Thursday, September 13, 2012

Reclaiming Power Over My Pain

Despite how much it hurt getting out of bed this morning, and how difficult it was to walk all day, and the vice-like headache that's been squeezing my temples since early this afternoon... it's actually been a really good day.

For some time now (weeks, at least - maybe months?) I've been thinking about how I want to reevaluate my approach to pain control (and health in general.) But, for a number of reasons, I've been dragging my feet. I had some passing thoughts, and had begun a little research on a few fronts, but never really got my head in the game in any serious way.

But over the past couple of weeks, motivated in large part by the events of Pain Awareness Month and Invisible Illness Week, I've been starting to focus a little better. And I've come to realize that I've been somewhat less than proactive about my pain management for far too long.

I got into that routine that sometimes comes with a chronic illness. Your doctor visits become so mind-numbingly routine that you start to do whatever the doctor tells you without even really questioning it. Take this medication? Sure. Have these tests done? Okay. You want to try injecting something else into a different part of my body this time? Sounds great. It just goes on and on.

Then this morning I got the final push that I needed, and came to a firm, no-more-denying-it decision that I am going to take back the control over my health. I was mentally preparing for this afternoon's visit to my pain doctor, and thinking about the two main things that I had to report. 1) The latest set of injections that we tried (because "they might help") were, in fact, no help at all. Several hours and $80 worth of nothing. And 2) The pain killers that I'm on have started giving me headaches, and that needs to stop.

And then I had the epiphany. Why am I spending so much time and money for other people to do things that aren't working? Shouldn't I really start focusing my energy in a new direction?

This will be a process, of course. But I'm hoping that I can learn some new things that will actually change how I live with my illnesses, instead of just going through the motions like I've been doing for so long. It's not that I'm completely walking away from medical care or anything. I just really need to take a more holistic approach, and I need to be in charge.

Sometimes making the decision to change is the hardest part. And sometimes, once you make that decision, you just know that you're finally on the right track. This is definitely one of those times. And it feels great.


  1. Good luck! I hope everything works for you! Ü

  2. I hope that your doctor is someone who's understanding of that kind of decision, and will work with you to regain your control. I would think that doctors would prefer patients who want to ask questions, understand, make suggestions, and just basically be *involved* in their own treatment, but I understand this is often not the case. I hope your visit went well, and that your doc will work with you to find a holistic approach to your care.

    1. Thanks Cheri! Amazingly, my doc seemed very receptive to what I had to say. After I finished telling her about my new plan, she actually said - and I quote - "I think that's a good idea." I was very pleasantly surprised. :)

      You're right, there are way too many doctors out there who seem to have the "if you don't just do what I say without question then you're an idiot" kind of attitude, and they don't want you to waste their time with your pesky questions. But after my conversation with my doc yesterday, I'm feeling more optimistic than I have in a long time.

      I look forward to having lots of great things to share with all of you in the days to come. :)