Maybe I should have titled this post, ‘Back on Pain’s roller coaster‘? But then I’d have to explain my position – which would it be? Up or down? Or is this another case of in the middle – managing?
I have many descriptions for my health status and they are constantly revolving around in my head. That’s because I don’t know where I ever stand with this chronic pain. And there seems to be no one else who knows where I (or you!) stand either. So damn frustrating.
But last year, I got fortunate. Someone planted a seed…
We recognise that your pain affects your ability to do the things that make you who you are. We manage the impact that pain has on your world.
– Nick Christelis
Thinking about taking on treatment is difficult. Yes, even when you need it because you know you’ll need a bundle of energy and mind stamina to digest the information. You don’t have much of that when you have chronic pain.
Most days, you don’t have any stamina at all. Have you ever forgotten someone’s name while you were speaking? Just stay with that thought, and now try to imagine reading information about your health at the same time – it aint gunna sink in! You can’t even do these tasks easily when you have a ‘low pain’ day. It’s traumatic and the LAST thing you want to do, yes, even knowing your health depends on it, is search for a solution to the nightmare.
To face treatment you have to be prepared for some (or all) of the following:
- loads of decision-making
- many appointments
- more appointments
- more decisions
- new medication trials
- adjustment to medication trials
- possible operative procedures
- weeks for medication adjustment
- bills, many, many many
- a lot of rest
- possible more pain than usual
And all the while, you are in pain doing this and most likely, you’ll need help to manage it all. That’s if you’re lucky! Thankfully, I am.
So someone got talking to someone on a plane (you know how that story goes, your eyes begin to glaze over because you’re in pain thinking ‘if this friend tells me I need to meet someone and sustain a new friendship, I’m going to punch them‘ – but in the end, it works out that you wished you had sat next to that someone on the plane, and you meet that person and you wished you had met them a very long time ago – like eight years ago for me).
But let me move on, we’ve met now, and I’ve had my first appointment with VicPain’s Dr Nick Christelis. What gave me the confidence to make an appointment were the following words, words I have never heard before, (I’ll get the worst tip out-of-the-way first!):
- A chronic pain issue is like any other chronic issue, you never stop searching for treatment
- We are constantly learning and so there are constantly new treatment options
- Why is it that no one has ever persisted to find out why you can’t sit in that chair?
- Who’s your team?
- You need to be ‘set up’ for your good days and your bad days. You need long-term pain relief, short-term pain relief, pain relief for flares
- You need psychological support to handle the ‘stressors’ in life
- You need to have someone to call so you never feel you’re managing alone
- You need to feel supported, etc
It went on and on… and the finale was a whole bunch of hope. Huge hope, especially after the two days it took me to get this thought out of my head: ‘this. is. never. gong. to. end’.
And now, just a week later, and on my new meds experiencing great pain relief with no side effects, I have only one more question:
Why have I not found this kind of treatment, personal and medical, before?