Patient 3: Lisa's story

For a lot of my 20’s I suffered with abdominal pain which resulted in major surgery.

Following this I needed further minor operations to ‘tweak’ things! The end result, moving into my 40’s, was a lot of scar tissue, with residual pain and daily medication.

Ultimately I was concerned about the level of continuous pain as it was stopping me from doing the things I loved, coupled with at times of stress and tiredness made things very hard. Prescription painkillers numbed the pain but it never fully went away. And I basically stopped doing things in case I made the pain worse.

Seeing my consultant for a routine appointment resulted in a referral to the pain clinic as further surgery was not an option. I was very sceptical and if honest felt I was being fobbed off and that the pain was the sign of something worse.

However, attending the appointments and reading through the literature did make me face up to the fact that I couldn’t hide behind the pain and by doing what I wanted wouldn’t cause any damage. Yes I may have a bit of pain, (it didn’t worry me when my shoulder ached after gardening so why should any other pain be a sign of something worse?) after cycling or swimming but over time ‘the body got used to it’ and actually the pain wasn’t there or when it was I wasn’t frightened by it.

 Yes it is a kind of mind of matter mentality but ultimately the pain clinic helped me to reassess and to confront my fears – voicing them for the first time was hard but the support was there to help me move forward.

So moving forward…I have a new bike and have recently taken up a membership at a local gym – swimming, yoga and pilates. Maybe building up to more rigorous exercise over the coming months but as they say one step at a time!