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

From: James r.
Sent on: Sunday, June 20, 2010 10:40 PM
Is this a group where alternative therapies are welcomed or will there be a contingent based on pharmaceutical and western based therapies? 

----- Original Message ----
From: Andrea Force <[address removed]>
To: [address removed]
Sent: Sun, June 20,[masked]:49:47 AM
Subject: Re: RE: [Austin-Chronic-Pain­-Meetup-Group] New Meetup: Austin Chronic Pain July 2010 Meetup

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.


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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