I had my third appointment at the pain clinic since having surgery in August. Each appointment I have makes me aware of how fortunate I am to have access to such an incredible resource. My pain may not be gone, but I have specialists working to support me and trying to find the root cause – and hopefully the cure – of my pain. My primary doctor at the pain clinic is a wonderfully compassionate woman who is open to exploring as many alternative treatments as possible to treat my pain.
During this appointment, we reviewed my pain medications. I’m still taking a considerably higher dose of the opioid pain medications than I was before surgery, but I’ve been trying to decrease the doses over the past few months. I’m keeping a daily log detailing how much I take throughout each day. My pain specialist encouraged me to continue keeping this log because it’s helping to identify trends in my pain. I can pinpoint when I have a pain flare up and what activities may cause it, and whether I need to increase the doses of my pain medications. To support these trends she wrote me prescriptions for each of my pain medications with quantities large enough for me to increase or decrease my doses as my pain dictates.
Acupuncture was the next thing we discussed. My pain specialist is a trained acupuncturist. By all accounts, she’s highly skilled. Knowing that as a medical doctor – she’s an anesthesiologist – she has a holistic approach to treating pain makes me feel encouraged. One of my next appointments with her will be in the treatment centre of the pain clinic – where I had my nerve block – for acupuncture. Her hope is that acupuncture treatments will help to reduce my pain and my need for such high doses of pain medications. My hope is that the treatments will deliver those results, and much more.
We also talked about the Mindfulness-Based Chronic Pain Management (MBCPMTM) program offered at the same hospital as the pain clinic. The program teaches patients “how to manage their chronic pain and illness through Mindfulness and meditation practice, and better lifestyle skills.” It’s based on the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program (MBSR) originated by Jon Kabat-Zinn. My pain specialist is referring me to the program to give me another option for managing my pain. The idea for me to try this program originated with my therapist because our therapy sessions include mindfulness practices. My pain specialist believes this program will be a beneficial addition to the practices I’m already including in my life to cope with my pain. I believe, whatever the outcomes, I have an incredible support system that keeps working to find solutions to get me pain-free.
Third Eye Blind – Semi-Charmed Life