Patient 4: Anonymous

My Pain ‘Journey’

When I first attended the Somerset Community Pain Management Service, I was looking for a magic ‘quick fix’ solution, a pain killer that would magically take the pain away. I have been suffering from chronic leg pain for a few years and was feeling at the end of my tether, with the pain dominating my life.

The nurse explained to me the ‘gateway of pain’ ADD LINK and that stress and negative thoughts increase the amount of pain you experience, and that the way forward would be through closing this gateway, using relaxation methods and pacing myself.

I was put forward for the online Mindfulness programme, which I found enormously useful. It teaches you to live with it rather than fight it, through meditation exercises, relaxation, mind retraining exercises, awareness of sensation and pacing activity.

It’s not a ‘quick fix’ and it’s an ongoing learning curve and I still have pain when I over do things but I feel more confident about being in control of it and the affect it has on my life. I feel more positive about the future now, being able to work with the pain rather than fight against it. Accepting it and pacing myself more, I do feel more back in control.

When I have a flare up, I have learnt to accept, meditate, relax and pace myself and sure enough I feel much better and in control again.

I think the secret is getting in control again rather than feeling it’s controlling you. You feel ‘back in the driver’s seat’.