Re: [Austin-Chronic-Pain-Meetup-Group] New Meetup: Austin Chronic Pain July 2010 Meetup

From: Anna
Sent on: Sunday, June 20, 2010 11:54 PM
Hi Xavier,

  I do hope you will join us for the July Meetup!

  I've struggled with depression for a long time, and was just
reminded recently that there is plenty of research indicating that
most, if not all, people with chronic pain suffer from depression and
anxiety. Sometimes I identify with the feelings of people who have
been held hostage and tortured...I believe that being in severe pain
that has no guarantee of ever going away can have the same effect on a
person. I can't imagine any human being that wouldn't be messed up
after going through something that horrible. I admire the courage of
folks who live every day in unimaginable pain and still refuse to give
up on life. We are in a constant battle that no one can see. I think
the silence and the invisibility of it are what makes it so
potentially deadly. Most people (including me) have a really hard time
understanding something they haven't experienced for themselves or
cannot see. I think that's what makes work and fitting in with a
social circle so incredibly difficult sometimes. In the last couple
years, I've discovered that the ADA now considers chronic pain a
"disability". With proper documentation, you may be eligible for
accommodations at work!

 For me, Meetup group doesn't solve the problems of pain or the
depression that inevitably follows, but it IS a huge relief to realize
that I'm not alone in this struggle. Sometimes there are practical
ideas that others bring up that help as well. I really do hope you can
make it and share your story with us.


On Sun, Jun 20, 2010 at 12:59 PM, Jen H. <[address removed]> wrote:
> I agree with Andrea and Mo.
> I am young and active and gregarious.
> I also have moderate to cripplingly severe pain and I will not let it rule
> my life or my thoughts. ��This group helps me with that. This group helps me
> feel not SO ALONE in my pain and all the emotional branches that grow out of
> it.
> Just come to the next meeting, Xavier. ��It's not giving up or giving in-
> it's taking the bull by the horns and steering it.
> At work, HR is always a good place to go, as well, in regard to protection.
> ��(If you've got a good HR.)
> Jen
> On Jun 20, 2010, at 11:49 AM, Andrea Force wrote:
> Hi Xavier,
> I understand why you feel like attending the meetings is "giving up." It's
> like the act of simply attending a meeting is you saying "my pain isn't
> temporary and I'll be dealing with it for the rest of my life." When you're
> alone and depressed (pretty normal considering circumstances), why on earth
> would you want to have that mindset? It needn't be like that, though.
> "Chronic" doesn't necessarily equal "for life." Sometimes it just means
> you've been dealing with it for a while or you expect to be dealing with it
> for some time yet. Both of those describe me.
> I have chronic myofascial pain. Over the years I've belonged to several
> support groups. Not all support groups are created equal. I've been to
> meetings that left me feeling much worse than when I arrived; where everyone
> just sat around and told their stories of woe. I'm happy to say this group
> isn't like that. It's a solution-focused group that talks about far more
> than just taking drugs in our efforts to manage our day-to-day pain.
> Consider coming just for the social aspects if for no other reason.
> I understand about the not wanting to take drugs. I'm in the process of
> slowly tapering off of a drug that I took at a very high dose for a very
> long time. Because I'm near the end of my taper, I'm feeling pretty poorly
> and most likely won't be attending the upcoming meeting. I'm not completely
> anti-drug. There's quality of life and functionality to be considered. My
> future decisions regarding drugs will involve me researching them to the
> best of my ability before deciding to take any new ones. My goal is the
> fewest number of them possible, the most benign ones possible (usually older
> ones that have stood the test of time), at the lowest doses possible.
> I want my life back and I'm working hard to achieve that. Everyone else is
> in the same boat.
> --Andrea
> P.S. Regarding your work circumstances, I think you need to take some steps
> to protect yourself before some action might be taken against you. If your
> company is large enough and you've been there long enough, you can get FMLA
> protection. Also, it might be worth consulting a lawyer who specializes in
> that area.
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Anna E. Green, RN
Adjunct Instructor, Medical Assisting
6301 East Highway 290
Austin, TX 78723
[address removed]
Work[masked] - Fax[masked]

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