Episode1 Segment 5 - How can I take responsibility for my pain?
Fast Fact 1
Be the spokesperson for your pain
Fast Fact 2
Take responsibility for working with your healthcare providers
Your family probably knows a lot about your pain and can tell your healthcare providers lots of things - but you are the expert. When you go to your healthcare provider, try to be the spokesperson for your body. Answer questions as much as you can yourself. Your family can help to tell the healthcare provider things you may have forgotten or things from their point of view.
Be active and be prepared
You can use the list that you have just created to tell your healthcare provider what your pain feels like. Before seeing them, you may also want to think about what else you would like to tell them. This should include your medical history. You can use the following questions as a guide to get you started:
- What was happening when your pain first started?
- What makes your pain worse?
- What can you do to make your pain feel better?
- What strategies have you tried that:
(b) did not help?
- What would you like to be doing more of but may be finding it hard to do as a result of pain?
By doing these things, you are starting to take an active role in your health. Do not wait for your parents, caregivers, or healthcare providers to fix your pain. Instead, try to be actively involved. Improvements in pain and functioning happen most successfully when the person with pain is an active team member. Listen to the advice you are given and the different strategies that you are taught. Try them out. Work out which strategies are most helpful and talk it through with those around you.
If you are a young adult, it is important to plan your transition from paediatric healthcare services to adult health services. Talk to your healthcare team well before you turn 18 about your transition to adult services, so that this can happen smoothly.
Prior to this time, start taking on more responsibility by seeking out the information you need to make informed decisions about your health care, and discussing this with family and healthcare providers.
You may also need to consider whether or not you want to reveal or disclose information about your medical condition to others - for example, an employer, university, TAFE. A useful website to access is "Choosing Your Path: Disclosure - its a personal decision".
The link is www.uws.edu.au/ndco/disclosure