Thursday, April 14, 2011

Help with Chronic Pain

When I first went to Kern Pain Management Program, I wasn't ready.  I still thought I had a pretty good handle on my chronic pain condition, and I honestly didn't think anyone could help me beyond what I was doing for myself.  A couple of years later, and some significant defeats in my physical and emotional life, I was there again.  This time, I said, "I'm whipped."  And I was.  I was beaten down by my disorder to the point where I was willing to take whatever help I could get.  And this time it worked.

I learned a great deal about how my body and my brain deal with pain signals, ways to distract myself from constantly thinking about my pain, and ways to take advantage of the brief reprieves that I was fortunate enough to have.  I learned to recognize those reprieves for what they were--breaks in the cycle of pain that I could build on by becoming more aware of them.

Kern Pain Management Program is a benefit of Kaiser Permanente of Southern California.  I don't know how many other programs there are out there like it, but it was of great benefit to me.  I would suggest that anyone suffering from a chronic pain condition try to find such a program and take advantage of what it has to offer.  I think for me it was a little like Alcoholics Anonymous.  I had to "hit bottom" before I reached a point where I could truly take advantage of it.  I hope that others out there are able to take advantage of such a program before they get to that low point in their lives.

I spent a lot of time believing that no one really understood my problems with pain.  Part of this was because I had negative responses from doctors who really didn't understand.  I'm glad I finally found a doctor who did.  He is the one who referred me to Kern Pain Management Program.  There I found a team of people who really understand what pain is all about.  I am not cured, and I still have a lot of bad days when my pain prevents me from enjoying my life.  However, I now have days where I do enjoy my life, something I didn't have before.  My pain isn't all there is to me anymore, and that is a blessing I didn't have before.

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