a teacher, but my attendance is suffering due to increased pain and withdrawal from pregabalin.

Occ health came out to me last year and recommended that work buy me a special chair, which they did. She also mentioned that I would probably qualify as disabled under equality act. However, that wasn't officially recorded on my records. So today I went to see the County's 'doctor' for an assessment.

I had spoken to my GP who had said that occ health would probably request my medical records, which would show my long history of investigations - MRI, ECG etc - and the fact that I have been an outpatient of pain clinic for a few years and have had steroid injections ect to try to control the 'chronic neuropathic pain' I've been diagnosed with.

This seems irrelevant to the guy I saw today. When I said that I struggle to stand too long or sit too long, and that lying down gives me some relief, he said 'well that's nothing to do with your nerves. That's muscular. You just need to strengthen your muscles up'. I explained that lying down doesn't get rid of the pain entirely - nothing does - but that certain standing / sitting positions just aggravate it. He asked how many times I exercise. I said I do pilates or yoga every week - true - but that on a lot of days I am in too much pain by the end of the day to do an exercise class. He basically said that if I did it every day my pain would go away.

He then asked whether I have seen a psychologist or had counselling. At this point I just felt like he was implying that it's all in my head, and I started to get rally upset. I took a phone number for the counselling service - I had been planning to ask for it at my next pain clinic meeting - but he was suggesting that counselling would be able to stop my pain, whereas all it will actually do is give me support and an outlet to discuss things.

Then we got down to the work side of things. I told him that I am managing to cope most of the time, although I have to lie down during my lunch break to get me through the afternoon. I just wanted a bit more understanding and support from school. He then suggested I go part time. It is something I had considered in the future, but I'm not really in a position to do so straight away (plus y11 leave this week which will mean the next couple of months should be more manageable. He said 'I don't think full time is really an option for you at all'. SO basically he is now writing a report to work to say that I do classify as disabled and he recommends I go part time. I was furious at this point and really upset. He couldn't seem to comprehend why I would be so upset, but I just felt really demeaned, patronised and out of control of my own life. Life leaves me at the mercy of pain all the time as it is, and I felt like he was making decisions about my future based on talking to me for 10 minutes and not seeing my medical records.

The final insult was him saying 'I don't know what else I can do for you when you don't actually have a disagnosis.' I said 'I do have a diagnosis - the pain specialist ive seen for 5 years has diagnosed me with chronic pain syndrome'.


I'm not sure what to do now. I feel like complaining about how he handled it would just make me seem like even more of a crazy, lazy attention seeker than he already thought of me as. But I'm so angry. Pain conditions are so misunderstood, but I feel like he handled the whole thing really badly, and all day I've gotten upset again when ive thought about it.

Luckily I have a very supportive boyfriend who sticks up for me and has said that if I do have to go part time sooner than expected we will manage. Without him I don't know what I'd do.

Anyone care to cheer me up and make me feel a bit less alone and misunderstood?!


4 Replies

I actually cannot believe what I have just read what an awful human being he must have been to try and say it was all in your head my aunt suffers with chronic pain syndrome so I know what you are dealing with, I hope you made a complaint about the man you saw as that is not okay at all what he said. YOU should choose when you leave work. He should have read all of your recent medical records to do with pain before he even met you. Best of luck with everything and I hope you find something that works.



These work assessment doctors really don't seem to listen at all! I have chronic pain following a back injury that left me paralysed from the waist down, luckily I have regained all the feeling apart from my left leg, my consultant at the hospital told me to see a psychologist as it was all in my head, and that was a consultant who I had worked alongside for 2 years as a nurse.

I retired 3 years ago due to ill health but don't have a diagnosis I have varying disc herniations, spondylosis in my mid back, but nobody really knows why I have chronic pain. My pain specialist is fantastic but everyone else makes me feel like I'm making it up.

I know exactly how you feel, so keep your chin up & you call the shots, speak to your pain consultant & ask his recommendations as he has your records & can support you. Chronic pain is difficult to manage but you have found a way of getting through the day despite it being difficult, speak to your gp get his recommendations too you should be able to work the hours you want with support use the team that know you. The other thing you could do if you know the name of the doctor you saw is write a complaint and say you do not want to be seen by him again!

You have the right to say that, and see somebody else.

Most if all look after yourself, listen to your body, and take pride that you are working with a chronic condition and doing the best you can do.

Take care, keep your chin up xx


you need to report the person who said that send a email to NHS complaints it's not good enough that's a shocking thing you said wrote As lumpy said I can't believe it either

1 like

i feel your pain hun.i have had so called medical proffesionals treat me the same way,that i am making it up and it can't hurt that much.i have been told to stop taking tramadol and oramorph because they don't work for my type of pain(neuropathic i think) but when i ask what to take she says nothing will work but i should go to the pain management programme.that does not help at 3 am when my feet are burning.I have a tens machine and have just started taking devils Claw.all i can do is keep trying need to get all medical noted together for times when you see idiots in my opinion that means occy health for sure.xx