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God, I’ve founded a better way to do things

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No, I’m not about to preach about finding God. I mean the other God – your health professional.

I’ve had many dilemmas trying to manage chronic pain.

The obvious ones relate to seeking appropriate treatment and managing life – money, bills, commitments, family, friends… if you’re reading this, you probably know how that paragraph ends.

But I’ve had an additional, personally inflicted dilemma and that’s to make something of my situation and further still, have the experience validated.

I don’t think we can control self inflicted dilemmas. In fact it’s hardly a dilemma, it’s more like a personal trait that I owned long before my injury.

pudendalnerve.com.au‘s vision is focused on positivity and I’ve adhered to my mission to help others with chronic pain (and injured workers) through my personal experience.

I’ve taken that one step further by founding Pain Train – an online health record website for people exactly like me.

Embracing the health care system’s push for self managed care

I find it difficult to sit still (pun intended), when I can see a way to make a change for the better and to help others. In the case of Pain Train, it was actually creating something that didn’t even exist in the chronic pain world.

The Gods we look upto had nothing to offer in this area – it didn’t exist.

So I repeated my story, as you did/do a few million times during the few million appointments.

Exhausting! Not to mention impossible.

How are patients and their teams meant to manage (you know the thought, surely God doesn’t expect me to repeat myself, again!)?

Yes, the Gods do expect you to repeat yourself. How else can they help you?

Well, there’s an easier way for both of you/us! Continue Reading

Patient to Practitioner Access: Too Much?

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It all started with emails. I bet most medical professionals felt alarmed as email communication began with patients.

Wasn’t the existing scenario suitable enough? Call the receptionist – make several attempts to get through, rattle off suitable dates, wait for that day to come around, get to the waiting room, sit, sit and then finally release that conversation that’s been swirling in your head… if that’s even possible in the allocated 15 minutes.

I’m sure some medical professionals still appreciate and stick by this scenario. I know quite a few that do.

Isn’t life short enough?

Thankfully, my pain specialist (Dr Nick Christelis), and his team have progressed further, throwing their whole practice (Vicpain) on as many social media platforms as they can. Continue Reading

Pain Down There online resource

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Stephanie-Yeager-screen

You might recall me plugging the Pain Down There DVD – an extensive resource for women created by Robert Echenberg, Karen Liberi, Alexandra Milspaw, and Stephanie Yeager.

Now the team have taken this a step further, turning the DVD into an online, supported program.

The idea is to offer support and pain management in small groups of 10 – 15 women who start the program at the same time. The video content is released to them online and they also get to meet as a group online with Stephanie as their personal health coach. Individually they have the option to meet with the doctor and PT – all via video conferencing.

Finally! Continue Reading

Can virtual reality really soothe pain?

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How VR could break America’s opioid addiction

Can virtual reality really soothe pain? Jo Marchant meets the doctors who say yes, and who hope this is a solution for the country consuming 80 per cent of the world’s opioid supply: the United States of America.

“It’s like a crawly feeling inside,” says Judy*. “You get hot, then chilled, and you feel like you want to run away.” The 57-year-old has short dark-grey hair and a haunted expression. She’s breathless and sits with her right leg balanced up on her walking stick, rocking it back and forth as she speaks.

Judy explains that she suffers from constant, debilitating pain: arthritis, back problems, fibromyalgia and daily migraines. She was a manager at a major electronics company until 2008, but can no longer work. She often hurts too much even to make it out of bed. Continue Reading

Encouraging Self Management

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(Written by me, the founder of {Pain}Train)

That’s easier said than done.

When I first had my accident in 2007 and literally landed in chronic pain, the last thing I expected to hear at any appointment was that I had to manage and coordinate my own treatment.

It was confusing when I was asked what treatment I thought would be best for me to try next – wasn’t the professional meant to guide me?

But a decade later I now finally realise that I was driving my pain management and it was in fact my direction and feedback – from my unique pain experience that was making the difference.

Without the patient reporting their exact experience – which we now know is unique – there’s no way to plan or move forward.

I can’t imagine the complexity a professional faces when trying to help a patient who is unable to articulate their pain experience. But I know this is the general scenario and I know this because I experienced the difficulty of remembering, talking, thinking, documenting, reporting and navigating each minute while living with chronic pain. Continue Reading

ADF campaign: Losing Yourself in Pain Medication

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The Alcohol & Drug Foundation (ADF) has been working to enhance awareness about the way Australians consume pain killers.

