Contributed by: Mary Ann
Reviewed by: Evelyn Corsini, MSW, June 2010
Mary Ann is 65 and lives in Georgia. She submitted the two stories that are here. She wrote the second after she had an accident.
When the pain started on the left side of my face I felt like a really bad earache – so went to ear, nose, throat, doctor. I did not have any infection so he wanted to know if I was happy in my marriage, or did I have too many children (3). He gave me a prescription for diazepam – I tore it up. I did not go to another doctor for a long time.
I was working for a doctor, he saw me in pain day after day and he suggested I go to a neurologist that he sent his patients to. BOTH doctors will always be in my prayers. Finding a neurologist (or other healthcare provider) that correctly diagnosed my pain source was to me a major success. Working with my doctor to find correct medications was a long process but one that is necessary to get relief. When the pain breaks through more and more often, it is time to change medications.
I also had to learn the level of pain fluctuates even with medications. Giving myself pep talks, i.e. “this to shall pass” was very important in pain level also. Once I understood that sitting at home with pain made me even more depressed, I made an effort to go out. I still stay home sometimes, but a lot less.
Grandchildren will get me out of depression easier than any medications I take!
Surround yourself with positive people.
Give your doctor a chance to find correct medication for you. BUT if you lose faith in him/her find another doctor. What works for me might not work for you. You deserve to have a say in your healthcare.
I do not feel that I have many success stories lately. I broke my right arm and have a cast on my whole arm. I am right handed. The pain at first was intense so doctors gave me pain meds, they helped whole body! Arthritis pain in my neck flared so I am wearing a neck brace to help hold up my neck. The brace hits right on part of the nerve in my face. I have had more than one pity party.
My life goes on, but sometimes I feel it goes by without me. THEN I give myself the talk about the story “the person with no shoes sees the person with no feet etc.” story. Sometime it helps, so I consider it a small success. When the bad pain hits I do know it will get less intense, I need to move through it, but lately I am not moving as quickly as I would like.
The only strategy I have is to keep busy. I go on vacation next week and I WILL have fun.
The tips here make me realize I do need to find a neurologist. I have moved and in this small town it has been my internist who continued what last dr. prescribed.