Education is the first step
Once you understand chronic pain you can pull yourself out of it. You can move forward on your own terms. It’s crucial to take action and work with your doctor instead of waiting for answers from the medical system. That’s where the DOCC (Defined, Organized, Comprehensive Care) Project comes in.
DOC (Direct your Own Care) is a framework for carrying out that plan.You will build confidence and feel more in control. Just taking charge will make you less anxious. You will no longer be at the mercy of your circumstances.
The results are consistent. There are two variables that determine success in returning to a reasonable level of pain and function.
- The first is the willingness to engage in the process. Many people just want to be fixed “now.” The idea of this being a longer-term commitment just doesn’t work for them. I have discovered that there is nothing that I can do. I have to bow out of being their physician. If I thought there was a shortcut to plowing through the steps, I would show it to you in a second. There isn’t one.
- The second huge obstacle is giving up the role of being a victim of your circumstances and pain. Unfortunately you really are a victim. You have a right to not to be in pain. What are you going to do: continue to feel sorry for yourself or move forward?
Enjoying the management of chronic pain
The most enjoyable part of my practice is giving my patients to the tools both to eliminate their pain and also put their lives back together. It is always a significant commitment and effort. I can never tell ahead of time who will respond. Each patient that defeats her pain is incredibly inspiring to me and keeps me working on better ways to help out.
I am a coach
My role is that of a coach. I do not take credit for my patient’s successes. I am grateful that I am able to share some of knowledge I obtained going through the same journey. Once they connect with themselves and the tools that lead back to a rich life, it is like opening the door of a small cage housing a wild animal. There is nothing that can hold them back. Every human being at their core wants to thrive. My successful patients keep me fired up. They have re-taken charge of their care and their life.
Another resource that I have worked with closely is the pain center at Swedish Medical Center. This booklet will introduce you to more tools that will assist you in your return to health.
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