Fibromyalgia Action UK
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Third Day at the Concentration Camp (I mean Pain management Course)

Third Day at the Concentration Camp (I mean Pain management Course)

Ouch, I mean OUCH!! I am hurting in places I didn't even know I had.

The day began with Physiotherapy exercises. Of course every one of us lied and said we had been keeping up with the exercises at home over the weekend (as if!)

It was the same ten exercises as Friday, but whereas we only spent one minute per exercise on Friday, today it was upped to two minutes. Actually that part wasn't bad, I quite enjoyed the balancing parts, and coped OK with the step up, though 2 minutes of that was definitely enough. The wall press ups and the arm raises with dumbbells was a complete none event for me.

When we finished, the Physiotherapist said "get out your mats and towels now" WHAT?? Did I hear that right? MORE Exercises? No, it can't be, we are all suffering chronic pain, right?

Alas I did hear right, and more exercises it was. I should have gone to the toilet at that point - and locked myself in! I suppose the 'exercises' weren't really that bad - well not if you are young, fit and healthy, but for people who haven't been exercising due to both chronic pain and the knock on effect of exercising, it was just altogether too much.

I must be honest and admit that there wasn't any pressure as she gave details of each exercise, "just do what you can" she said, but of course with Fibro you never realise you have overdone it, until later. As the Physiotherapist, and with experience of people with this condition, I feel the onus was on her to know how much was 'too much' and perhaps not to give us so many exercises in one session. 75 minutes was most definitely too much. Coffee break came around, and I practically crawled off to the rest room. At that point all I wanted to do was sleep.

I might have run away at that point, but the effort of just walking was almost beyond me. 20 minutes later we were rounded up and herded back to the 'therapy' room. We were then given handouts to read, but the effort of lifting my eyelids was almost beyond me by that point, and I just slumped into my chair - until I slid off, then took a wander around the room before my hips locked up. We were discussing the theory of pacing, and were taught how to do it. Quite ironic when you think of what had taken place beforehand? Maybe we should have been taught that before the exercising? It was too darned late afterwards.

Finally at 12.45 we were 'dismissed' and allowed to go for lunch.

A couple of people left the building for some fresh air, which might have been nice, but I didn't have the energy, so stayed put and chatted to the others who had remained behind. We are only a small group, but get along very well, and are very supportive of each other.

After lunch we had the Psychologist, who spent the next 80 minutes giving us an introduction lesson into CBT, and giving examples of how it can help, by turning negative thinking into positive action. As my son has Asperger Syndrome, I have some experience of CBT, and for him it worked very well indeed. It may work for some of the others in the group, and I am not dismissing out of hand that I could benefit from it too. However my attitude to Fibro pain is that it is what it is. Some days bad, some days not so bad. I can't change it, can't cure it, so I have to just get on with it, doing what I can and refusing to let it beat me. We were given loads of sheets to read - but will we? That is the question - it would take a week of doing nothing to read through everything so over time I may wade through it, but after a long day in class, the last thing I want to do when I get home is re visit the sessions.

We had a 15 minute break before returning to discuss the role of negative thinking in chronic pain, and then discussed Mindfulness, but my concentration, had already packed up and gone home.

Finally we had a relaxation session. It was to be 35 minutes, I worried about falling asleep. It wasn't a familiar type of relaxation, as there was a CD playing with some bloke talking and telling us to concentrate on various bits of our body as we breathed in and out, imagining our breath going to that part of the body - sole of left foot, upper foot, shin, calf knee - then I must have dozed off, came to as he was working the way up the right leg, lol. The floor was hard even with the yoga mat on top -only a thin mat, so back was aching, hips hurting. ankles hurting, and an increasing agony in my elbows where they rested against the hard floor. I drew up my knees, lowered them, wriggled my head, crossed my arms over my body etc. I jut wanted to sit up, but had to lay there listening to this guy telling me to imagine the breath coming into my body through my feet and out again through the top of my head. I'm not a whale so could not visualise my breath spouting out of the top of my head. All I could think of was "I hurt, can I get up now?" around me were gentle snores and grunts, so I guessed it wasn't just me worn out from the morning's physio session.

