Living with a chronic condition requires changing the way you think about your health care and your life. The ACPA describes this as moving from patient to person. The information in this section can help you begin to regain control of your life and become an active participant in your treatment team.
For many people, living with pain is a way of life. Living a full and active life however may seem impossible. It is actually possible to increase your level of functioning and quality life while reducing your sense of suffering.
Almost everyone who lives with pain has been to the emergency room at some time. You may have gone because your pain was out of control and you could not reach your own health care team. You may have gone because you feared that your pain was a sign of a new medical problem. You may have gone because you have no insurance. Or your own doctor may have sent you there.
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.
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.