Found this interesting article

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by tedebear, Jan 15, 2003.

  1. tedebear

    tedebear New Member

    from a reference on this boards site.
    Thought I would share it with all of you if you haven't seen it.

    Dealing with pain
    Carolyn C. has chronic pain from rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia. She was forced to leave her job as a social worker at age 28 by her arthritis pain; she is now 55 years old. She does have good days, when she can get to the dry cleaners, make meals and go about her other household chores. But, on a bad day, Carolyn crawls into her “cocoon” of blankets and waits for the pain to subside.

    Planning life around chronic pain can be difficult at best. Carolyn says she has to decide early in the day what she thinks she can get done and how much rest she’ll need along the way. But as a member of a local chapter of the American Chronic Pain Association (ACPA), Carolyn has support from other people with chronic pain. Her group meets the first and third Tuesdays of each month in a local church.

    At local ACPA meetings across the country, people with a variety of painful chronic conditions meet to talk about feelings and relationships with family and friends. Rather than dwell on how bad their pain can be, members focus on constructive ways to deal with the pain in every day life. Following ACPA guidelines, members observe strict confidentiality about meeting discussions, a practice they believe is important to safeguard the trust developed within the group.

    According to the ACPA, chronic pain disables, to some degree, approximately 86 million Americans. The Association believes that while chronic pain may make sufferers feel like patients, there is a person inside waiting to move on with life. But making the journey “from patient to person” takes time and can’t be done all at once. The ACPA offers the following “10 Steps from Patient to Person:”

    Accept the pain: Learn all you can about your physical condition. Understand that there might be no current cure and accept that you will need to deal with the fact of pain in your life.

    Get involved: Take an active role in your own recovery. Follow your doctor’s advice and ask what you can do to move from a passive role into one of partnership in your own health care.

    Learn to set priorities: Look beyond your pain to the things that are important in your life. List the things that you would like to do. Setting priorities can help you find a starting point to lead you back into a more active life.

    Set realistic goals: Set goals that are within your power to accomplish or break a larger goal down into manageable steps. And take time to enjoy your successes.

    Know your basic rights: We all have basic rights. Among these are the right to be treated with respect, to say no without guilt, to do less than humanly possible, to make mistakes and to not need to justify your decisions, with words or pain.

    Recognize emotions: Our bodies and minds are one. Emotions directly affect physical well being. By acknowledging and dealing with your feelings, you can reduce stress and decrease the pain you feel.

    Learn to relax: Pain increases in times of stress. Relaxation exercises are one way of reclaiming control of your body. Deep breathing, visualization and other relaxation techniques can help you better manage the pain you live with.

    Exercise: Most people with chronic pain fear exercise. But unused muscles feel more pain than toned, flexible ones. With your doctor, identify a modest exercise program that you can do safely. As you build strength, your pain can decrease. You’ll feel better about yourself, too.

    See the total picture: As you learn to set priorities, reach goals, assert your basic rights, deal with your feelings, relax, and regain control of your body, you will see that pain does not need to be the center of your life. You can choose to focus on your abilities, not your disabilities. You will grow stronger in your belief that you can live a normal life in spite of chronic pain.

    Reach out. It is estimated that one person in three suffers with some form of chronic pain. Once you have begun to find ways to manage your chronic pain problem, reach out and share what you know. Living with chronic pain is an ongoing learning experience. We all support and learn from each other.” (Kirby K. Dealing with pain. The Star Press. April 17, 2001. Available at
  2. tedebear

    tedebear New Member

    I thought it was a very informative article.
    Glad you found it to be so too.
    Soft hugs.
  3. tedebear

    tedebear New Member

    Hope someone out there gets some useful help from this article.
    Soft hugs.