We have been set a CBT exercise to complete at home, so may look at that in a day or two, but most likely will dash through it on Thursday night, ready for the Friday morning session.

Friday morning begins either with swimming or physiotherapy again - wish I could swim :( I might just paddle around in the shallow end. Anything but more exercises.

My son has arrived home from work this evening vomiting and with bloodshot eyes, Goodness knows how he drove home. From the look of him, I think he has a migraine so sent him off to bed with two Co-Codamol and a glass of water, whilst I got busy sponging his suit clean, Hope it works as I don't fancy the dry cleaning bill.

So with him fast asleep and my whole body aching and hurting, I think I too will head off to bed, and hope I am not too stiff to get out of it again in the morning.

For those of you with upcoming appointments on similar course, I would advise you not to make the same mistake I did. When it comes to exercise, no matter how ell you feel at the time, know your limits beforehand and don't, whatever you do exceed them.

night night

Em xx

8 Replies

Eep don,t know if you will even have the energy to log on and read this ,,,, but I agree 75 minutes of gentle exercise BEFORE the pacing section ... At this point I think you should have demanded a comfy armchair placed it where everyone could see and done the rest of the day yourself..... All i can say is its either a) good because its free b) a cunning plan by the NHS to get people like us all the benefits they need by half killing them..... Fingers crossed you survive



Well done I know I couldnt have done nearly as much . How do you feel today and is your son better? I have problems walking across the room so the exercises might be beyond my capabilities. Now swimming or walking in water is brillant as long as I can manage getting in and out of the pool.

Do hope you are ok xgins


Today I feel, well erm. OUCH!


All I can say is wow.

They have certainly changed the pain management course since I took it - mine was once a week and the exercises lasted 15-20 minutes after our talks on pacing, the physio was really good as she watched us closely and would stop us if she thought we were over doing it - as she said it'll more damage than good if you do that.

Mind you it it is 8 years since I did mine and after it ended that was the last of the help I got.

Hope both you and your son are feeling better


I hope you are not feeling too bad today. You deserve a medal for getting through the day. I am so glad that when I start mine they only last for 3 hours at a time for 8 weeks.

Thank you again for keeping us updated in your enduring pain management (should be giving you more pain for 4 days plus recovery time). I really appreciate you letting us know.


ooh do hope theeffects are waring off now take care xgins


Oh dear I am down to start the pain management course when there is a space. I cannot even walk let alone exersize,I use my scooter to go to the pool as that is the only way I can do it. ( My daughter laughed when she came with me she said Oh mum we are not in Benidorm, cheeky monkey )...........It is so great to be able to walk in the pool,I used to swim but am unable to now as my leg muscles are not strong enough. I can get them up but they just wont come down to put me in the water....almost drowned finding that one out!!!

I also cannot get on the floor or up as I have two very painful knees ( waiting for replacements ) If I fall at home because my muscles are so weak we have to call paramedics to get me up. Don't know why they have put me down for it really. :-(

I am so sorry you had to go through all this,it sounds horrendous!! Hope it is better next time x

Gentle hugs coming your way x x (((((((((((((((((((((((( <3 ))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))


I survived. Although I was very sore last night, and very stiff this morning, once I got going I was OK. On reflection, although I wouldn't admit it to the Physio Terrorist, I don't feel as bad today. Neither my neck or my hips is as bad as before I began the course, and though my arms hurt, that is probably also caused by driving as my elbows and forearms don't take kindly to steering and gear changes.

After the first day I was in agony the next day, but it just doesn't feel as bad today, and I managed to get out and run some errands.

Fingers crossed it doesn't come back to bite me on the bum tomorrow.

Thanks to everyone for your good wishes.

Rainbowdancer I do hope your class is different to mine. Everyone on the course I am on is able to mobilise, though some do have sticks and crutches. From your description you really wouldn't be able to cope if your course is like this one.

I wish you luck with it, but don't even attempt to do anything that will cause you pain. There isn't a thing they can do if you refuse, so don't get yourself anxious about it.

Oh and thanks for the gentle hugs - much needed

Em xx


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