Today I started a Pain management programme. This is gling to last for 11 weeks.
I am exhausted today. I am exhausted due to the early start to get myself out to the programme. I am exhausted as a result of lack of sleep and increased pain levels after yesterday. I am exhausted due to the anxiety and tension held of attending a group setting, full of people I do not know, knowing that there was the possibility I would need to open up and I’m exhausted because I know I have over exerted myself.
Firstly, I do have to say that although I am exhausted with trying to get to the appointment on time, I am very lucky. My sister, Kaitlyn, is an angel! She had managed to arrange with her work that she would go in after dropping me off at my appointment. My appointment was in Glasgow, which is the city next to my town. Driving there myself causes me a lot of anxiety. I do everything to avoid having to drive to Glasgow. I don’t mind driving to my friends, who is in the outskirts, but actually driving in the city is a thing of nightmares! At least it is for an anxious driver. Not only that, I’d be trying to head in during rush hour which would only add extra stress. However, as I said my angel sister arranged it that she would be able to drive me in and drop me off. It would mean having to find my own way home afterwards but I would have no time limit to keep to.
The way home I completely over exerted myself though. I was worried as I am awful at directions and I have been known to get lost easily. My plan was to put on Google maps and attempt to follow that. When I was leaving, a woman from the group, that I found out lived not too far away from me was walking to the train station and said she would walk with me. I thought this was great! She knew where she was going so I wouldn’t get lost but also it would give me an opportunity to talk to her and get to know her some more so it feels less like going into a room full of strangers next week. It was a really weird chat, it turns out we know quite a few of the same people. Small world!
Today was really the introductory session.
There was 12 people in the group. Each person got to share how long they’ve experienced pain, if they had a formal diagnosis or not, how it is affecting their lives, medical professionals they have seen, medication they have tried and by alternative treatments they’ve tried.
It was interesting to hear everybody’s story. They are all so different yet simultaneously so similar. There is something in sitting in a group with 11 other people and finding out that they get it. It’s important to remember that you’re not alone in it all. We were all just people. People there trying to find a way to cope! To live! To have a quality life, while living with our chronic pain. And that’s a powerful thing!