So I went to see him, the pain psychiatrist (Professor George Ikkos), I didn’t want to, I went all sour faced and arms folded bit like a child having a strop. I told him what I did and didn’t want to discuss, I told him I was there to talk about how to live for the now, and I told him I didn’t want to be there talking about my past and blablabla.
Let’s face it, I think I made it pretty clear to even the most unobservant person on the planet that I didn’t want to be there.
Well, boy oh boy, I was so stiff upper lip for that first session, maybe even the second session. But this man, this kind, gentle, warm, respectful man, the only consultant, professor never mind, who I trusted with my life, managed to break down my barriers, this man in short saved my life. He talked to me like the educated human being I am. He instilled confidence in me and my future, he picked me up when I felt no one else could. He was calm, patient, and most of all he allowed me to regain faith in MYSELF, faith in my parenting skills, my wifely skills, my therapy skills, my life skills my everything skills. He made me realize I am a pretty good human being, and I am in fact way too hard on myself, with reasons he tried to explain, which did involve me opening up about my past!
We had 10 sessions together once a week, I enjoyed listening to him as he educated me about the brain and pain mechanisms (I’m a scientific bodyworker at the end of the day), about my own thought processes, and the eventually about whether I would consider taking some medication to help me rebalance my “pain/brain thermometer”. Having had such bad experiences with medication for postnatal depression and the nortryptaline, I was worried about taking something that will alter my brain. He never once forced me and he allowed me as much time to think about it.
I did in the end take the drug he recommended – and despite the initial side effects, I do remember going back every few weeks or so after our course, to check in with him, and actually saying to him “can I take these pills for the rest of my life?”, his response was “if you had a thyroid issue or heart problem you would even question me about whether you can take something forever.” His subtle point being if you have a long term health issue, you take what you need to take to survive.
Well, honestly, they were the best drugs I’d ever had. My sister asked me if I was smoking something, and with his therapy sessions and the drugs I can honestly say the Simone I had long forgotten was starting to emerge from that heavy hell hole that was an 8 year fibro flare up!
Next stop…….. Pain Management Program