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Part 3 – Chronic Pain and Depression

First, an apology. This third part of the series, “Chronic Pain and Depression,” should have been written and posted a long time ago. Unfortunately, LIFE got in the way and I’m just now writing and posting it! There are so many events coming up that have kept me from posting on this blog in the professional manner that I should. Therefore, I’m committing to writing something on this blog at least weekly and then move it up to every day. The next post will give more details about what is going on and how it is affecting my Chronic Pain.

But now, let’s finish our series on Chronic Pain and Depression…

As you begin your relationship with your therapist these are items to consider after your meeting(s). If there is ever a question in your mind about the therapy you are receiving, stop and seek out a new therapist – for peace of mind if nothing more. Your mind will give you warning signals if:

37.  During the session, your therapist answers his phone. (Not professional! This is time you are paying for!)

38.  As you talk about your culture or religion, your therapist throws insensitivity comments your way.

39.  Denying or ignoring the importance of your spirituality is another warning signal from your counselor.

40.  Your therapist tries to push her thoughts or convictions regarding spirituality or religion onto you.

41.  You find your therapist doesn’t empathize at all.

42.  Or, your therapist empathizes too much.

43.  As you talk about your problems, your counselor appears overwhelmed. You begin to feel like you are abnormal with so many problems. Not true! It’s time to start looking elsewhere.

44.  Your feelings or issues make your therapist overly emotional, affected or triggered. 

45.  Against your wishes, you are pushed into highly vulnerable feelings or memories.

46.  Or, you find your therapist avoids exploring your emotional or vulnerable feelings.

47.  Your permission is not asked when your therapist begins using various psychotherapeutic techniques with you.

48.  Without helping you to appreciate and resolve the underlying causes, your counselor tries to get you to exert overt control over your impulses, compulsions, or addictions.

49.  Instead of teaching you coping skills to manage your impulses, your therapist prematurely or exclusively focuses appreciating and resolving the underlying causes you have with an issue or compulsion.

50.  Your therapist is consistently late for your appointment. Signs of canceling or missing your appointment on a consistent basis is another warning sign.

Those conclude the 50 Warning Signs to look out for during your first few appointments with a therapist. Some of these signs may not show up until you are well into a therapy program. When you feel uncomfortable with the lack of progress or the overt pressure you receive from your therapist, ask your doctor for another recommendation. There is no time limit on switching therapists.

It is better to adhere to the warning signs your brain picks up on rather than do nothing and become trapped within your therapist’s expectations or program. You should not be forced into doing anything you don’t feel comfortable doing.

I hope this three-part series has given you some enlightenment and permission to move to another therapist. When I read this article online at GoodTherapy.org it helped me to understand the reasoning behind a family member’s actions. The problem is if your loved one has succumbed to questionable therapy, there isn’t anything you can do about it. It is the person’s choice to continue with the therapist and all you can do is hope he/she will eventually see the therapy given was incorrect.

Thanks for reading and if you know of other “warning signs,” please be sure to let the author know them at the link for Good Therapy.

Carolyn

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Part 2 – Depression and Chronic Pain

Welcome Back!!!

As many Chronic Pain Sufferers know, depression attaches itself to the excruciating pain you already suffer through. This occurs for a variety of reasons:

  • you just don’t feel well
  • you don’t feel like going out with friends
  • you may feel abandoned by your friends
  • you can’t do the things you did before the pain became “chronic”

And I’m sure there are many other reasons to spark your depression, but I found these to be the top four that hit me wth depression faster than my pain meds took effect.

We talked about the warning signs of questionable therapy and counseling to look for when you decide to go to a counselor or therapist in Part 1 and we’re going to continue with the next 18 items:

19. Without authorization, your therapist discloses your identifying information.

20. Your therapist begins to tell you the identity of another client.

21. You learn your therapist has never participated in personal therapy work.

22.You find you therapist cannot admit mistakes or accept feedback.

23.Without helping you to change, your therapist focuses extensively on diagnosing.

24.Counselor talks way too much, without giving you a chance to speak.

25.Or, your therapist doesn’t talk at all.

26.Leaving you confused, your therapist speaks in “psychobabble.”

27.Without considering your feelings and somatic experiences, your therapist focuses on thoughts and cognition at your expense.

28. At the exclusion of thoughts, insight, and cognitive processing, counselor focuses on feelings and somatic experience.

29. Acting as if they have the answers/solutions to everything, therapists spend time telling you how to best fix or change things in your life.

30. Your Counselor gives frequent unsolicited advice, makes decisions for you, or tells you what to do.

31.Your dependency is encouraged by your therapist by allowing you to get your emotional needs met from the therapist.

