Transitioning from Patient to Person can be tough and often scary. Living with chronic pain often leaves us feeling alone and overwhelmed. Making this transition and returning to our life as best we can, as a person, is very important. It also requires many different phases. These phases or these 10 steps may help you recognize areas you may need to work on.
According to the American Chronic Pain Association, the 10 steps or phases that can help you make this transition easier are as follows.
- Accept the Pain. We all want to know why we are in pain. Try to learn all about your physical condition that you can so you develop a better understanding of what is wrong. You must also realize that your condition may not be curable and learning to accept living with pain may be something you need to deal with.
- Get Involved. It’s important you engage in your own treatment and recovery. Work with your doctor and become part of your own team so you can work on a treatment plan together.
- Learn to Set Priorities. We have all heard the phrase “Failing to plan is Planning to fail”. Each of us knows what is important to us and how we want to spend our time. Prioritize what’s important to you.
- Set Realistic Goals. As you determine your priorities, make sure you set realistic goals so you can achieve them.
- Know your Basic Rights. You should be treated with respect, to say no without feeling guilty, to make mistakes, to not explain yourself. You can read more about your basic rights here.
- Recognize your Emotions. Body, mind and spirit are one. How we feel does affect us physically.
- Learn to Relax. Stress creates more pain. Learn how to relax by doing relaxation exercises such as deep breathing or visualization.
- Exercise. A physical therapist once told me that there isn’t really anyone who can’t exercise. If you do not know what you can do to create movement in your body, check with your doctor or physical therapist. Research shows exercise can reduce pain.
- See the Whole Picture. As you transition through these phases you will see that pain will no longer be the priority in your life.
- Reach Out. Once you have learned to manage your pain you can reach out and share it with others.