When I first entered the Mayo Clinic Pain Rehab Program they take a picture of you….I’m searching for this! I cannot tell you how much I wanted to kick the lady in the face as she was saying: “cheeseeeee!” I felt terrible I had been taking my prescriptions from my doctors, I was eating all the time, drinking at night with friends, and I looked like shit. Not to mention the fact that I had been crying for days worried sick about entering a program alone in Minnesota whose philosophy at the time I did not agree with. Manage pain naturally? Stop looking for a cure? Stop doctor hunting? There may be no cure to your pain? This was not where I wanted to be and I was about to be around strangers for weeks going through detox of all the medications I had been placed on. Hell no, I did not want a damn picture taken.
Four weeks later when I had graduated the program and the same lady took my picture. I didn’t mind this time. Its quite amazing how much one can change in the matter of weeks. It was not until I saw the before and after picture of myself that I realized how much I had changed for the better. I looked happy/hopeful/natural/and healthy. It was like the first picture was a stranger that I just wanted to hug and let her know things will get better.
Before I entered the Mayo Clinic I did believe my world was over. Yes, wanting to die entered my mind but I never came close to suicide but I thought I would spend the rest of my life in horrible pain in doctor offices, alone and drinking with my buddies on the weekends. The world that I had dreamed of was over.
The picture that lady I disliked at the time was a caterpillar thinking her life was over. I did leave a butterfly. Hope, health, and happiness will do that to someone with chronic pain.