The ACPA’s Ten Steps For Moving From Patient To Person.
Making the journey from patient to person takes time. The isolation and fear that can overwhelm a person with chronic pain grows over time. And the return to a fuller, more rewarding life also takes time.
It’s a journey with many phases. The ACPA describes these phases as Ten Steps.
STEP 1: Accept the Pain
Learn all you can about your physical condition. Understand that there may be no current cure and accept that you will need to deal with the fact of pain in your life.
STEP 2: Get Involved
Take an active role in your own recovery. Follow your doctor’s advice and ask what you can do to move from a passive role into one of partnership in your own health care.
STEP 3: Learn to Set Priorities
Look beyond your pain to the things that are important in your life. List the things that you would like to do. Setting priorities can help you find a starting point to lead you back into a more active life.
STEP 4: Set Realistic Goals
We all walk before we run. Set goals that are within your power to accomplish or break a larger goal down into manageable steps. And take time to enjoy your successes.
STEP 5: Know Your Basic Rights
We all have basic rights. Among these are the right to be treated with respect, to say no without guilt, to do less than humanly possible, to make mistakes, and to not need to justify your decisions, with words or pain.
STEP 6: Recognize Emotions
Our bodies and minds are one. Emotions directly affect physical well being. By acknowledging and dealing with your feelings, you can reduce stress and decrease the pain you feel.
STEP 7: Learn to Relax
Pain increases in times of stress. Relaxation exercises are one way of reclaiming control of your body. Deep breathing, visualization, and other relaxation techniques can help you to better manage the pain you live with.
STEP 8: Exercise
Most people with chronic pain fear exercise. But unused muscles feel more pain than toned flexible ones. With your doctor, identify a modest exercise program that you can do safely. As you build strength, your pain can decrease. You’ll feel better about yourself, too.
STEP 9: See the Total Picture
As you learn to set priorities, reach goals, assert your basic rights, deal with your feelings, relax, and regain control of your body, you will see that pain does not need to be the center of your life. You can choose to focus on your abilities, not your disabilities. You will grow stronger in your belief that you can live a normal life in spite of chronic pain.
STEP 10: Reach Out
It is estimated that one person in three suffers with some form of chronic pain. Once you have begun to find ways to manage your chronic pain problem, reach out and share what you know. Living with chronic pain is an ongoing learning experience. We all support and learn from each other.
American Chronic Pain Association – Pain Patients’ Basic Rights
People with chronic pain are often “people pleasers.” We find it hard to express our needs and require that others respect them. And when our needs are not met, tension is increased and our pain seems worse.
But you do have the same basic rights that you grant to others. You have the right to:
- Act in a way that promotes dignity and self-respect.
- Be treated with respect.
- Make mistakes.
- Do less than you are humanly capable of doing.
- Change your mind.
- Ask for what you want.
- Take time to slow down and think before you act.
- Ask for information.
- Ask for help or assistance.
- Feel good about yourself.
- Not have to explain everything you do and think.
- Say “no” and not feel guilty.
- Ask why.
- Be listened to and taken seriously when expressing your feelings.
- Read and reread these rights so that you not only know them by heart, but so that they become part of your daily life
Another great blog. Thanks for sharing this. I’m going to reblog it on my blog. I think this is a very important blog.
Reblogged this on Kerry C. Mitchell's Adventures and commented:
Here is another great blog from the EDS Info Blog. It is ten excellent steps to move from paint patient to person. What a great idea. Also included are a list of rights.
Thank you, Kerry, for your frequent comments and praises here! Your feedback means a lot to me, and motivates me to continue working on this blog.
I’m so glad I’m helpful. I always look forward to your blog.
So glad I found this blog Kerry, thank you, it helps……