I didn’t know young people could get chronic pain, so when I smashed my pelvis and shoulder at work, I kept thinking it would get better.
It was just over four years ago, I was 28, my husband and I had recently returned to Sydney after travelling the world, and I slipped on a wet café floor.
I had a lot of pain in my right shoulder and pelvis, so I took a week off work. Despite physiotherapy, three months later I couldn’t even walk let alone work. The pain was now also radiating down my right arm.
I was a put on a cocktail of drugs including Lyrica and an anti-depressant. I think people become reliant on medication because it’s easy, and it’s difficult to know what else to do.
But I wasn’t comfortable staying medicated for the rest of my life. I also wanted to fall pregnant, and didn’t want my baby affected.
I did a lot of physiotherapy, hydrotherapy, swimming and exercise. I read a lot of books on pain management. But there was only slight improvement.
It took two years before my pain specialist recommended the ADAPT pain management program at Royal North Shore Hospital, but by this stage I had begun to work 3 hours a day, 5 days a week, and my insurer didn’t want me to jeopardise the job.
It had been tough trying to convince the insurer my pain was real, so I ended up visiting RNSH pain clinic every fortnight.
Six months later it was clear I needed the three-week in-house program, and I then set about changing my life.
The pain had made me depressed, not because I am prone to negativity but because the situation was very depressing.
I couldn’t see friends as much or do anything I used to do. My husband, my friends and my faith were a big help, but I could hardly get down a flight of stairs.
ADAPT helped me find a way through. I am now drug-free and have a beautiful baby daughter. I’m still in pain but I won’t let it control my life, and now I know how to do that.