32. Against your will, your therapist attempts to keep you in therapy.

33.The belief factor of the therapist is that only her counseling works and she ridicules the approaches of other therapists.

34.Making you feel uncomfortable, your therapist is contentious with you or may be confrontational.

35.Your counselor doesn’t remember your name or your interactions from one session to the next.

36. Appearing to be in her own little world, your therapist doesn’t pay attention to you, listen to you, or understand you.

I’m sure you will agree these are powerful factors to take into consideration when you are paying your hard earned money to see a therapist for help and guidance. Be sure to print these items out here or go to GoodTherapy.org for the full article. Part 3 is the last blog regarding the warning signs of questionable therapy. After that blog, we will look into the positive signs of therapy.

I hope these series are helping you with your therapy if you are going to a therapist or counselor or if you are considering going to a therapist. And hopefully, you are not seeing any of these negative factors with your therapist.

Take care of YOU, and I look forward to hearing from you,

Taking pain one day at a time,

Carolyn

 

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Things are tough….

Things are really tough right now between the constant changing of my pain medicine and now with the Type 2 Diabetes diagnosis. I’m having a hard time trying to keep up with diabetes as far as what I should be eating and shouldn’t be eating and I’m not sure the pain medicine I’ve switched to (due to $$$) is helping like I had hoped. So, I’ll be away longer than usual until I can get this worked out.

Thanks for stopping by and if you have any suggestions for me, I’d really appreciate them.

Take care,

Carolyn

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Moving Around

I know it’s been a while since I’ve written anything here. But I’ve been tied up with a Chronic Pain episode of my own that was rather nasty and mean. It made every part of my body hurt (fibromyalgia), and my lower back throbbed, ached, and felt like knives were stabbing it. The fibro pain was from the days of rain, dampness, and overcast days we had in a row. Those of you who have fibromyalgia know what I mean. You can tell the weather with the pain in your joints and muscles. And you know you have a rough day or days ahead of you.

Then my lower back pain increased to the point nothing was helping. For a while, I was on Methadone for about a month, and it seemed to be working. But then I felt as if I wasn’t taking any medicine at all. The pain was so severe I could barely walk, depression set in, and when we did go to the pain doctor, I couldn’t talk to him without crying the entire time. It was a disaster. Thankfully, Rick was with me and did most of the talking for me, and the doctor decided to put me on Fentanyl patches.

If you don’t think I wasn’t wary about Methadone, (which made me think of “Breaking Bad”), you know I thought Fentanyl patches were going to be the end of me for sure. As usual, the patches would not be in for five days, and all I was on was hydrocodone which I would be on with the patches until my brain got used to the patches, and then I would off the hydrocodone.

For the past 12 days, I have been in the worse pain since I can remember. And the depression just ate me up. I didn’t go anywhere, just stayed home and waited. Finally, the patches came in, and Rick put the first patch on me. Of course, he thought it would take the pain away immediately, but of course, it didn’t do that. It did though give me some hope. For the last week I’ve been taking the hydrocodone and wearing one patch for 72 hours and today changed the patch for the first time. I can say I feel 75% better! Still a little dizzy and achy but I feel like la change is coming.

We’ll see what happens over the next week, and hopefully, things will begin to get better, and the pain will be under control. I’ll keep you up on the details.

I’m also getting the new blog ready and writing up some articles and blogs to add to the new site. I’d love for you to give me ideas of what you would like for me to write. After all, if it weren’t for you, there would not be a blog site! When the new site comes up, I’ll be giving away items, and offering podcasts, e-books, and webcasts. So, there are so many exciting things coming up in the future as a way of getting information to Chronic Pain Sufferers!!

Please tell your friends about my blog and I look forward to seeing you again very soon. And take care of yourselves! I’d love to hear from you and how you are coping with your pain!

The very best to you,

Carolyn

 

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Customer Relations Management

Customer relations management (CRM) is software that uses information technology to help organizations build customer relationships and increase the value of the goods and/or services it provides.  The advantages of CRM include tracking and documenting customer history with instant access to those records, determining the best-selling practices for the organization and analyzing reasons behind customer complaints.

A medical office benefits from the CRM techniques in a variety of ways.  First, gathering complete patient history along with recording every subsequent office, lab and radiology visit allows CRM to track, document and monitor the patient’s information.   Physicians access patient information instantly, enabling effective health care for the patient.  Correct diagnoses facilitate prescriptions, tests and/or procedures for the patient’s care.

Secondly, future occasions of communication with the patient, including phone calls, visits and surveys, are documented and recorded in the CRM.  The CRM monitors the information and suggests support and service practices for the medical office to consider for improving patient relations.  In addition, by responding to the patient’s needs and creating improvements with business practices and services, the medical office effectively attains its performance goals.

