HOW did it get to be July 23 already? This summer is going by so fast--too fast! I spent the first part of the summer at Chronic Pain Boot Camp. Well, technically, the correct name is The Chronic Pain Program (through the MAPS Pain Clinics), but it certainly felt more like boot camp: four hours a day of intensive physical therapy, support group and education around living with chronic pain, and relaxation therapy. I haven't moved so much in years, and everyday I came home and did nothing but veg out and sleep. Same thing on the weekends. Yet, to my surprise, I not only survived but am feeling and doing better than I have in years--a couple of weeks ago I actually went HIKING up at Gooseberry Falls, much to George's (and my) amazement!
The Pain Program is offered for patients who suffer from chronic pain which can't be cured, and the goal is to help patients learn to cope with their pain and return to living active, productive lives. I finally have tools to help me manage my fibromyalgia, back pain, migraines, etc., and, after so many years of feeling like pain victim, I feel as though I have my life back at long last. My only regret is that I didn't do this sooner--I would have if I'd known about it! Apparently, this type of program is the recommended treatment for fibromyalgia. Grrr. Oh well, I've told all of my doctors to recommend this to their other patients with fibro, so I hope other folks won't wind up going for years without any real help.
My goal now is to keep up with the gains I've made by keeping up with my exercise regimen, eating healthfully, getting enough sleep and practicing relaxation techniques. I'm also planning to do some volunteering at the Basilica and with the Obama campaign; I'm hoping I can parlay the latter into some kind of job doing grassroots organizing. Oh, and I also want to try my hand at doing some freelance writing.
I hope all of you will forgive me for being such a lousy friend over the last year or so. Looking back, I think my mom's death triggered a fibromyalgia relapse, and I've really struggled with both terrible pain and, even more, the frustration, anger, loneliness and grief that accompanied it. Still, that's an explanation, not an excuse. I hope my friends will, please, let me make it up to you in the future. :-)