Rose's story

Learn how Rose approaches pain and co-manages osteoarthritis, back pain, rheumatoid arthritis and ongoing migraines.

Rose is a creative person who runs her own small business and has had to overcome a lot of things in life. Rose has worked hard on who she is as a person. Rose has osteoarthritis of her back, has ongoing back pain, has had back surgery, has rheumatoid arthritis and experiences bad migraines. “…I laugh about it [pain], because it is my whole body. The only thing that absolutely gets me is my migraines. After 3-4 days of migraines, I have to give up and do something about it. Otherwise I work through it, taking it in a positive practical way.”

“I look really normal. I act very normal. I don’t like people to know I have pain. I do have pain, if I tell myself all day I have pain, the pain is worse. It’s far better to get on with it …I’ve learnt how to do that. I’ve learnt the power of your own mind…to set up your attitude to cope with whatever emotional and physical stuff. I’ve learnt how to handle it with a positive attitude. What people will find helpful: all our journeys are different. Life is hard. If it throws pain at you, the power to overcome that is in your head. If you can get that right, you will feel much better about who you are and what you are suffering”.

Rose uses pacing (little bits often) to stay engaged in activities she loves: “…it doesn’t matter what you do…I do crochet, it does take time, it takes over a year to crochet something. I love gardening, but I can only do 1/2 hour at a time. If I do 2 hours I’ll know all about it and that’s a bit silly. But I’m in control of that”.

Rose doesn’t enjoy using medicines “…everyday I have a nightmare feeling about taking meds, but that’s just me. It took me a long while to accept the fact that I was going to have medication. And when the pain is very severe, I do have to take medication, but one doesn’t have to rely on it”. Rose has an “…incredibly good pain health team around me including pharmacists, GP, my pain specialist and my rheumatologist who are fantastically supportive”. The team is important as they reinforce the various pain management approaches in an integrated way, helping Rose to stay on track.

Pacing and goal settings

Mindfulness and pain

Medicines and procedures

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