I am 39 years old. I’ve suffered from severe back pain most of my life and severe foot/ankle pain since birth. After going from doctor to doctor over the years, I was sent to a spine specialist who was able to diagnose the source of my back pain. Basically, I had been walking around with a fractured spine for most of my life. I had a spinal fusion. While the surgery remedied some of the pain, it did not help the majority of it.
A year later, after continuing to suffer severe back pain after my surgery, I was hit with the realization that this was just going to be my life. I was going to suffer excruciating pain for the rest of my life. Then I was referred to Dr. Sureja for pain management. I read reviews for Dr. Sureja on some doctor review sites before going to see him. There were some positive reviews and some negative reviews. I’m an anxious worrier, so I fixated on the negative reviews and was terrified. So much so, that I considered calling my doctor and asking to be referred to a different pain management doctor. On top of that, I tend to do better with female doctors. Male doctors have always intimidated me and made me uncomfortable. I decided that I should give him a chance anyway and told myself I could always switch doctors if I didn’t like him.
I can’t explain why, but the moment he opened the door and made eye contact, something told me to relax and that I was safe. He was just wonderful, very knowledgeable, attentive, and compassionate. I’m allergic to a lot of medications, including steroid injections, so my pain management options were already limited. He took the time to explain to me what was going on in my body, why I was feeling pain in specific areas, etc. He LISTENED to me and he HEARD me. You should always be informed, but remember to give your own experience a chance. It was one of the best first appointments I had ever had.
I’ve seen him twice more since, along with Kimberly Maigi, FNP-C who was just as attentive and easy to communicate with. While we’ve had to make a few adjustments, I am feeling much better since I’ve started seeing Dr. Sureja. From the ladies who work at the front desks, to the radiologists, to the nurses, and to the PAs and doctors, I know that I am in caring hands. It’s a wonderful thing to not have your thoughts clouded every moment by pain, to not feel so hopeless.