Monday, 30 September 2013

PAIN explained = If you don't have a clue (like me)?

Neuropathic Pain + Nerve Pain = BAD PAIN

I keep wondering how my Doctor's can understand my pain! Or, if they can then how do they appreciate what my pain is? Especially, when they're not the ones experiencing it, quite like me! Pain is such a 'subjective-thing'. It defies any reasonable, 'cognitive' term. Even my 'team of professional carers' at the #Professor Tess Cramond Multidisciplinary Pain Centre attempt to - by accepting the paradigm that, 'everyone's pain is uniquely their own'. This is a first step in treating a person who suffers with 'Chronic-and-Persistent-Pain'.

My biggest issue, which has taken me a long time to understand is learning 'acceptance'. Like, taking ownership of a new car, I've had to do the same with my pain. It's a weird concept, one that I thought I had my head around - but really didn't properly get it - until I was involved in the #L.I.F.E. - Pain Education Program . Where 'LIFE' is an acronym for Living Independently, Functioning Efffectively. It's an eight week course, running for six-hours per day, two days per week, for assistance to manage my ongoing pain.

It is an education program, that introduced me to a broad approach to understanding and managing #persistent-pain. A real 'eye-opener' for me and something I needed to do for my own-sake (and sanity too!). The program's aim, is to help me begin to actively #self-manage my pain . While no one else can experience my pain, some approaches have been shown to help me tolerate pain better. This has helped me gain a greater sense of control over my life.

For me, living with persistent pain is a challenge that requires a large amount of personal, family and social adjustment. Participating in the 'L.I.F.E.-Program' has helped me begin to think more positively, and to develop approaches to better manage my pain and more importantly, has helped me restore my confidence to a point where I can use these #pain-management-skills in my daily life.

In the eight week period during the L.I.F.E.-Program, I attended 'Group-Education-Sessions', presented by;

  • Pain Medicine Specialist Doctor
  • Nurse
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Physiotherapist, and
  • Psychologist

And covering topics such as; 1.Emotions and Pain; 2.Improving Sleep; 3.Problem Solving; 4.Understanding Pain; 5.Helpful Thinking; 6.Goal Setting; 7.Values based Activity; 8.Pacing;

As well as some valuable 'one-on-one' time with the Specialists involving 'Individualised-Case-Management' I was asked to complete questionnaires, to help me better understand the impact that My Pain was having on my life.  

One of the key things I learned from the LIFE Program was - The 'type' of person I am! In respect to the questionnaires that I filled out. It turns out that I'm a #Boom-And-Bust human being, not given to 'Pacing' one's-self either. So, the portents are not good for me - I've been on the exercise machine for too long. (Again!)..