I have done it. I officially started the Level 2 Pain Program at Kaiser yesterday. It is focused a lot around the concept of amygdala retraining. I have seen programs to purchase out there in the online world, and this program is part of Kaiser’s offering. This is the only Kaiser currently offering to determine the success. So far… I hear it has been extremely successful. I am optimistic. Optimistic for the first time in a very long time.
In talking with my intake nurse, who has also been supporting me for a long time through this process… one of the major difference between the programs I have seen online and this one is that we are meeting everyday for three weeks, followed by 3 weeks of meeting 3 times a week, followed by once a week for 4+weeks. Each session is 3 hours. It’s pretty amazing when you think about it.
We started with introductions, about 15 of us including doctors, nurses, psychologist and pharmacist. Then one of the doctors read an inspirational passage about fear from a book. I must say… it was good to hear from this particular doctor as when I first started this process years ago (after being diagnosed with FMS), I saw this doctor and he was a complete ASS to me. I remember crying after leaving my appointment with him. He is a convert and now understands chronic pain and the effects much better. It’s good to know folks can change.
After the reading, we did about ten minutes of Qi Gong… all of us and then all the medical folks left and the rest of us did Feldenkrais for about 40 minutes. We did Feldenkrais the last time I went through the Level 2 program, but only for a few minutes. This was interesting, not easy for me, but I definitely see the benefit in it. With more sessions, I know I will be able to relax more. It was difficult for me to relax and get into it. I was also having a hard time paying attention to the instructor, just my mind going crazy. I need to learn how to calm my mind down better.
After Feldenkrais, we had a 45 minute group session about a concept. Yesterday was about the 3 P’s. Planning, Prioritization and Pacing. This was ran by the psychologist but about the input from the group. Group therapy with everyone in the room on the same page… we are all in pain. A room full of people who can all relate to each other’s lives.
After this, everyone went for a group walk for 15 minutes… and then ended the day going around the room with parting comments.
I am optimistic (how often do we say that word?) that I am going to come out of this process as someone who can start living a higher quality life.
I have only had one day, I will start getting ready to go back today in a bit. Getting dressed and leaving the house every day will be a challenge for me since I am usually in the house Monday through Friday. I am also thinking about work a lot, so I need to let that go. This program is all about me and about me making my life more about LIVING than just getting through the day.
I can do this.
I wish you all a great day!