Pain Management Appointment

No one likes pain and I mean physical pain. We do what we can to limit ourselves from getting pain or alleviate the pain we feel.

A pain word cloud with some of the terms I would use to describe my life with chronic pain (taken from google)

I have lived with chronic pain related to my chest for a number of years but this has never really been an issue. I have managed it with a combination of pain killers but the best thing I have found is a lidocaine patch which really helps me and means I don’t need to rely on taking tablets all the time which I often find the effect wears off after a period of time but with the patch it lasts and I don’t find it wears off.

The last 15 months however has been really difficult with regards to pain. Ever since I had that line put in my groin and losing the feeling in my lower right leg I have been dealing with so much pain radiating from the site of the line towards the inside of my knee. It has been pain unlike anything else I have experienced and affecting every aspect of my life.

Crunch time came after a week of sleepless nights due to pain, several falls, weakness in my leg I just knew I could not go on. Part of me was so embarrassed that I was not coping with the issues I was experiencing with my leg so I left it and didnt say to anyone until it got too much. I eventually plucked up the courage (sort of, I copped out and wrote) and got in touch with my GP to tell her what was going on. I cannot believe how supportive she was and I am now annoyed with myself for leaving it so long.

She referred me to the pain management team as well as community physio team. I was seen by the community physio first and this had a huge impact as they arranged for aids to go into my flat which included grab rails as there are times when I keep falling and injuring myself.

I was expecting a long wait before I heard from the pain management team but was pleasantly surprised to receive a telephone appointment really quickly. The appointment was last week.

The reason I wanted to see the pain management team is because I am young and already rely on so many tablets that I don’t want to add more and more. I am very worried about becoming tolerant of them and then not as effective either. If I call the GP due to pain in my leg they just want to increase the pain killers I am on already but I wanted to explore other avenues. The pain I am experiencing is not constant which it why I am reluctant to increase painkillers.

The pain I am experiencing is very specific. If I am lying absolutely horizontal or standing vertical with my hip in a neutral position the pain is there but it is a dull pain but every time I move my leg I get excruciating pain that I can only describe as a burning hot poker that is electric/ static radiating from my groin to the inside of my knee. As soon as I bend at my hip I get this pain. It makes me want to bend forward and hug myself but this only makes the pain intensify. Once I straighten out the pain is alleviated and goes back to the normal dull pain I experience. Due to the nature of how my pain displays I find it hard to manage. I cant stay with my hip in a neutral position the entire time so I need to move it.

There is no painkiller that will help with the pain on movement. Due to the pain I become very frustrated and down about it. I also find that by the end of the day I don’t deal with my pain as well as I do in the morning mainly because I am so tired from a restless night sleep to just trying to manage the pain and of course we cant forget the impact my asthma has on my energy levels too.

Unmanaged Pain + Asthma = no energy, grumpy, tired, frustrated and reduced quality of life.

The phone call with the pain team was very interesting as they asked me about my pain and how I felt I managed it. The first question they asked me was what I thought they would do for me to help my pain. My aim is to explore different methods of managing my pain and hopefully that will give me a better quality of life. They were surprised I was not looking for more pain relief medication as that is what most people think they will get from the pain team.

During the call we spent some time talking about the cycle of chronic pain and all the aspects of life that unmanned pain can effect. I was finding that my leg pain is affecting nearly every part of the chronic pain cycle which really shocked me and also made me realise how important it now is to really work out a way to mange this to enable me to live alongside the pain rather than it taking over me and preventing me from living.

I am writing a pain diary and also an emotional diary so that in the next conversation I have with the pain team we can look at what skills I can use such as pacing, mindfulness. In the meantime I want to try and apply to spoon theory to my life. The team explain that the pain is sapping my energy which is why by the end of the day I have nothing left and need to go to bed because it has all got too much.

This has ended up a bit of a waffle and I am not sure how constructive it is but it is my thoughts on how I found my appointment with the pain management team and also it is being written in the middle of the night while I am awake due to the pain in my leg being bad because I am having to sit up due to my asthma bothering me quite a bit.

I will try and make a more constructive post about the method behind the pain management team and what methods I will use after my next appointment.

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