Whew! I am starting to catch my breath from the trip to Chicago for the chronic pain support group training last weekend. I am experiencing more pain than I expected, and it has slowed me down tremendously.
But let me tell you about the training instead! Pain Connection (a program of US Pain Foundation www.painconnection.org. www.uspainfoundation.org) held the training. Every one attending and the leaders were awesome. We all connected almost immediately. Many different personalities in the room and different belief systems, but we all came together as one to learn how to help the chronic pain community by starting support groups in our local areas. We also learned things that we can apply to ourselves for self-care like guided imagery and meditation.
We went through so many aspects of chronic pain/chronic illnesses and how to have an effective treatment plan so you can have a good life. I will have plenty of topics to write about and use in a support group setting; too many to name it all here today but I cannot wait to share it all.
My biggest take away is the Treatment Tree. The Treatment Tree idea and planning can help you to find tools and skills for every aspect of your life: physical, emotional, spiritual, social, career, hobbies, and organization. It recognizes that we have many different ways that chronic pain affects our lives and helps us to find solutions that work every day.
I have never had a doctor that considered all these aspects at one time when deciding different medical treatments for me. We must be our own advocates. I intend to give the information I have learned to you so we both can take it to our doctors so they can see the big picture. We need more than just a prescription!
I also learned more about our pain being so much more than just in the physical area of an injury. There are so many aspects of our lives that affect our pain, and the brain plays a very large role in ways that I never knew before. As I learn more, I will pass it on.
Chicago was nothing like I have heard about it. I pictured dirty and unfriendly. We seemed to be in a more industrial area in the north west of Chicago. It was very clean and everyone we came in contact with was very kind and helpful. I couldn’t have asked for a better trip.
I love meeting new people and hearing their life stories and this was no different. It exceeded my expectations and I am so thankful that my hubby and I we both were able to complete the training.
At the end, we had to pick a stone with a word on it and tell why we chose it. I chose happiness because I have always chased happiness. I didn’t say anything profound because being put on the spot like that shuts down my brain. 😁 But I always thought happiness was living without any troubles or sorrows and when I got to that point, I’d be happy. But I have found out that happiness can live amongst the troubles and sorrows. With this knowledge, I became unstuck.
JOY IS BUT THE SIGN THAT CREATIVE EMOTION IS FULFILLING ITS PURPOSE.
– CHARLES DU BOS
That’s what this blog is all about: changing perceptions. Changing the perceptions other people have of people with pain and changing our perceptions of ourselves and our chronic pain journey.
Knowledge is power. Go out and get you some!
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Much Love and Many Prayers,