that During a good chunk of the last ten years since I have been living with pain, I've always thought it would be great to see a pain psychologist. Hey, I know when I'm in over my head. I either couldn't find one or (once) saw somebody who was part of a pain clinic who was just mean and nasty. Imagine my delight to have met THIS GUY. I want to share what I learned at me appointment. Then, if you guys are interested, I will continue to share.
This particular pain psychologist was in the Navy and spent (and continues to spend) time counselling veterens either injured during combat or suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. He also is a pilot and a flight instructor. He told me that a pilot has a checklist as to what needs to be done upon descent. This checklist is for landing during normal (weather) conditions. So, you land the plane, you follow the checklist. You do it again, and again and again and twenty years worth of agains. But, as I said, this checklist is for normal conditions. Now comes an abnormal condition: turbulance, electrical storm, icing, etc.---YOU NEED TO USE A DIFFERENT CHECKLIST. He told me that I don't have a check list for how to deal with the situation that I am in-----that I continue to use my "good weather checklist" and "work harder, run faster, be smarter, figure it out" and its not working. He told me he has all kinds of experience in dealing with disabilities and he will help me develop that new checklist and that I can stop worrying, it will be okay. WOW. This guy struck a nerve. He made so much sense to me and not in the "booga-booga psychological mumbo-jumbo garbage but just plain common sense. I don't know how to deal with being in chronic pain. I know how to get an A in my class. I know how to make money at my job. That is, I know how to be successful by the standards society imposes and I have accepted but if I keep applying those same rules or standards to my current life of chronic pain, I am going to be unhappy. He is offering to provide me with a more realistic "checklist". This makes enormous sense in a very straightforward no jumbo-jumbo sort of way. I'll begin to get the checklist in two weeks. Let me know if you all are as excited by this concept as I am as I will continue to post what he tells me. Realize that what this PhD psychologist tells me is tailored for ME but I can't help but think that I am exceedingly ununique in my response to chronic pain. Susan.