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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Is there any special preparation for my appointment?
A. Yes. Most patients are able to have a pain procedure their first visit unless there is a medical condition that would make doing the procedure unsafe at that time. You will need someone to come with you to drive you home. We don't want you to eat any solid food 6 hours before your appointment. You can have clear liquids (coffee, tea without milk, soda, apple juice, Jell-O or broth) until two hours before your appointment, then nothing to eat or drink. The driver must check in at the front desk with you and must be present when you are ready to go home.

Q. Is there anything I need to bring to my appointment?
Yes. We would like you to bring any X-rays, CT Scans or MRIs not done at a Geisinger facility. We would also like you to bring all of your current pain medication botles to the appointment.

Q. I'm on a blood thinner can I be seen in the Pain Center?
A. Yes. Your first visit will be a consult. Depending on the blood thinner you are on and the procedure recommended, we will contact your doctor to see if it is safe for you to discontinue your blood thinner for a week before your scheduled procedure. A pain center nurse will give you a reminder call one week before your appointment. If you are on Coumadin, we will take a blood sample the day of your procedure to make sure your blood is not too thin to safely continue with the procedure.

Q. I'm diabetic. Will this effect my treatment?
Not if your diabetes is under control. You will need to check your blood sugar the morning of the procedure. If it is greater than 200, call us before you leave home. We will check it again before we admit you. Steroids can cause a temporary increase in blood sugar, so we ask you to monitor your blood sugars closely for a week after your procedure. If it does increase, you should contact your primary care physician (PCP) to explain you had a steroid injection and your blood sugars are elevated. Your PCP will adjust your diabetic medicine if necessary.

Q. Should I take my diabetic medicine on the day of my appointment?
A. Do not take your diabetic medicine. Bring the medicine with you to take when you leave the clinic and after you eat.

Q. What about my daily medications?
You can take all of your daily medications, including pain medicine, except for blood thinners and diabetic medicine. Contact the clinic for instructions about your diabetic medicine and blood thinners.

Q. Will there be any limits on my activity?
A. With routine pain procedures, you can resume your normal activities the next day. You are not to drive or operate machinery the day of the procedure.

Q. Do you have a doctor that treats Fibromyalgia?
No. Not at this time. We recommend the person see a rheumatologist or a physiatrist (Rehabilitation Medicine doctor).

Q. Do you prescribe medications for pain?
No. Our medical pain management pharmacist consults, makes recommendations to, and works with the referring physicians, but does not prescribe opiate medication.