Parenting and lifestyle blog

Friday, 12 April 2019

The Pain and Me

Recently I attended a 10 week Pain Management course.

I’d spent such a long time fighting my pain, I’ll be honest I sat in the first session, not sure what to expect.  Part of me wondered whether those next nine weeks were going to make any difference at all.

So there I sat, on my birthday, at the first session, sat in a room with others who also had chronic pain.

Right from the outset we were told that they weren’t going to be able to take our pain away, but instead give us different techniques to help to manage our pain.

In first session the next nine weeks were laid out for us, so we knew what we were going to be doing each week.  Each session was covering something different each week.

Over the next nine weeks we learnt what chronic pain was, how our brain works with these pain messages, how it made us feel, we discussed medication, how stress can raise our pain levels and then we went through different techniques to help us cope with the pain.

Each week we did a relaxation exercise and were also given a new exercise from a physiotherapist.

We covered emotions and how to break out of vicious thought cycles.

Sometimes it can be quite easy to be negative when your have chronic pain, you either avoid doing things so it doesn’t hurt, or you do what I was doing which was to push beyond the pain, do way too much and end up being unable to do anything for several days, and then end up in a negative place and I ended up resenting my body and the pain.

This course filled me with positivity, it encouraged goal setting that was achievable.  

Pacing was explained, which was something I thought I’d got nailed, but since being on the course I’ve learnt that tasks don’t have to be done as quickly as possible, it’s ok if it has to wait until the next day, or the task is broken down into smaller bits, and that I prioritise the most important tasks and work on achieving those first.

I really enjoyed the session on mindfulness.  It wasn’t something I’d ever considered using, but centralising my thoughts on the here and now has been a useful tool for when I’m feeling anxious or overwhelmed.

We also talked about acceptance, and accepting our pain - something that I had never been able to do - I was always against my pain.

We were given the quote ‘may I live like the lotus flower ..... at ease in muddy water’.

My interpretation of this is that I am the lotus flower, and that the pain is the muddy water, and despite being in the muddy water, I will still bloom.

It’s hard to believe that in those 10 weeks how my mindset has changed,  I now don’t work against my pain and fight it, I work with it and have accepted it as being a part of me.

And the others who were in the room with me ....... a few of us have stayed in touch with each other, we are all in the same boat as each other and can support each when we are having a bad day.

The reality is that I will still have bad days, but that’s ok, I accept that.  I’ve now been given the tools to get myself back on track and continue to bloom like the lotus flower.



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