My first visit at Pain Management was entered into with nothing but dread. I walked in and saw many types of people. Varied races, ages, attitudes, fashion sense, etc. The one common thread was their faces. I knew that face. I saw that face every time I looked in the mirror for the past few years. PAIN! Different levels and degrees, but pain nonetheless. Crutches, walkers, wheelchairs, neck, back, and knee braces were prevalent. I got several looks thrown my way which I interpreted as “What’s wrong with you?!” “You don’t look sick!” I filled out tons of paperwork, including “drug use and dismissal” forms, then I got my lecture about office procedure. I could be urine drug tested at any time without notice. If I forgot to bring all of my meds to each visit I would not be seen and may be dismissed from the practice. If I lost, sold, or gave away my meds, I would not be given another prescription until my next scheduled appointment. I would be given a “detox cocktail” from the pharmacy to hold me over. I felt like a criminal and a drug addict already and I hadn’t even met the doctor yet. I was finally (an hour and a half after my appointment time) taken into an exam room. A medical assistant asked me if I was currently on any illegal drugs. I said no, I didn’t do drugs. She made some notes then took my blood pressure, weight, and temperature. She told me doctor would be right in. 30 minutes passed. My head was throbbing and I was near tears. Finally, the doctor came in and introduced himself, shaking my hand. He immediately looked me in the eye and went to lower the lights in the exam room. He asked me how long I had been experiencing migraines. Not headaches, but migraines! I told him it was going on two years almost daily. He shook his head and said how sorry he was and that he would do all he could to get me feeling better. I liked him already. Empathy! A rare word in the invisible illness world, and he had it! He believed the pain was as bad as I described! I could have cried from relief! (I may have!) I began to change my outlook and actually think positively!