Read the 4th part of Akkies story, about her fight with chronic pain.
How education helped me
At the pain clinic in Leeuwarden, The Netherlands, I got the chance to participate in the Pain Education Program. This has given me a lot of added value in my process of becoming "the master of the pain". I got more and more insight in how much influence your body, mind and brain have on each other. And that I can influence my pain with my behaviour. That my mindset largely determines how much pain I have.That through years of pain I have developed "a disturber" that gives me the wrong pain signals. I taught myself to set a goal every day, not to give too much attention to my pain and above all: live! And getting success out of things I like.
A new me
Previously, I quickly lost courage when I was in pain. I became indecisive when my body didn't feel well and soon I thought, I'm not going to walk today. Now I don't let myself be discouraged so easily and stay active within my limits, even if it feels a bit less one day. When I have maintained my activities despite the pain, I get an enormous kick out of it. Success gives satisfaction and that is positive. And positive experiences create new "elephant paths". My deeply ingrained path through which the pain signals ran like an automatism has become a thin line in the meantime. I almost "smoothed out" the path.
A long journey
It has been a long process to get to where I am today. With "blood, sweat and tears" I have been able to rebuild my walking. I think because walking, followed by pain, was anchored in my brain. Thanks to the "pep talk" on the Pain Education Program course I have learned to persevere and now the walking is going very well! I write down how far I have walked every day and when I browse through my notebook and see how many kilometres I have walked in the past few months, I become very happy! I have regained confidence in my body. I have to work on myself every day to "control the pain". But it's more than worth it! I used to spend half days in bed in terrible pain, now I walk 3 to 5.5 km almost every day and for a 30 km bike ride I don't turn my hand anymore. WHAT A WIN!
I am proud of myself when I see how many steps I have taken thanks to motivation, knowledge and above all patient practice.