A reality check!

A Reality check!

I have been attending a pain management programme now for 6 weeks. There are four weeks left to go. The goal I had at the beginning of the ten weeks was to reduce flare ups, so that I could make some attempt to go back to work, even if it meant reducing hours.  I\'ve been having flare ups every week recently, now its averaging 1-2 weeks so there has been a small change but this is not enough. I\'ve been reviewing the sessions on my website which you can see here - http://solidviews.com/U0hF8 . I have been \'relatively good\' at sticking to the advice I\'ve been given.

My new mantra is plan, prioritise and pace. I\'ve bought myself a diary in which I plan every day in the minutest detail. My husband and kids have been told to write anything they need me to do, in the diary, such as dates for school, social life and lifts etc. The only exception is they cannot write anything in, on the same day. The rule is, if it is not in the diary, don\'t expect me to do anything about it. I have taken charge, despite my laissez faire attitude to life.

The other thing I\'ve been doing is deep breathing. I have been using a relaxation app at bed time for a few months but the suggestion has been to increase the deep breathing for relaxation. I started off doing five minutes in the morning and then again in the afternoon. Unfortunately, when I sat and relaxed in the afternoons, I would fall asleep, which had a knock on effect to my sleep patterns. The app I use, has just started getting on my nerves, I\'ve become, uncharacteristically, annoyed with her voice, I  am going to find another app, maybe with a mans voice this time. Lastly the exercise list they have given us has not been done at home, for which I have several excuses, but I must be honest, it\'s just not been put in the diary.  I don\'t think I am the only person in the group for whom life just gets in the way sometimes, non of us are perfect attendees. 

The truth is, although there has been a slight improvement in flares and I use the term, slight, loosely, non of this has had any affect on my normal day to day pain and I am still exhausted. I had high expectations, too high I think, of the pain management programme, which in reality was wrong. I expected there was some new technique or that they would tell me something new.  The whole thing has left me a little deflated. 

Pain and fatigue are not the only symptoms I have to put up with. There are also the neurological symptoms like dizziness and paraesthesia and somatic symptoms like nausea and IBS. Not forgetting more frequent urinary retention, migraine and the ever present threat of cluster headaches for which there are no management courses no specialists no medicine and no answers for that matter.

It has become blindingly obvious that long term pain or chronic pain and fibromyalgia are notoriously difficult to treat. Even the process of pain is not very well understood, fibromyalgia is less understood, the drugs which are designed to treat them are not really understood. So I have to ask myself, if health care professionals who specialise in pain management don\'t have the answers, what can be expected of us mere mortals?

I have to make a decision in about a month which will change my life forever. Do I go back to work? I\'m not sure what the answer is yet. What I do know is, you never really know, where life will take you.