To make things better… it's hard to do by yourself.
You need support and if you've got that support behind you and they, they suggest you do this and you do that… you go ahead and do it but if you're by yourself you'll think, “Oh I might do that tomorrow…” but tomorrow never comes but if you've got somebody else there, you do it or I do it.
When you’re living with chronic pain it can have profound affects on both your mental health and your physical health so it's really important that you get the help you need from your health professionals and a good place to start is your GP.
There's lots of people that might be involved in your care when you have chronic pain and your GP can help you navigate through the system so yo get the right help from the right people when you need it.
My main basis is working with my GP, when I first started um… this journey of trying to deal with pain, I started with her, I started with sitting down and talking about what was wrong and how, um how it could be helped, how I could, um be better, how I could still continue work with this pain and as the years went on I learnt that… um… it's not just the two of us.
It begins with the two of us, but it just gets wider, your circle of support gets wider.
With the medical team side of things that you do need to build up a really good team around you to help you get through… the whole, the whole pain experience, especially when your up to chronic pain, ah… you really need to find that GP that will work with you and sort of not for you, it's sorta, there's a bit of a difference there, you need someone that’s… I unfortunately had a GP that was just like… “Ah okay, yeah it'll get better, it'll get better what medications do you want?” and then it got to the point where I'd walk in the door and it would be, he'd just say to me what script are we here for today it wouldn't even be hello, so I would just say what I needed and you'd leave but then when I actually happen to find another GP that listened to me Um… and then actually put me into a team of people that helped me.
When you have a chronic condition like chronic pain, there's often a lot of people involved in your care and so it's really a good idea to have somebody that can help you coordinate all these people and help you with your decision making about who to involve in your care at what stage.
So when you go to your GP you just discuss the current problems that you’re having and work at what your goals are as far as your treatment.
Through this whole journey of now setting up plans for myself and setting up how I can, you know, work and live in the future to the best of my ability, I now have around me a whole team of people that I can access, I have physiotherapy, I have the surgeons, I have the hydrotherapists, I have, you know Pilates and strengthening people who can help me.
I have… clinical psychologists who can help me and nutritionists and dietitians.
So your GP is your central location for everything, and at the end of the day all the information will go back to that one person, so your not having to get information from this person or this will get muddled up over this side, everybody… everything gets correlated back to the doctor.
After each film fill out the health plan linked below.
Write down your goals and remember to keep them realistic, then you can take this along to your GP or practiced nurse who can then prepare a GP management plan with team care arrangements.
With one of these in place you may be able to access medicare subsidised visits to other health professionals such as physiotherapists, dieticians or psychologists.
Your GP may ask you to come back for a long appointment in order to prepare a GP management plan and team care arrangements or the practice nurse might actually prepare this in consultation with you and the GP.
It's all these people that are out there and available who you tend to think you can't afford them, but if look into what's available by talking to your GP and asking what is available to you to help you then there are things that you won't believe that you can have access to, that can help you live a better quality of life.
In my practice I look after a number of people with chronic pain and initially they find they might have a number of people that are involved in their care, quite a number of people but as time goes on and they learn new skills and strategies for dealing with their pain they find that they don't need nearly as much support and become very good at managing their pain themselves.
Come on puppy! Good man… good boy.
To create your own plan for managing your pain Click on the health plan button below the video and download the PDF.
Print it out.
After each video fill out the relevant sections.
You only have to fill it out once.
Take your completed health plan along to your GP or your health professional.
This is a great starting point to managing your pain.