SOAR's Wellbeing Coaches work with local people who require practical support and encouragement to improve their health & wellbeing and change their behaviour to achieve their goals. They work on a 1-1 basis but also run group activities and identify other local groups that might be of interest. Read on to hear about *Susie's journey with managing her chronic pain.
*name changed to protect identity
Susie has fibromyalgia, which she believes is hereditary as her mum also has it. Menopause could also be linked to the pain too, as she is going through this and experiencing other symptoms such as brain fog, crying randomly, aches and pains.
The pain started at the beginning of this year, and despite not being a regular attender at her GP surgery, she did go to try and receive some support for the pain. She has not been referred to the pain clinic or physio, her GP prescribed her some medication and advised her to self-refer to us at SOAR.
Susie has unfortunately had some bad side effects from the medication, which gave her headaches and made her feel nauseous. Her pain is widespread and is worst in her back, shoulders and backs of her legs. When she has done a lot during the day the pain will worsen and often last for a few days at a time.
After being supported by Mariam, our Wellbeing Coach, Susie has been using her pain pack regularly, and has consistently attended her fortnightly reviews which included relaxation methods, journaling, sleep, diet and movement. Susie now feels confident enough to sign up to the gym and try classes and swimming. She said it was intimidating at the start and she could easily have talked herself out of it but she pushes herself and felt better for doing so!
Susie now understands the importance of self-care, is having regular massages and has also tried out reflexology and found it very useful. She has made changes to her diet, is not snacking as often and is eating regular healthy meals throughout the day. She goes for daily walks and does activities she enjoys.
Our Wellbeing Coaches have been able to share information about the Menopause so Susie now understands more about it and has started HRT patches. She now feels better both mentally and physically!
Susie has made fantastic progress and is staying motivated. Her most successful outcome is that she no longer takes pain medication as the exercise and diet changes have helped her wean off. She is looking into volunteering with our Wellbeing Coach team to motivate others
struggling with the same challenges she was
Mariam says "it has been a pleasure working with *Susie. She has a can-do attitude and is willing to give anything a go. She just needed a gentle push to understand how pain works, and allowing herself time to make these changes."