Wednesday, 11 December 2019

Learning to Manage Chronic Pain


Hi everyone, over the past 5 weeks I have been attending a Pain Management course, and since I promised a few people, I have written a post all about it to report how it went, what type of things I learnt and if in general I found it helpful.  So here it is -
I have struggled for so many years, feeling very cut off and left alone to cope and manage because all the doctors told me is that I have this condition for life, there is no cure so you're stuck with it.  Learn to manage it, look up tips online, off you go, bye-bye!  And that was it.

I've felt like I'm floundering, just left to pick up the pieces of what's left of my life, just trying to push on through and all the while being in constant pain, exhausted and depressed. I didn't know where to turn, the internet wasn't the best of help because there's just so much online, where do you even start, what is actually the right advice to follow!

In general I am proud of myself, because I struggle every single day trying to get things done and get through the day, sometimes even when I'm in so much pain I'm in tears. But most days I do it, I still push through and I get what I can done!  At least now, after completing this course I have that little bit of extra knowledge and positive thinking behind me, to be able to help me get through life in a little bit of an easier way!
Being able to go on this course has given me that support and understanding I've desperately needed!  It's given me all the answers I've been searching for and more.
  If it wasn't for my councillor (that I see for my depression issues), telling me about the course, I would never have known about it.  As soon as she told me, I said I was definitely interested so she referred me.

I've now learnt how important it is to have people in your life to talk to (friends, family, a nurse or good gp etc) about your health, your emotions and fears, your medications, problems and ways to help solve them and for general support!  Because you should never have to manage alone!

I've learnt how important it is to exercise and stretch!  Even if you're in too much pain to move, which sounds crazy right!  But it's so true. The more you get your body moving, even a little bit each day, the more it will get used to it, strengthen the muscles and help you feel you can move with less pain.  It REALLY does work!

I've started doing my short stretching routine just for 10 minutes every day and it's already made a difference in the last few weeks.  I've learnt that it's ok to just do a little here and there and that things you already do, like housework, walking or playing with the dog etc any movements are classed as part of your 30 - 60 minutes of daily exercise!  It made me feel like I was already achieving something and I hadn't even realised!


I've learnt ways to help plan ahead, not forget important things despite my foggy fibro brain.
I've learnt that it's ok to take pain relief when I start to feel ill rather than waiting until I feel even worse and I'm trying to manage, because I feel guilty about giving in and taking them beforehand.  Because if you wait to take them when you feel even worse they're less likely to work!  So I don't need to feel guilty anymore, plus not only does it seem to help ease my pain better, I find I'm now taking less pain killers than before!

I've learnt that it's ok to feel down and sad but there are so many ways to help deal with it that you can do for yourself, keeping an emotion diary and writing down your feelings, healthy distraction techniques and other ways to turn it around and have a more positive attitude to help feel better!
Breathing and relaxation techniques, mini exercises and even the best ways to help others understand our needs better!


The tutors were completely lovely and so understanding, mainly I think because they had chronic illnesses too. They had all been through it the same as the rest of us attending the class, and they had also taken the course themselves.  It had worked so well for them they had been able to go from bed-bound, severely ill people hardly able to walk to people with lives!!  I think that helped give us all more hope. There were 7 others on the course with me, each of them with very different and difficult conditions but we all agreed how much we had learnt and how much we were all so grateful to be able to do this course.

One of the best things I found for me, was being able to put all their various techniques and ideas into practice in small ways in my daily life, just little changes or added things that have made a huge difference.  Because they taught us in such a way that we could all make the ideas work for our individual needs.  That was definitely a game changer for me and means that I will always be able to keep up with these changes and progress with them to really help me manage my condition in the long term.  Of course I'm not saying it was a cure-all, I will still always have my health issues and will always suffer with being in pain most of the time, but I will ALWAYS be so incredibly grateful for all the help I was given and the information I can now use to help me manage and get through the bad days.

If you suffer from any type of health condition or chronic pain, I cannot urge you enough to go and talk to your gp or health practitioner and ask them about a pain management course. Not all areas have them, but they are becoming increasingly popular and the more people that ask for them, the more chance they will create groups in all areas.
I also highly recommend this book "Self Management for Long-term Health Conditions". This is basically what the course is based around and the tutors constantly referred to it throughout the course. So if you aren't able to get in to a course or you want a head start, go get this book.  It's available to borrow from most libraries and you can purchase them online for as little as £5 from both Amazon and ebay.


I hope this post helped some of you who are in the same position I was and are currently struggling with your health condition.  If you would like any more details about the course or would just like to talk to me, please feel free to contact me via email (crystalsparklydreams@hotmail.co.uk), IG chat (@CrystalSparklyDreams) or DM me on Twitter (DaniJ72), and I will try and help in any way I can.


So until next time, Stay Positive


Follow my blog with Bloglovin

No comments:

Post a comment

 photo MyBlogSignature2_zps611ebcf4.png