Imagine instead of trying to save your intimate relationship you’re trying to create a medical relationship. One between the patient and provider. A relationship that needs to work in order to better your daily living, health and which can sometimes mean the difference between life and death.

Seeing the situation

Take the marriage advice many of us are given right before we walk down the aisle. We hear a good relationship does not just happen; you have to give it time, patience and two people who truly want to be together. Now let’s look at this saying in terms of a pain life. A good relationship with your provider doesn’t just happen. You have to give it time, patience and two people (the provider and patient) who truly want to be working towards the same goal. Neither wants to be here in this relationship, and the pain is a must just like love is in the relationship.

“You need a pain provider more than they need you. Help them want to be on your team.”

You have to appreciate that neither of you wants you to be in pain. There is no reason to resent each other. Without the pain you wouldn’t be in each other’s lives. Focus your communication on the positives and address the negatives in a productive manner. Try acknowledging the provider with: “It must be difficult to see all of us patients who are dealing with hard challenging situations. Thank you for working to help me.” After all either through insurance or cash, you’re paying this person to be involved with you.

Becoming an active partner

After appreciation and communication comes helping them help you. As I said, you need a pain provider more than they need you. Help them want to be on your team. Make it easy for them by being organized. Make your time together count, every time. If they are not fulfilling the needs, or helping you accomplish goal setting and pain management, don’t be afraid to move on or fix it. It is your responsibility. I know it takes work. We must prepare.

Since you have to live life with a pain provider in it, make it the best patient-provider relationship it can be. Becoming fortunate enough to share your pain care with a great provider that will be with you even after the pain is under control is something you have to help create and which you carry the most responsibility for as the patient. Getting providers to understand you need their support for those one-time-stands becomes easier as well. It all comes down to showing support, responsibility, time management and knowing just having pain is not enough to sustain proper and timely care with your provider.