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Welcome to the PainSupport Newsletter
Editor: Jan Sadler, MBE No.240 March 2015
Smart ways to feel more at ease in the Waiting Room
by Jan Sadler
woman waiting for appointment
I receive many thought-provoking questions in my Inbox from PainSupport members. The other day a member wrote that she became very stressed whenever she had to see her doctor. She was anxious about the whole experience from the wait itself to talking to the doctor about her problems. She was worried the doctor would think she was wasting his time. She was really struggling with the Waiting Room Blues. What could she do about it, she asked?

I know many of us find this situation difficult. We don't feel in control so this places us at an immediate disadvantage.

We often don't know for how long we will have to wait. Time slows to a crawl, minutes seem like hours, which is an added pressure. We don't know how comfortable the seats may be - and it's not easy to get up and walk about in a waiting room.

We also know that we don't have long to talk with the doctor, so we may be concerned that we won't express ourselves clearly. Sometimes we may not understand what the doctor is telling us either, so we can come away feeling confused and unheard.

What to do
We can overcome most of these worries with a little thought and planning and come away from the consultation more satisfied with the experience.

The first thing we need to remember that the doctor or nurse is there to help us - that is their job! You have a right to be there and a right to have the doctor's time and undivided attention. Therefore, there's no need for you to worry about taking the doctor's time. When you realise this it gives you back some control.

Here are a few tips on how to wait more comfortably, physically and mentally.
  • Take with you a short reminder list of everything you want to say to the doctor. Prepare this list before you go. See the next short article below for more information about what to include on your list.
  • If you can, it's helpful to take a friend or family member with you.
  • The first thing I do when I arrive is always to ask the receptionist for how long I will have to wait as I can't sit for more than 15 minutes or so. If I have to wait longer than the time stated I then ask if there's somewhere I can lie down. I've never yet been refused a couch in a side room.
  • Take a cushion or a seat wedge with you to sit on, and a back roll if necessary.
  • Breathe - slowly and down into your abdomen, it helps to calm you.
  • Read through your reminder list.
  • Take with you items like a smart phone, Kindle, tablet, a book or magazine, crosswords and puzzles. Any of these will give you something to do, rather than just sit and worry.
  • Get up and walk around now and then, if you can and if there's the space.
The consultation
  • Stay calm and focus on what you want from the consultation.
  • Introduce whoever is accompanying you.
  • Get your notes out and explain that you wrote things down so you wouldn't forget anything.
  • Listen carefully to what the doctor says. The person with you will be very helpful here, as you can go through the conversation together afterwards to make sure you haven't missed anything.
I'm sure that some of these suggestions will help you to feel more comfortable and more in control for your next medical consultation and you will come away satisfied that you have been heard and with a good result.


More information about consultations

We have various helpful downloads for you to read and to print out and use before the appointment.

There are many more good ideas for getting the best out of a consultation on our website here: Medical Consultations.

'How to obtain a diagnosis' download. Tips and a checklist of questions for the doctor.

Two Pain Logs to keep track of your pain and find out what affects it. If appropriate, use your Logs to show your doctor how your pain affects you.
Log 1: Diary of your pain levels
Log 2: How feelings & activities affect your pain

Do you have any practical day to day challenges with pain and how it affects your life? If so, you are welcome to send your question to me for discussion and suggested answers in a future newsletter. You would remain anonymous, of course. Whatever affects your life probably affects many of us. This is a great way to support each other.
Email PainSupport here
or use our online Contact Us form here

Calm your mind while you're waiting
Note: 'just breathe'
Your body and mind are linked very closely, what affects one, affects the other. So take care of your body to calm your mind...

...and breathe!

It sounds obvious, but when you are stressed you will tend to breathe from the top of your chest in short, panicky gasps. So, take control and slow your breathing down.

One way is to imagine you are breathing gently and slowly in and out through your abdomen and waist instead your nose. This does sound odd, I know, but try it for yourself. Feel yourself slowing down as you breathe this way. Really feel your body, expand and deflate as you gently breathe in and out.

See our website page on Breathing here.

An Invitation…
woman using computer
The PainSupport Contact Club
If you’re not already a member, why not join our highly successful, popular and free Confidential Contact Club? Ease the pain by sharing life's ups and downs with those who understand. Here is message received from Kate, a member of the PainSupport Contact Club,

I have already made contact, via email, with a wonderful lady who has the same condition as me. Thanks to your contact club, we are using each other as 'sounding boards'. There is nothing quite like talking with someone, who fully understands what a person is going through. Once again thanks Jan. Kate

Register for the Contact Club at the end of our Contact Club page.

