A client of mine has had chronic back pain for a while and things are finally starting to resolve. It’s been going on for a while, she’s been through countless physical therapists, exercises, etc. – everything has helped to a degree, but she’s now able to put it all together and feeling more alive.  She can now go out to dinner with friends, mow the lawn and do other things that were previously off limits because she was in so much pain.

Yeah for her – her success has been a very hard won struggle!!!

I give her so much credit for working sooooo hard to get out of pain.  Seriously, it’s so much easier to live with things sometimes than to actually deal with them – especially when you try so hard and it’s so frustrating.

Moving on with our story here. . . . .

She spends a ton of time on the computer doing her best to create a sustainable business that creates a livelihood for her and her family. She’s a dedicated Mom with kids that are her heart plus a huge animal lover.  She’s got some phenomenal ideas and is finally figuring out a way to put it all together.

Ooops – too much time on the computer apparently has caused her hands incredible pain.

She’s purchased my eBook Patient Power and we were talking the other day.  She said to me:  “I can’t POSSIBLY see my doctor about this – I can’t handle one more thing related to my health.  I’m at my wit’s end.”

I listened deeply as she continued on, in tears, trying so hard to “get it right already” and so sick of trying hard and as she put it “getting nowhere.”

Knowing it was the wrong time to remind her of her progress as she was in such a funk, I simply asked her:  “Well, what do you already know that works for you when you’re depleted and in pain like this?”

“Ahh”, she said, “Great question.”

What I know is I have your book and am taking Advil for this in varying dosages.  I could record those on your 7 day dosage log and get more information about what’s working and what’s not. I could use an Appointment Preparation Worksheet to note what my symptoms are, what helps and what doesn’t, when they are more pronounced.”

I was ECSTATIC that she could see the tools she had already in place that she could use to gather information.

In the meantime, she’d ask for suggestions from others who she felt might know something about this, researched on the internet, and come up with her own suspicion about what this is.

Note:  I never advocate self diagnosing!  But, I am a strong supporter of getting good clear information about what’s going on with you before seeing your provider in non-emergent situations so that they can truly be of service to you.

Anyway, here are a couple things to learn from this amazing client:

  • Get Your Facts Straight:  When you’re in pain and don’t know what to do, gather your facts together.  Figure out what helps, what hurts, and keep track of it.
  • Write It Down:  Use Patient Power to stay on top of your symptoms, your medications to give clear information to your provider.
  • Be Kind To Yourself:   It’s okay to wait in a non emergent situation when you’re “at capacity” dealing with health issues provided you’re not jeopardizing your ultimate well being.
  • Work with What’s Happening To You Right Now: Remember life is always changing.  Ask for support from friends, family, online communities that you are a part of.  You never know what you may find.

Question for the day:  What’s going on with you where it would help to have more information but you are “at capacity” dealing with whatever is on your plate?  How can you work with what’s true right now?

I’m in your corner, it’s hard when you feel like $%$%  and you can work with it just as this client did using Patient Power as your pathfinder!!!!

2 Responses to “Case Study: Back Pain and Patient Power on Your Terms!!!”

  1. Linda Resca Says:

    Great article Char – thank you !

    I know, as one who has had multitudes of health concerns, that when you’re “in it” – the overwhelm & fear can cause racing thoughts, lack of clarity and the sensation that you’re in the spin cycle on the washing machine !!

    Your forms help people stop the spinning, organize their thoughts and gain the missing clarity and peace.

    Linda

  2. Char Says:

    Thank you Linda – that’s my hope is to be a pathfinder through these kinds of things and help give people tools to communicate for clearly.

    I’m glad you get it and thanks for stopping by.

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