Pain Psychologist

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bsjaguar
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 974
   Posted 9/14/2009 4:02 AM (GMT -7)   
My pain levels have been increasing gradually even since stopping work in June this year.  My PM has me on pain meds but they aren't cutting it anymore and will ask for an adjustment today at my appointment.  I've heard some of you talk about going to a Pain Psychologist or a similar doctor.  Is this in addition to your current doctors and do they help.  I've had CP for 9 yrs. now and it is just getting old or maybe I am getting old.  I will talk to my PM about this also but was wanting some input from people on the forum.
 
By the way I am still keeping active while not working but at a lesser amount and thought this would help my pain levels.  Don't want to stiffen up too bad not working.
 
Thanks
---Jag---
 
DDD, osteoarthritis, fusion surgeries C-5/7 & L-4/5 both in 2006, torn meniscus left knee 2000 & 2002, buldging disc L-2/3


PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 9/14/2009 12:00 PM (GMT -7)   
Jag,
Yes, a pain psychologist (or clinical social worker, counselor, psychotherapist) is in addition to your M.D.'s. Sometimes they may work in a team setting, other times you might have to ask for some referrals. A lot of times your PM doctor may know which therapists in your area specialize in helping pain patients. If there are none, even a good therapist can help manage the grief and loss that goes with a life that's changing, but those trained in dealing with pain may also be able to teach some specific skills to help manage it.

You may also need to check with your insurance to see what your coverage is. I think it's a very useful piece of the pie for all of us.

PaLady

Chartreux
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 9622
   Posted 9/14/2009 12:11 PM (GMT -7)   
I see a pain management psychologist that was recommended from a friend, and yes it helps, it
gets you to focus on something other than the pain and by doing that it can help a lot...my pain is 24/7
and at night it's the worst and by redirecting my focus, it has helped me sleep, it's not perfect yet
but it sure does help at night...
But remember that with any good doctors there are bad ones too, so you might have to look
around before finding a good one..
Good luck to you and I hope this info helps...
((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((Jag))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))
**********************************************
* Asthma, Allergies, Osteoarthritis, Spinal Stenosis, Degenative Disc, Fibromyalgia, Gerd,
Enlarged Pituitary Gland, Sjogren's and Ocular Migraines

********>^..^<********>^..^<********>^..^<********


bsjaguar
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 974
   Posted 9/14/2009 12:14 PM (GMT -7)   
Wouldn't you know I got into the PM office and forgot to ask about the psychologist but will on next visit, will write it down this time. They did increase my avinza to twice per day and added xanaflex for muscle spasms. Hopefully I'll be filling better soon. Later, PaLady
---Jag---
 
DDD, osteoarthritis, fusion surgeries C-5/7 & L-4/5 both in 2006, torn meniscus left knee 2000 & 2002, buldging disc L-2/3


PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 9/14/2009 8:22 PM (GMT -7)   
Jag,
You probably could just call the office and ask if they refer to any pain psychologists, or have any in their practice. You don't necessarily need to talk with the doctor to get that info; actually, often the nurses are more helpful, especially knowing who patients have found helps them.

PaLady

straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 13459
   Posted 9/15/2009 11:35 AM (GMT -7)   
Jag, when I had to stop working it was because of my crohns disease. My PCP recommended I see a psychologist, not a pain psychologist. I can tell you this lady helped me in so many different ways. I am not sure exactly what you are looking for in a pain pyscchologist, perhaps if I knew I could write this post a little better so I wouldn't be off base lol. Anyway, just wanted to put my 2 cents worth in here for what it worth, probably nothing today. Hugs,
Straydog/Susie
Moderator Chronic Pain
 
crohns disease dx 2002 & small bowel resection, still looking for remission whatever that is, chronic pain 22 yrs, added ulcerative colitis 6-05 to the mix, high blood pressure 28 yrs, aortic heart valve insuffiency, depression, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis lumbar spine, scoliosis lumbar spine, peripheral neuropathy hands & feet, COPD & on oxygen therapy, lupus & decreased circulation in both legs. Several other health issues just not enough room to list it all. Too many surgeries to list and too many medications to list. Currently on 16 different daily medications. Intrathecal pain pump implanted June 05.


PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 9/15/2009 12:19 PM (GMT -7)   
Jag,
Sometimes you can get a 'twofer' - meaning find a good therapist who also knows how to teach you skills to manage your pain, as well as deal with a host of other issues. That would be the ideal. Some pain psychologists, especially if they're associated with a pain clinic, may only see you for a time limited period with a very specific focus on teaching skills to manage pain, and helping you process the emotions related to pain and loss. But if more is needed, they could always refer you to someone else in the community. A lot depends on what resources you have available. In a city, you may have many choices, but in more rural communities it may be limited.

If you want to share your options (once you learn what they are) some of us can help you out a bit more in understanding the choices.

PaLady

bsjaguar
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 974
   Posted 9/17/2009 4:41 AM (GMT -7)   
Guess I would just like someone to talk to about my feelings. Since I've stopped working I have too much time on my hands and tend to think too much. I get discouraged when I see things that I think need done but can't do it myself or go ahead and do it then feel like crap for days. I try to hide alot of my discomfort from my husband because he always tells me to take it easy and gives me he** for overdueing it (he's not mean just concerned). I tend to blame myself for our financial troubles since I'm unable to add to our income. I've noticed myself feeling anxious and unable to relax. I'm not crazy I just get bored and not quite sure what to do with myself.
---Jag---
 
DDD, osteoarthritis, fusion surgeries C-5/7 & L-4/5 both in 2006, torn meniscus left knee 2000 & 2002, buldging disc L-2/3


Chartreux
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 9622
   Posted 9/17/2009 6:12 AM (GMT -7)   
Jag,
wish I had something to offer up in help...
hope soft hugz will work for now...
call your doctor's office and ask for a recommendation for a psychologist...
((((((((((((((((((((((((((Jag)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))
**********************************************
* Asthma, Allergies, Osteoarthritis, Spinal Stenosis, Degenative Disc, Fibromyalgia, Gerd,
Enlarged Pituitary Gland, Sjogren's and Ocular Migraines

********>^..^<********>^..^<********>^..^<********


edt
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 773
   Posted 9/17/2009 6:30 AM (GMT -7)   

Jag,

I understand so much how you feel.  When I stopped working I began to beat myself up, I found myself becoming bitter.  I had worked since I was 14, now all of a sudden I was totally dependent on someone.  In my book everything was out of control with no job I had too much time on my hands.  The pain level was severe, I applied for SSD and had a 60-90 day wait to find out if I was eligible.  I couldn't do household chores that so desperately needed to be done.  I tried to spare my husband by not sharing how I felt.  I put on a brave face and created a bad situation for myself and family.  My favorite words were I'm having a bad day which over time became very annoying to everyone.  When they offered help I declined.  To me admitting I needed help further proved what a failure I was.  I didn't realize this right away but by putting on a happy face was very self destructive.  My husband began to withdraw and would make comments that hurt deep to my core.  Many months ago Fatherjohn started a post of how CP has affected our relationships.  I posted and it was a very healing moment for me!  The responses from all of my friends here gave me the strength to have a conversation with my husband that turned our relationship back to the way it was before the fusion surgery.  My husband was very frustrated because he couldn't fix me, my children felt the same.  By not letting them know how I truly felt and how much pain I was in made them feel helpless to do anything for me.  They all wanted to be there for me and by my actions I shut them out.

The best advice I can give is DO NOT hide your feelings from your husband!  Let him know your frustration, let him comfort you!   My husband told me he never ever felt angry over the financial loss when I stopped working.  He was angry because of what happened to me....had I not held back my feelings I feel things would have been different and saved lots of emotional torture for us.  Then again I am a believer that everything happens for a reason!  At the present time my husbands business is failing but what he is doing is finding odd jobs to keep us going.  I get pangs of guilt but I am on SSD so I am contributing.  Since we had our BIG turn around talk, he helps me clean, cooks, does wash and many things that I was afraid to ask for help with. 

Don't do what I did by putting on a brave face...you are hurting physically and emotionally, let your husband know you need him....in the end thats what we all want is to be needed!!

XXOO
Patti


PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 9/17/2009 11:15 AM (GMT -7)   
Jag,
Edt's post gives some great advice. In addtion, I think talking to a good therapist could be very helpful (I wish I had the resources - I'd be talking to someone!) in sharing many of the feelings you expressed. To help you work through this process - and it is just that. I find it a long, long process and thankfully many people here are further ahead so I can see there is a way through it (although I don't always feel there's a way through it, if you understand what I mean!).

