I have mentioned in the past my PCP referred me to a Pain Management Doctor. This doctor referred me to a Pain Management Facility called St. David's Rehabilitation Center. What I liked about this particular center was that they set forth principles and standards to meet individual needs. I was working and decided to take medical leave. Thank goodness I had saved my vacation time and had some sick time available.
The center set up an initial interview to find out what my particular needs and to set goals. You might think this would be overwhelming. It was not because I wanted to get on with my life and I wanted to learn how to manage my pain. The whole idea on their part was to help me become independent with management of recurrent symptoms, develop strategies and habits that maximize my ability to function and decrease the frequency and intensity of symptoms.
These were my goals:
1). Continue working or in my case return to work.
2). Increase my current functional abilities and endurance level.
4). Learn how to self-manage my pain without having to always rely or be dependent on my doctors or medication.
They offered Individual and Group Treatments as follows:
1). Physical Therapy
2). Psychological Therapy
3). Occupational Therapy
4). Biofeedback evaluation and treatment
Unfortunately, my insurance did not see the need for Psychological or Biofeedback. My doctor wrote a letter and they still denied it. St. David's was nice enough to let me in on one session of Individual and two of Group Psych sessions. At that time I was not depressed, I was eager to move forward and had a great attitude. That was because I was finally diagnosed with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue and all of my close friends and co-workers were very supportive. Hence, when I was evaluated for Psych issues, I was fine at that point in time.
My program included Physical and Occupational Individual and Group sessions. There were days I did not think I could get out of bed, get dressed and go to the facility. The support of my loving husband was magnificent. I would not have made it without his help and guidance. God Bless him.
I was feeling so good I wanted to go back to work before it was time, plus I was running out of vacation and sick time. A dear friend came over to visit me and could not believe the difference in me. I was smiling, feeling and looking good. So I talked my PCP into signing a form releasing me and allowing me to go back to work. That was a mistake because I tried to continue my therapy part-time and my new boss was not as supportive as he said he would be. I was already working for a great Director and new Senior Manager. I let this other Director talk me into transferring to his team prior to returning to work. All he wanted was for me to join his team and he knew my past team members would follow. He ended up with an excellent team combined with some of his own excellent members. Unfortunately he never made it clear to his prior team members that I was there as a mentor and guru, so to speak. I was not there to become their Team Manager or take over. This caused me a lot of stress which caused my symptoms to increase beyond my own control. I just wanted to continue working, I did not want to continue working at the pace I was accustomed to and had no desire to move up the ladder. I knew what my limitations were and just wanted to support my family. That whole experience is still difficult for me to believe it even happened. I did make some new friends and will never forget the people that were not competitive. It also opened my eyes up about certain individuals and their characteristics. All in all, I did gain insight and learned from this whole experience. I am sorry to fall off track here....jeez, let it go, Viv, let it go! You see, we have to do a lot of self-talk.
I want people to be open to treatment centers. I know it is hard to get motivated enough to get up and get dressed. Trust me, it was worth it to me in the end. I still use the treatment strategies I learned.
When you are referred to a treatment center you should look for the following:
* What type of patients do they serve?
* Are the health professionals trained in teaching and treating acute or chronic pain?
* Is the program supervised by a licensed director or manager?
* Will they stay in communication with your doctor?
* Try to meet each therapist that will be working with you.
* The center must be able to assess and treat physical and psychological treatments.
* Do they offer brochures, pamphlets, etc. you can keep?
* Do they have someone that takes care of all the paperwork required to start and continue the program?
* What type of insurance is required? Do they offer any discounts or sliding scales, if necessary?
* What type of complaints have they had or encountered?
* What is their exact method of evaluating an individual and do they offer treatments that meet your goals and expectations?
* Try to talk to people that have already experienced treatment at that particular center.
I know it seems like a lot to do, hopefully your doctor has already sent other patients to that particular Pain Management Center. If you have to find one on your own, keep a list of what I have listed to help you find the right place. There were some patients that had no desire to get better and all they wanted to do was complain. They felt the effort to get up and actually follow the program was too much. Attitude has a lot to do with the success of any program you join. In the beginning it is not easy, but it gets easier and the knowledge you gain is long lasting and beneficial to you and your family.
I hope and pray this information has helped someone today.