Although CRM helps the medical office staff improve patient relationships, ultimately, effective communication is required for formulating the correct diagnoses and care.

Ineffective communication within a medical office however, creates a number of dangers for the medical office and its patients.  CRM offers recommendations based on the input of complete and detailed patient history.  The patient needs to feel he can disclose all pertinent information to the nurse or physician, without judgment.  In addition, the physician needs to create an atmosphere where the patient has no inhibitions expressing his concerns, problems and symptoms.  If the patient feels embarrassed or ashamed of disclosing all information, the physician is unable to properly treat his problem.  Ineffective communication results in the possibility of the patient being misdiagnosed and/or receiving incorrect medication.

Problems occur with ineffective communication among the office staff also.  If an administrative assistant receives incorrect information from a nurse regarding future appointments, the patient may be scheduled for a follow-up rather than a procedure with the physician.  The nurse gives the patient specific instructions, for example, stopping blood pressure medication ten days prior to the procedure.  Because being off the blood pressure medicine is dangerous for the patient, he waits several weeks until he is able to go off the medication again and further delays the procedure.  In addition, the appointment, certified incorrectly for a follow-up with his insurance requires additional time to re-certify the procedure.  The certification process takes hours or days depending upon the type of procedure and insurance coverage. These problems, due to ineffective communication, cause the patient to suffer longer than necessary and cost the medical office in wasted time and money.

The CRM is an important and effective tool for the medical office.  However, it relies on effective communication among the medical staff members and patients in order to offer the medical office assistance with improving patient relationships as well as the value of its services.

 

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Pain is everywhere!

Good afternoon everyone!

I hope you are having a pain-free day, but if you aren’t just keep in mind that everything is temporary – even pain – so maybe later today or tomorrow you’ll get a reprieve from your pain.

Have you checked out National Pain Report? Just click on this link and you’ll go directly to the site. A lady posted a long post explaining her daily pain and how miserable she feels. I answered her and so did several other people. But the last post was from a gentleman who has had a terrible time. He was in sports in his 20’s and through a mishap broke his back. When his doctor looked at his back, he told him it was a mess and that whatever the doctor did for him would probably put him in a wheelchair for life. The gentleman went on to explain how he felt he had nobody to speak to, his marriage was rocky and right now, life isn’t going very well.

We’ve all been through this. Most of you don’t know me and wouldn’t know about my hell year of 2013. I just had SI Joint Fusion Surgery in December of 2012 and although my surgeon told everybody he “cured me,” well, he didn’t. The first few months of 2013 weren’t too bad. I was recouping from the surgery and finally took the leap of faith to go up the stairs where our television was set up so I could watch a movie. It was the hardest climb up and the worse climb down those stairs. Worse than when I had the Harrington Rods implanted. It really sucked. But Rick was there holding me all the way.

But what was worse was the fact my husband worked all day every day at Sears and I was alone until he came home. No calls from friends, only a couple visits, and that was it. I felt as though my entire life had changed and because I wasn’t walking yet, my friends couldn’t handle watching me try to move from the chair to the bathroom.

My therapist told me that they didn’t know how to handle the change in me. It made them uncomfortable and so, the easiest thing for them to do was not call or come by. Out-of- sight out-of-mind principle.

I hated that year. I was terribly depressed, lost all hope, and considered suicide. But we were out of milk. If you don’t understand what I mean, email me and I’ll tell you. I was sarcastic, unhappy, and always sad. And I cried all the time.

Well, in December of 2013 I realized that I really didn’t like me anymore. I wasn’t fun. And I was making life hell for Rick. So on January 1, I resolved to change my attitude and deal with whatever and where ever this pain would lead me. If a wheel chair was in my life, then so be it. If I walk with a cane forever, then so be it. If I never dance another dance…then I’ll have to learn to live with that one.

What I’m trying to say here is depression is a disease. And when you have feelings of hopelessness, sadness, crying, and despair…then it is time to see your doctor. There are medications to help you and maybe the doctor will get your cocktail right so you’ll begin to smile again and actually try to smell a rose.

There is always somebody out there who is worse off than you are – and I hated hearing that sentence, but it’s true. When I finally accepted it, then I began to live my life again. I don’t know if I’ll ever dance again (but I sure hope I do) and I don’t know if I’ll ever walk normally without a cane (but I sure hope I do)…but when it comes down to the scope of things…those are really 2 very minor things to be upset about.

I hope I’ve helped you a little bit today and please share this post with your friends. I’m hoping to begin a Chronic Pain Sufferers’ Group in the area I live. I think getting with other people who are going through the same thing can help you realize you aren’t alone.

May God bless you and keep you. And may tomorrow be sunny and pain-free!

Love you,

C