Ask your doctor for a list of some names of therapists. It can't hurt to try one out. And sometimes you have to try a couple to find the right "fit".

hugs,

PaLady

Scarred_for_life
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 1559
   Posted 9/17/2009 4:08 PM (GMT -7)   
I agree with edt. There is much to be said for keeping the lines of communication open between spouses when there is pain involved. I don't and have never hid my pain from my husband. He knows how much it hurts and what he needs to do to help me. But this is only at times as far as the helping me deal with the pain. He helps me undress when the pain is so bad I can't even get into the tub or dress for bed; listens to me cry and is just an all around great guy (of course I am braggin he's mine LOL)

But too....it is important for you to be honest with your doctors as well and having a Psychologist in the picture has really helped me deal with some of the issues that were causing stress in my life and uping my pain level. I've learned to distract myself enough to bring the pain down a bit and I am real happy with this treatment. Mine was ordered by my doc because in a year I will HOPEFULLY get the SCS put in my back.


Anyway.....I'll close. Hope you have a pain free night or at least a semi lessened pain night.

Hugssss

Scarred
What doesn't kill us only makes us fight back harder! :P


BigLucy
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 413
   Posted 9/17/2009 6:12 PM (GMT -7)   
Four or five years ago I went to clinic specifically for pain management and part of "my plan" was to go to a psychologist that specialized in chronic pain. I don't have anything negative or positive to say about it, I just didn't get anything out of it. This was through a HMO so seeing the psychologist was not to be a long term treatment option; she introduced various things to me that were not to eliminate CP but techniques to deal with them such as , biofeedback. I also got the feeling that the clinic's goal is to try everything to avoid long term use of pain meds (which makes sense), but alas over a decade later, here I am, on pain meds. Her specialty was cognitive restructuring/positive thinking with cancer patients, she showed me statistics that were impressive. I had a really interesting discussion with her once when I asked her for stats on CPers and stated, I can see how it works for cancer b/c two things happen, you die or go into remission, there's an ending either way, what's overwhelming for me is the endlessness of chronic illness/CP. With CP it's never ending, I'm going on 15 years plus of chronic illness and all this positive thinking is exhausting, maybe I should do some research myself and see what the outcome is for CPsers, if only I had the positive energy required (do I detect sarcasm?). Just as suggested previously, I would look around and try to find a match to your needs/situation and see what the therapist's goal or orientation is for therapy, some therapists do not believe in pain meds, for example. I see therapy as an adjunct to a current plan.
I'm a big supporter of therapy, I believe the right therapist can do wonders, the trick is to find someone you click with. There's a lot of loss/grief in chronic illness/CP so someone who specializes in grief, trauma could be good, not sure you necessarily need a psychologist specifically (and can be more costly). One other suggestion, there's a clinic in my area that specializes in everything to do with loss, mainly people who have lost a loved one to death, they do have grief support meetings (how to manage ongoing grief). Look in your area to see if a clinic like this exists, you never know, a support group could be available to you.

straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 13459
   Posted 9/18/2009 6:11 PM (GMT -7)   
Wow Patti hit it right on the head. Jag the things you speak of I was there too. My PCP preferred a psychologist and I went at random, except I asked my ins to help find a lady in our plan that was also not too far from my home. I would still be going if my ins would pay for her but thats all changed so I could no longer go. She gave me some wonderful ideas on things I just had no clue about. I was use to always working and all of a sudden I had all of this time on my hands and my thinking back then was not the best either. I had so many emotions hitting me left & right I did not know where to even begin.
Straydog/Susie
Moderator Chronic Pain
 
crohns disease dx 2002 & small bowel resection, still looking for remission whatever that is, chronic pain 22 yrs, added ulcerative colitis 6-05 to the mix, high blood pressure 28 yrs, aortic heart valve insuffiency, depression, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis lumbar spine, scoliosis lumbar spine, peripheral neuropathy hands & feet, COPD & on oxygen therapy, lupus & decreased circulation in both legs. Several other health issues just not enough room to list it all. Too many surgeries to list and too many medications to list. Currently on 16 different daily medications. Intrathecal pain pump implanted June 05.

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