Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by COOKIEMONSTER, May 21, 2003.



    Ten Steps From Patient to Person

    Making the journey from patient to person takes time. The isolation and fear that can overwhelm a person with chronic pain grows over time. And the return to a fuller, more rewarding life also takes time.

    It’s a journey with many phases. The ACPA describes these phases as Ten Steps.

    The ACPA’s Ten Steps For Moving From Patient To Person.

    STEP 1: Accept the Pain
    Learn all you can about your physical condition. Understand that there may be no current cure and accept that you will need to deal with the fact of pain in your life.

    STEP 2: 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.

    STEP 3: 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.

    STEP 4: Set Realistic Goals
    We all walk before we run. 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.

    STEP 5: 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.

    STEP 6: 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.

    STEP 7: 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 to better manage the pain you live with.

    STEP 8: 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.

    STEP 9: 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.

    STEP 10: 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.

  2. tansy

    tansy New Member

    Couldn't have put it better myself.

    Good advice on taking control of our lives and pain, concentrating on our abililities and prioritising what's important.


  3. goingslowlycrazy

    goingslowlycrazy New Member

    I am going to print it out and make a start on following it.

    Isn't it funny how the most simple things are often the most effective?

    Thank you so much for posting this one - I am going to find it a real help. We end up 'not seeing the wood for the trees' so often, in the midst of all of this.

    big hugs to you Cookie,
    Mary xxxx
  4. Lox

    Lox New Member

    Thankyou for posting this, after my $#@%$%# doctors appoinment yesterday, it was just what I needed to read.

    Will be making a graphic of it and placing it in a wallpaper on my puter desktop so I can see it everyday and to remind me that I am still in control of me!


    Lauren :)
  5. tulip922s

    tulip922s New Member

    I knew all these things,,,but, tend to lose sight on difficult days. I too am printing this out and keeping it in my nightstand for reference. Thank you. Tulip
  6. sofy

    sofy New Member

    Thanks. I love these self empowering articles that tell us there is nothing wrong with us that we cannot still have a meaningful life. It is up to each one of us to find our own path on how to accomplish that but these articles sure help nudge us back on that path. Now Im gunna get up, put on clothes, face the wet cold and take the poor dog for a much deserved walk. It will do me more good than her.