Jamie M's story

Find out how Jamie has learnt how to better manage his low back pain through the use of meditation and mindfulness

“Hi, I’m Jamie. I used to be in the Navy and then suffered this back injury. I haven’t worked since 2007. The reason I agreed to share my story is that so many people out there suffer and everyone feels isolated in dealing with chronic pain. I’ve gone through the highs and lows…and it’s taken a long time to get to where I am today.”

“My story starts in 2004, I was a submariner in the Navy, started getting back pain and slowly got worse and worse…kept working….I was doing lots of hours….self medicating (which I would not recommend)…struggling with the amount of pain I was in and ….starting to feel down…I wasn’t helpful I was useless”.

Jamie had a lot of procedures and injections but did not get any ongoing pain relief: “I sought help from a number of medical specialists.…my mood hit rock bottom….I wasn’t coping well….the only thing getting me moving was my dog. With close friends and family you have to explain how you feel….you can’t lock people out …because it’s pain, they can’t see it…that’s the hardest part……..you may look fine…no one can see it and you’re dealing with it inside and it consumes all your energy to fight it….”

Having had a lot of different medical procedures, surgery, having used lots of strong medicines and done rehabilitation, Jamie found help through a team including a physiotherapist and clinical psychologist. Jamie started using breathing techniques when he moved rather than tensing or locking on his muscles and he started mindfulness meditation.

“The clinical psychologist said I was black and white. I needed to start looking at grey areas, bringing everything into a different perspective. It has taken 12-14 months with the breathing meditation and the different steps I have taken, it has been phenomenal. I still struggle from time to time, I am still in pain…things are hard. I had to learn to pace my exercise and activity, acknowledge pain’s there, don’t give it the attention, the power, the domination and you can keep on living…so that’s my story. In my future I am looking forward to working, I am not sure what area…but I think the pain management area…I’ve got a lot to offer these sorts of people……”

Mindfulness and pain

Medicine and procedures

Work related pain

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