Deep Relaxation for pain and stress relief

cds and books When you listen to Jan's soothing voice you will experience the quiet, calm rest of deep relaxation. The healing energy of deep relaxation is the recognised way to gain pain relief and to give your body the best chance of repairing itself.

We offer CDs and Downloads in our Shop. Jan's books also include a CD.

Choose from:

Pain Relief Without Drugs 'Highly recommended' by Dr Chris Wells, Consultant, Liverpool Pain Management
A Good Night's Sleep Voted top sleep CD by Holland and Barrett and Woman's Weekly
Perfect Relaxation Voted top relaxation CD by Woman's Weekly
Relax and Release your Pain 'Excellent. Best CD for relaxation' say

Find out more and listen to a voice sample before you buy:

See our Downloads here

See our CDs here

See our Books here

It worked for me!
epsom salts
A member's recommendation
PainSupport member Brenda recommends Epsom Salts, she says,

'I was recommended Epsom Salt baths two or three times a week and I have found the salts very good to relieve the pain of arthritis and fibromyalgia. I use 2 cupfuls and soak for 10-15 minutes. I get mine in Boots or Sainsburys and I think most chemists sell it. You can get better bargains online too.'

Read all about Epsom Salts here
Buy Epsom salts here

Please tell us!!
If you try any product or idea that helps you in some way please let us know. Even if it only reduces symptoms a little, it may help others too.
Click here to email PainSupport
Contact Us here

The art of pain management
coloured pencils
People with pain often comment that they find their experiences beyond expression. Talking therapy has been exhausted. There are no words to describe the journey they have taken.

Both drawing and painting are an effective way for people with pain to express their level of suffering or the type of pain they are experiencing. However, art is not limited to drawing and painting. One can sculpt, use objects to create collages, or even finger paint to express your emotions. Even cooking is an art. The American Chronic Pain Association (ACPA) has developed this resource full of art project suggestions, words of encouragement and information regarding music therapy.
Go to the ACPA creative ideas download

Join our own hobbies/crafts group & photo album

Just for You - worksheets and downloads all at no charge

We have lots of goodies for you.

Click the links below for your really useful downloadables.

NB Print the above two Pain Logs to keep track of your pain and find out what affects it. Use your Logs to show your doctor how your pain affects you.

Discussion Forum
Some of the latest forum topics - join in and have your say!

New law on driving having taken specified drugs
Spinal Fusion
PIP assessment
Hip replacement, really scared

Links to some of our regular popular topics
Spinal Cord Stimulator (SCS)
Our members recommend the latest good books
Laughter is the best medicine
Ideas for easy meals
Join our hobbies/crafts topic & photo album
Join our garden topic & photo album
Today I am happy because... Part 2
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Visit our Discussion Forum
If you haven't yet been to our forum, take a look and bookmark it. There may well be a question you can answer for someone, or you may want to post a question of your own - or just read the entries, they are always interesting.
Discussion Forum
Or to find friends, you are welcome to join our more confidential
Contact Club

If you haven't done so already,
sign up here
for our monthly email Newsletter & and your Toolkit for Pain Relief download.

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Words of Wisdom...
colours and shapes
'I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn't say any other way - things I had no words for.'

- - Georgia O'Keeffe

Laughter is the best medicine

smiling girl cartoon
I used to work in a shoe-recycling shop.
It was sole-destroying.

Did you hear about the cannibal that got expelled from school?
He was caught buttering up his teacher!

They say that when one door closes another door opens.
Well, that's what I said when those cowboy builders finished installing my new kitchen.

Visit our Joke Bank
We have thousands of jokes in our Laughter is the Best Medicine series on the Forum, link above.

You are welcome to add some jokes too - as long as they are nice and clean, of course!

Editor's Note

We hope you've enjoyed the PainSupport newsletter and find the information useful. Send us your comments, questions and items for the newsletter, we love to hear from you.

Email PainSupport here
or use our online Contact Us form here
Jan Sadler, MBE

All best wishes - keep smiling - and keep moving!
Jan at PainSupport

More about pain relief here

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You may print the above Newsletter for your own personal and private use but if you wish to use all or part of it for any other reason, please ask first. Copyright belongs to Jan Sadler.

Many of the tips, treatments, herbs and supplements mentioned in this newsletter are not from medical sources. Check with your doctor and use your own discretion before trying any of the suggestions to ensure they are suitable for your condition and to avoid interaction with any medication you are taking. Always have any undiagnosed pain checked out by a doctor.

PainSupport is not responsible for the content of any other website mentioned. PainSupport NEVER passes on your email address to anyone else without your prior permission.

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© Jan Sadler 2015