Here is my strategy.
1).Make a record. Put your sleep pattern, food journal, symptom tracker on a spreadsheet.
2).Keep a Healthcare "resume" that shows when you tried drugs and how you reacted and what you need care for during that visit. If I show a doctor my "resume" and symptoms chart and don't get immediate respect, I leave.
3). I try to find doctors who deal with fibro ( call the receptionist) but a doctor can learn about a condition. They can't learn to prioritize listening and respecting you. That said-
4)Respect their time as well as yours.Appointments average 15 minutes. Don't waste the time you are paying for. If you want a blood test, ask if you can get it done before your appointment so you can look over the results together. Write down your current drugs and dosage and current exercise/diet. Keep your questions focused to 3-5. Research your condition and treatments beforehand. Take Notes. Seriously. Even someone without fibro fog forgets what they hear in the doctor's office.
If you write your symptoms on your Healthcare "resume" as well, it takes pressure off you to remember and saves both of you valuable time. Also- show you are making an effort on treatments. Record that you walked to the mail box everyday last week or that you stopped eating sugar for a month. If the doctor can see the effort you are putting in, they are more likely to put in similar effort to help you.
And you know, yelp them first.
I switched because my doctor was completely indifferent. He would do my refills. But he really didn't care about my pain, my moods or investigate things in depth. Best thing I ever did.
I left my wonderful internist. Worked with him. Very smart, respected but very close-minded. Six months after my injury, then 1 year and 2 years. He offered nothing but valium and darvocet, but as much as I wanted. So I went looking for a pain specialist on my own. I found him in the yellow pages, the only one. But he was great. He was Dean of the Medical school but still saw patients twice a week. He understood chronic pain.
My internist refused to talk to me about him. He ignored the progress note from the pain dr. I found a family practitioner who worked with me. It was awkward at first but I received good care. If you feel you have to change do it.
I have been to the pain management clinic in my city here in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. The doctor was very kind and understanding of my pain and symptoms. He tried several medications in differing doses until he got me as stable as I can be with a lot of other medical problems I have. Such as having 4 heart attacks and 4 stents in my heart. A pacemaker. Extreme anemia and allergies to a lot of medications. Once he got my migraines down from at least 1 to 2 a week. Iron transfusions. Heart medications and mostly so far it seems like a good dosage and routine of pain meds he did send me back to my family doctor of 34 years so she knows about all of my irregularities and understands me. So I do guess I am lucky to have very good doctors. Even though I am in pain most of the time I don't feel like I'm being ignored by my doctor when I have to go to her with something. And I also guess I'm lucky I do live in Canada where we have a very good medical system. I wish this for all. Find the RIGHT DOCTOR and keep on looking until you do find one that believes in you and your pain. As my family doctor didn't know much about the signs and many symptoms of fibermyalgia but she researched it. And believe me being taken seriously and with sympathy by your doctor goes along way to help us through this that we go through. Gentle hugs to all and I hope you find help and a doctor that helps you live your life as fully as you can.
I changed Dr when they kept prescribing me the anti inflamatories when Fibro is not inflammation!!! I also asked multiple times to be referred to a pain clinic which I later found out she never did! Told my new Dr and his first thing was "of course those meds won't work". He then immediately put me on new meds and referred me to a pain clinic without me even needing to ask.