Input St Thomas' hospital

Hi all :) I am being referred to the input programme at st Thomas hospital and wonder if any attendees could tell me what to expect and if it helped you or not? It's really a last resort as I have exhausted all the pain meds and other treatments - nothing has helped and the list of problems seems to keep growing. The high pain levels and fatigue are really having a huge impact on my ability to work and I do not enjoy any sort of social life as I am to exhausted. Any info would be gratefully received. Thank you.

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  • Good morning rednot46fa, Can I ask what a input program is? What have you been diagnosed with? I have a St Thomas hospital where I live, are you in Tennessee?

  • Hi, no it's in London England. It's a chronic pain residential programme. I have fibromyalgia, arthritis and multiple dis prolapses x

  • Thank you for getting back with me so quick. Sounds like we share a lot of same issues.

    I hope that program helps you.

  • Hi Redriot

    I attended the Input Programme back in 2011. It was (in a nutshell);

    4 weeks of four days attendance where you're in a group of ten people. You have a designated room that is your group's room for the four weeks. The days start at 0830 sharp (by Big Ben!) until 1600/1700 with an hour for lunch, which is provided.

    During the four weeks you'll have physiotherapists, occupational therapists, doctors, nurses & clinical psychologists giving information and exercise sessions about the whole issue of chronic pain. Some of the sessions are interactive with group work etc, some are more learning type activities and you do a daily exercise session and a daily relaxation session.

    There maybe one to one sessions with the psychologist and the nurse also looks at your current medication with a view to reducing one or more BUT don't be worrying that they're going to stop any medication; they can't, you have your own GP at home prescribing them. It's more of a recommendation & encouragement as there's all sorts of evidence about certain drugs not being of any benefit for certain types of pain but whether you participate, it's up to you!

    You stay in single sex 'flats' on the Tommy's site (very, very close to the Input building; in fact it's in the same building!!) A that have three single, private, lockable bedrooms. Each flat also has a small kitchen & tv room. There's three toilets and two shower rooms in each flat too. You will be sharing a flat with members of your group.

    You're free to do what you want in the evening; you have to make or buy your own tea/dinner. The Input unit opens at 0800 for you to make yourself a basic breakfast or you can obviously buy & have that in your flat.

    I really rate the course for information, hints, tips & advice on pain management. Some things were more useful than others but that's just a personal thing; you get out of it what you want!! If you've got the opportunity to go then I'd say definitely go!!

    RJC x

  • Thank you for the info. Will the course help to reduce my pain in any way? I am in the public services and one of the work medical practitioners seems to think this course is some sort of cure that will allow me to return to front line duties???? At present I am only doing 5 hours a day in an admin role as I really can't manage anymore and am struggling even with the reduced workload. I am really hoping the course will help, but as for being able to run, fight with people and pass a tough fitness test I am not so sure :) at present I have difficulty just walking short distances. Did it help reduce your pain at all? I have exhausted all other treatments now so this is a last resort and I really hope it will help me. Thanks

  • The course is purely about pain management; there's no miracle cure within it unfortunately! Depending on your type of pain and your ability to put the techniques & strategies into practice, the four weeks may be excellent for you or it may not.

    I used to be a nurse and at the time, the management skills could be used to start me back to more hours of admin then 'hands on' but my condition deteriorated which meant I couldn't continue in the job at all and was retired before the age of 40 BUT if I had stayed the way I was, I'm pretty sure I could've gone on to at least part-time.

    Your medical practitioner may have been misinformed or is just really positive & hopeful that the course will help/work!! It takes a lot of hard work on your part both physically & psychologically as there's a big emphasis on acceptance then 'management'. It won't 'mend you' - like say, surgery to fix a broken bone - it teaches you the skills to manage your condition or pain.

    I kept in touch with a few in my group and half have gone on to 'live' as usual and half didn't get too much out of the four weeks. I definitely took away some things like pacing my activities, relaxation and certain daily stretches (that I still do now!) but like I say, I've no way of knowing how far I would've gotten if my condition had stayed stable.

    It's absolutely a good idea to do the course; nobody can say who'll benefit the most and vice versa plus you'll never know what you can achieve if you don't do it!!

    RJC

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