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Upcoming Appointment with my Pain Specialist

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In just a few days I will be seeing Dr Christelis.

I’ve had one follow up appointment since my sacral stim implant.

It’s not that the stim has miraculously sorted my chronic pain issue, and not that I haven’t had a million symptoms to question, but I’ve come to learn that symptoms change alot. So I wait weeks, even months before deciding whether I need an appointment.

During this time a fair bit of info accumulates. I learn alot about my treatment and alot about how my body responds to it. It’s impossible to remember all this detail.

Thoughts I battle before an appointment are – how I’ll manage the car ride, my preference to be self managing, and that I’m sick of appointments. There is also the cost issue to take into account and that there are others who need these appointments also. A good pain specialist is busy.

Being conscious of the above, I’ve learned to manage appointments better. I plan for the appointment by using Pain Train to speak for me and remind me of everything I want to say.

Wanna see how I do this?

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EPIc Women’s Retreat – Snow Mountain Range

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Women’s Retreat for women living with pain

October 13th–15th 2017
YMCA Snow Mountain Ranch in Grand County, Colorado
1101 County Road 53, Granby, Colorado 80446

The next Women’s Retreat is in October 2017. There are only ten spots available and registrations are accepted based on availability.

The Women’s retreat provides experiential learning in a safe, serene, supportive and natural environment. Guests are free to be themselves, are heard and understood and are supported and encouraged in beautiful surroundings.

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Self Management: Acceptance, Commitment & Sacrifice

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Elizabeth Banfield_written within
(Image: Written Within* by Elizabeth Banfield hand burnished linocut, kozo tissue, thread ©2017)

My sacral stim and I have known each other for a full 17 months now, so I felt it was the right time to make some comments and reflect, again, on this self management business.

Yes, the sacral stim is making a huge difference.

Now remember – I’m talking about my pelvis, my pain experience, my brain, my nervous system and my genes

Three (of my never-ending) realisations for living with chronic pain are that I have to:

  • accept that my life and I have changed – forever
  • commit to a new way of living, and
  • make the sacrifices that it takes to self manage

Chronic pain really blurs life so it takes time to realise the impact (positive or negative) of any treatment or change of activity.

Time seems shorter for me. When I compare myself with full capacity humans, I feel I achieve less and the physical cost is greater.

Not the best value! But it’s what I can get.

The Sacral Stim

The good news is: Continue Reading

God, I’ve founded a better way to do things

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No, I’m not about to preach about finding God. I mean the other God – your health professional.

I’ve had many dilemmas trying to manage chronic pain.

The obvious ones relate to seeking appropriate treatment and managing life – money, bills, commitments, family, friends… if you’re reading this, you probably know how that paragraph ends.

But I’ve had an additional, personally inflicted dilemma and that’s to make something of my situation and further still, have the experience validated.

I don’t think we can control self inflicted dilemmas. In fact it’s hardly a dilemma, it’s more like a personal trait that I owned long before my injury.

pudendalnerve.com.au‘s vision is focused on positivity and I’ve adhered to my mission to help others with chronic pain (and injured workers) through my personal experience.

I’ve taken that one step further by founding Pain Train – an online health record website for people exactly like me. Continue Reading

Pain Down There online resource

Author:
Stephanie-Yeager-screen

You might recall me plugging the Pain Down There DVD – an extensive resource for women created by Robert Echenberg, Karen Liberi, Alexandra Milspaw, and Stephanie Yeager.

Now the team have taken this a step further, turning the DVD into an online, supported program.

The idea is to offer support and pain management in small groups of 10 – 15 women who start the program at the same time. The video content is released to them online and they also get to meet as a group online with Stephanie as their personal health coach. Individually they have the option to meet with the doctor and PT – all via video conferencing.

Finally! Continue Reading

Encouraging Self Management

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(Written by me, the founder of {Pain}Train)

That’s easier said than done.

When I first had my accident in 2007 and literally landed in chronic pain, the last thing I expected to hear at any appointment was that I had to manage and coordinate my own treatment.

It was confusing when I was asked what treatment I thought would be best for me to try next – wasn’t the professional meant to guide me?

But a decade later I now finally realise that I was driving my pain management and it was in fact my direction and feedback – from my unique pain experience that was making the difference.

Without the patient reporting their exact experience – which we now know is unique – there’s no way to plan or move forward.

I can’t imagine the complexity a professional faces when trying to help a patient who is unable to articulate their pain experience. But I know this is the general scenario and I know this because I experienced the difficulty of remembering, talking, thinking, documenting, reporting and navigating each minute while living with chronic pain. Continue Reading

‘Ouch’ just doesn’t cut it!

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I-feel-so-frustratedAnd neither does repeating, ‘it burns’, ‘it itches’, ‘it’s like fire’, ‘I get spasms’, or the various other words people in pain have to repeat for each consult in the effort to be understood.

Pain Train’s whole purpose is to help patients and their pain management teams communicate beyond these basic words. Pain Train saves the patient the additional pain of having to repeat their history and other related details at each appointment.

Pain Train offers patients a way to also show their friends and family their profiles in the hope they can also better understand their loved one’s experience. Continue Reading

Pain Train – Patient health profiling

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About Pain Train — where it came from and why it works

Download this information in pdf format

Our mission

Pain Train’s mission is to enable patients with chronic pain to record and store all relevant information about their pain, and to easily share that information with medical practitioners and others they choose to share it with.

Vision

Pain Train’s vision is to empower health practitioners and their patients, to improve the chronic pain journey.

What you can do on pain-train.com.au

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Myself, Ms Soula and my pelvic pain story at the Alliance for Improving the Management of Pain 2014

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AIM of Pain 2014 from (OoI) on Vimeo. Or read the speech below.

I would have had to be dead not to front up to an opportunity where I could present my pain journey to 180 chronic pain interested practitioners.

Was I terrified? Absolutely! But as if chronic pain hasn’t trained me for that, pushing me past all my boundaries and limits, and facing constant fears… this was going to be a piece of cake in comparison!

The Alliance for Improving the Management of Pain 2014 (AIM Pain 2014) was held in Sydney and PainAustralia were searching for a patient to tell their story. My first thoughts were; I had to be able to tell my pelvic pain story through art. Ms Soula had to be on the stage with me, and I worried that this was impossible to physically manage without Theo’s help. As it turned out all that was ok, in fact the organisers were most enthusiastic about the creative side, and the support offered to both Theo and I was 100%.

I was asked to present my story as honestly as possible and in my own words and pictures. Continue Reading

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Definitions of pain

What is Pudendal Neuralgia (PN)?
Most simply put PN is Carpal Tunnel in the pelvis/buttocks. Compression of the Pudendal Nerve occurs after trauma to the pelvis and is aggravated with pressure. The pain is often described as a toothache like pain, with spasms, sensations of tingling, numbness, or burning. It can be very debilitating.

What is Neuropathic pain?
Neuropathic pain is the result of an injury or malfunction in the peripheral or central nervous system. The pain is often triggered by an injury, but this injury may or may not involve actual damage to the nervous system. More…

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