Manage Your PainManage Your Pain, 3rd ed,                 Michael Nicholas et al

My pain specialist lent me this book during a hospital stay.  I read only the forward before putting the book down and bursting into tears.  “For many patients with chronic ongoing pain, there are no specific treatments for the underlying cause, and sadly at present there may be no effective pain relief available”.

The words rang through my head – “No effective pain relief available”.  How could he ask me to read this book?  How could this possibly make me feel better?

Not wanting to disappoint my doctor, I picked the book up again.  This time, I made it through only one paragraph before the tears starting flowing.  “The causes of chronic pain are many, from nonspecific back complaints to arthritis to injuries to cancer.  At present, most of these conditions do not have effective or lasting cures”.

Why, why does he want me to read this book.  Aren’t I depressed enough as it is?  Is this supposed to make me feel better?  How?  Why?

Just then my people pleasing personality kicked in and knowing the doctor would ask how much I had read, I wiped away my tears and picked up the book ready to endure the horrors that surely awaited me.

Don't WaitThankfully it didn’t take long before the I realised there were no horrors awaiting.  Only information.  Information to educate, information to inform, information to help. Over the next day and a half I devoured page after page of this magical book.  The only time it was out of my hands was during visits to the physio and occupational therapists.  Fortunately, physical therapy was only down the hall from my hospital bed so as soon as the torture was over I made my way back to my bed and the magical book.

Now when I say the book is magical I don’t, unfortunately, mean it has magical powers.  At least, not in the traditional sense.  It did however change everything for me.  My pain was no longer a mystery.  This book helped me understand why my pain is worse when I am stressed, how the way I think can affect my pain.  This book helped me to understand the activity/pain/rest cycle.  This booked introduced me to the idea of pacing.  This book taught  me more than I can list here.  The reason I call this book magical however, is because it gave me hope.  It assured me that my pain is real.  It assured me that I am not crazy.  And it told me not to write myself off.  This book gave me hope for my future.  I cannot recommend this book enough.


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