I struggled to get out of bed as I was so tired (something I will probably be repeating quite a bit). I felt so nauseous and worn out that I wondered how I would make it through the day.
First Session: Psychology
So far having psychology first things in the morning has been a bad idea as the sessions are difficult to relate to and are not particularly interesting. We were introduced to another metaphor (surprise surprise). This time we were asked to imagine that we are the driver of a bus. On this bus, we have a number of passengers that represent all of the things that hold us back from our goals such as pain, anxiety, fear of failure etc. We want to drive this bus to our goal but, all of these problems tend to get in the way and force us to change direction. We had to stand up and reenact this metaphor which made me feel like a child at school. We all understood the idea within the first 5 minutes however, this went on for a good 45 minutes. We have been taking the piss out of the whole thing for the rest of the week (at least we gained a good laugh out of it). I did point out that I don’t believe that all of the contributing problems should be put in the same category. Problems such as anxiety are completely different from pain and fatigue.
Second session – Dr Talk
All the sessions I have had up until this point have not been as informative as this one. We learnt about the different pain pathways and how the different factors such as touch, temperature and pain can send signals to the brain. When you have Fibromyalgia you can become highly sensitized causing crossed signals and pain when there has not necessarily been any physical trauma. We were told about the differences between acute and chronic pain. Acute pain is the bodies normal response to damage such as a cut or physical injury and does not last for more than 6 months. Chronic pain is ongoing and lasts longer than 6 months which is beyond the healing time. Due to their often being no physical damage that can be treated, medication doesn’t usually work and the only option is to try to manage it.
Session 3 – Nurse
We spent an hour recapping on opioids and what kind of side effects they can cause. We also learnt about the different brand names that are used for identical medication which can often confuse people and causes issues when monitoring dosage and the contents.
Sessions 4 – Occupational therapy
This session was just laughable. We were invited to go for a walk around the park for an hour if we felt comfortable and able to. This isolated the people in the group that were not ready to venture outside and really struggled with their mobility. I found this unfair as we were only on day 3 and it was a big ask for people who struggle mentally and physically with the thought of going for a walk. This should have possibly been a goal to work towards not one that was spontaneously thrown at us.
Session 5 – Drop in Tai Chi
I found this session quite relaxing as we combined deep breathing and relaxation with flowing movements. Each movement could be adapted to cater for different people. Although my body did feel quite heavy and tired afterwards I could see how repeated sessions could benefit you mentally and physically. Obviously, this would not get rid of your pain but, it does help you concentrate on what is happening in the moment.
Session 6 – Physio
Another pretty pointless session to be honest. We were all split into 3 groups and given either sitting, walking or standing to focus on. My group had to write a list of the different ways of sitting, practice them and then report back to the whole group. Such a great way to end the day -_-
By the time I got back to my room, I was absolutely shattered. We are stuck in a room for the entire day on very uncomfortable chairs and little to keep our brains engaged.