My understanding of the campaign is that the ADF in no way suggests pain killers are not necessary – many Australians require their medication to manage their health issues – but patients should investigate other options and be informed about the effects of taking these medications long-term. They should not be recommended as a first resort.

Within a few months of taking chronic pain medications, I realised it was not a long term plan for me and was thank full to be able to find other forms of treatment that could help me survive chronic pain day-to-day.

Suck it up and smile – it’s holiday time!

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Yippee!! Not! It’s too hard.

I was dreading Christmas – like I usually do. And I’m dreading New Year’s eve and day – as I usually do. And even though I would regard myself as ‘experienced’ and loaded with the best treatment possible, there seems to be no way of avoiding pain during holiday time.

Suck it up!? Um…,

No!

And that word my dear readers, is how I manage this holiday time.

I’ve learned it so well now it just rrrrrrrolls off my tongue and I loooove it because it’s always there for me and it keeps me HAAAAAPPY.

Here it is again:

Noooooooo

And with that comes,

I’m sorry, I can’t do ‘that’

With the truth being, I definitely can do ‘that’ but I have chosen (well sort of voluntarily obviously as I didn’t plan this bizarre accident) not to, because I don’t want the pain levels during – and after – I do the ‘that’.

There.

But of course it isn’t so easy. There are a few sad bits that come with ‘no’. Continue Reading

My interview with the ABC 7:30 report

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7-30-report-interview-sm

(View the story online http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2016/s4547621.htm)


Tune in tonight for my interview in regard to navigating practitioners with a chronic illness. On the ABC’s 7:30 report (yes, on ABC at 7:30)

Patient’s have a voice and patient’s can help other patients by reviewing the professionals (and not!) whom they’ve seen. Best of all, patients can do this with their own patient, laymen language.

I wish I had read ‘This practitioner helped me with my sitting pain’ somewhere on the net. Perhaps it would not have taken me 4.5 years to be diagnosed.

Love the idea of whitecoat.com.au. Love the idea of patients sharing their experiences and encouraging great care.

Most of all, it puts the patient in the driver’s seat, eliminates the pressure for GP’s to know everything which is impossible. It’s a patient’s job to look after their health issue and with resources like whitecoat.com.au that can be done.

And no, I never get paid for interviews or to plug someone’s service – this is my opinion.

Resources for Treating Chronic Pain by the Victoria Pain Specialists (Vicpain) …MY pain team!

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Forgive my bossiness but this post comes from a desperate experience that I lived for 4.5 years. That’s a long time for someone with increasing chronic pain levels and not much hope. I felt isolated and alone in a very foreign world without appropriate treatment, compassion and understanding.

Nine years later, I’m hopeful a situation like mine can be prevented with the knowledge provided in the following resources. Vicpain are leaders in pain treatment and management, I can certainly vouch for that!

Please read the resources, learn them, share them… and if you require information on chronic pain, follow Vicpain. Continue Reading

Adventures of a stim controller

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Ever wondered what a stim’s controller’s day looks like?

Firstly, let me clarify that I’m talking about my Boston Scientific Sacral Stimulation Implant controller (BSSSIC), not my St. Jude’s Peripheral Stimulation Implant controller (SJPSIC otherwise known as, the one that saved my life).

I’m experimenting at this 7 month post implant stage in order to figure out whether I need the SJPSIC by not using it at all. Two devices in one backside cheek is quite tricky at times. Someone without a chronic health issue would probably complain endlessly as this situation does have a few uncomfortable limitations. For someone with a chronic health issue though, that side of things, is a piece of cake in comparison – almost welcoming when you think of the benefits that come with it.

And one more thing, before I go on – no! I won’t turn both on for your entertainment purposes.

A controller has a fair job to do – it’s committed 24/7. Continue Reading

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What is Pudendal Neuralgia (PN)?

Most simply put PN is Carpal Tunnel in the pelvis/buttocks. Compression of the Pudendal Nerve occurs after trauma to the pelvis and is aggrevated with pressure. The pain is often described as a toothache like pain, with spasms, sensations of tingling, numbness, or burning. It can be very debilitating.

Pain Train my online health record

Pain Train my online health record

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