Pain Management Program day 10

“The mind body connection”!

Today has been a pretty good day. Except for forgetting to ‘not’ take my Lyrica last night and forgetting to set my alarm. I woke up at 7:22 and had to be upstairs by 8:00. That’s the nice thing about being a guy. It doesn’t take much to get ready. It was also good that I felt pretty well.

I knew at some point I was going to have to give more consideration to the relaxation techniques that we are being taught. I understand that not all of them are for everyone. We will pick and choose what works and leave the rest.  Today we had a session on Tai Chi. I was somewhat guarded as it was presented but had never given it enough thought as to why. As I think about it more, I understand that Tai Chi is a process of focusing the mind solely on the movements of the form to bring about a state of mental calm and clarity.  As a Christian I looked to scripture and found Psalm 62:5 “Yes, my soul, find rest in God;  my hope comes from him”. I know that’s just one of many but for me, I’ll pursue spiritual meditation in ways that I am more comfortable with.

We have also participated in guided imagery. When we first did it, I thought it was more like a fantasy vacation without leaving the room. We were guided by a psychologist and weren’t led to a spiritual guide or anything like that. After my experience with Tai Chi however, I think I’ll go back to Psalm 62 and listening to instrumental hymns. There are plenty of ways to meditate and relax the body without adventuring into New Age or Eastern Religions.

I mentioned that I forgot to stop my Lyrica last night. One of our sessions today was with the nurse who taught us about medications, their side affects and how they are misused. After the session, I met with her and she agreed that I could go ahead with the plan to completely stop the Lyrica. The next drug on my removal list will be the 1000Mg of Naproxen. I have several options like tapering, using as needed or just stopping cold turkey.  I may go with number two. The other that I am considering dropping is the Ambien CR. I have started using a CPAP since I started using Ambien and since I have increased my daily activity I am sleeping better.  This process will take several weeks if not longer. I don’t need to set myself into a tail spin. But I am anxious to get off what I don’t need.

Our other group session was a continuation of the irrational beliefs lesson. The introduction of the lesson was a review of “Disputing Twelve Irrational Beliefs” by Albert Ellis. It was a good introduction into creating a thought monitoring log. This process involves recording stressful situations, the way we think about them, how they affect us physically, emotionally, behaviorally and cognitively, and then disputing our thoughts with more rational thoughts. I think this will be hard for me. When my day is done I don’t tend to think back on it much but look forward to what has to be done. We’ll see. This old dog has been taught a lot of new tricks.

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