Life before and after the Pain Management Program

I have struggled with the symptoms of Fibromyalgia for 8+ years. I have tried all sorts of drugs and other treatments and never seemed to get better. During that time I also developed sleep apnea which I attribute to taking Ambien. In March of 2013, I finally hit a wall. The pain, fatigue and cognitive issues were more than I could handle and I stopped working.

During the next 6 months I was going down the path of declaring myself as disabled so I could get benefits to help keep my household going and continue getting care. That’s when I found the Pain Management Program at UNMC.

During and since graduating from the program, I have quit using Lyrica, Cymbalta and Ambien CR. I have also stopped using my CPAP. I am using the techniques that I have learned in the program almost to the point of being militant about them. In a good way! Within 30 days of leaving the program I started working again as a Project Manager, but things are different.

My first priority is me. I have a job where I work 40 hours and no more. No on call. No late nights. I may decide that I don’t want to work this much. Time will tell.  I stretch before I go to work, walk at lunch and take the stairs instead of the elevator. I’m still learning how to do that relaxation thing. I do make sure that I get down time. I watch football when I want. But I’m not very good at letting the mind rest yet. I’ll get it one of these days.

My interests are starting to come back to me. I have picked up the guitar, worked on websites that I have built for recreation, become politically active and am just loving life so much more.

Do I still have pain and other Fibromyalgia symptoms? Yes, but not nearly as bad.

Am I improving? Yes.

Am I taking drugs? No.

What are my favorite take-aways from PMP?

* I don’t listen to “Shoulds”.

* I love to walk. (it’s the endocannabinoids!)

* My whole life is at a new “pace”!

* I’m going to buy an RV before I retire!

* My friendship with Skipper!

 

I blogged my experience at PMP at http://www.the-jacobsens.com/articles/  feel free to check it out!

 

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