HOW I FOUND MY RHYTHM WHEN THE MUSIC STOPPED

At a time in everyone’s life, we come to find ourselves in a situation where the music stops, and we must go on.  The unfortunate truth about life is that the unexpected will happen. Some of us learn from it, some of us change because of it and some of us find our life’s calling because of it. The latter was the case for me.  After our dad picked us up from middle school, we spent that afternoon like we had every afternoon that month. We went to the oncology unit at the hospital, where my brother was admitted.

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THE MAN IN A BLUE SARONG

I remember him. I remember the man in the dark blue sarong the same way I remember the lines on back of my own hand. He was hunched over next to a column on a dirty platform at a railway station in Calcutta, India in the middle of the harsh summer sun. His hands were withered, his fingers and toes looked like tiny nubs, and he was completely malnourished and alone. He had opaque blue eyes, as if fog had taken place of his irises and pupils.

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PATIENT “OWNERSHIP”

I studied insects in college; my favorite insects were the bees (I found them diligent and so helpful to humankind).  One of my favorite classes was about medical diseases caused by insects. My professors noticed my interest in the medical side of things and connected me with a professor who did clinical research. Our work focused on a clinical trial for children with intractable epilepsy and exposed me early on to patient care and patients.

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so, The Pain Treatment Center of the Bluegrass helps its patients to more effectively manage both the physical and emotional sides of chronic pain.


For more information on Behavioral Medicine (ext. 285) and other services (ext. 258) at The Pain Treatment Center of the Bluegrass, call (859)278-1316.

People frequently think that pain is a purely physical sensation.  However, pain has biological, psychological and emotional factors. Pain can cause feelings such as anger, disappointment, hopelessness, sadness and fear, to name a few. “While medical treatments, such as surgical interventions, physical therapy/rehabilitation, and medications, can be helpful in treating chronic pain, psychological treatments are also very important,” says Heather Wright, CEO of The Pain Treatment Center of the Bluegrass. Understanding and managing the thoughts, emotions and behaviors that accompany the discomfort can help the patient cope more effectively with the pain.


At The Pain Treatment Center of the Bluegrass, the Behavioral Medicine Specialists work with patients to teach them how to cope with the feelings and behaviors that accompany chronic pain. “For patients dealing with chronic pain, I talk with them and show them new ways to think about pain. I work with the patient to find solutions to more effectively manage that pain,” says Marie Simpson, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) at the Center. Treatment plans are designed for each individual and may include developing relaxation techniques, changing old beliefs about pain, building new coping skills and addressing any anxiety or depression that may accompany chronic pain. Kellie Dryden, another LCSW at the Center, explains: “We evaluate all patients who are referred to Behavioral Medicine to assess their presenting problems, mental health history, coping skills, interpersonal relationships, access to resources, and environmental factors that may impact the way they experience chronic pain.

BY THE PAIN TREATMENT CENTER

We also offer ongoing therapy sessions that can be scheduled the same day as their pain management office visits for those who travel long distances to continue to build on coping skills, offer support and make the best use of the patient’s visit to our Center.”  Marie Simpson, LCSW,  stresses that “most patients find they can better manage their pain with just a few sessions.”


While many health care providers work independently, not so at The Pain Treatment Center of the Bluegrass. Heather Wright, CEO highlights that “the Center employs providers from all specialties, who act together to ultimately give the best care possible to the patient. New patients are assessed by an array of professionals, including Board Certified Pain Specialists, Behavioral Medicine Specialists and Physical Therapist; all coordinating their efforts with the best and most current information from their particular disciplines.”


According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 2015, rates of depressive disorders ranged from 23% to 78% in chronic pain groups compared with rates of 5% to 17.1% in the general population. “These statistics emphasize the need for a comprehensive approach to pain management,” stresses Heather Wright, CEO, “and we provide that at The Pain Treatment Center of the Bluegrass.” By doing

THE PAIN TREATMENT CENTER

The Pain Treatment Center of the Bluegrass is the largest freestanding facility in the Bluegrass Region dedicated to the treatment of pain. We specialize in treating patients for whom traditional medical/surgical methods have failed to alleviate their pain.