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Secret Diary

Pathways app – 1 month​ update

Woman in grey sweatshirt and white sports bra and untied brown hair stretching outdoors

I have tried. Boy, have I tried. I had a video filmed. It wasn’t great, but it was something. Then it failed to upload in full on Instagram, and I have since then decided to give up on videos and just go back inside the comfort zone. It’s now been a month if not longer since I have started using the Pathways app for chronic pain. In this time I have reached past 3 of the recaps after a number of lessons, which covered different topics from more of the science from the previous post, to the different ways in which to react to the pain when it starts and how to rewire your brain away from the old patterns.

There are two main pains I am concerned with, my sciatic pain in the lower back and my migraines. So far, I have had success with the back, and my migraines seem less frequent (perhaps I’m less stressed because I’m feeling better) but unfortunately still a nightmare when they do. I have a number of other concerns which can be affected indirectly by this process, but these two have had a high rate of success among other sufferers and so I’m focusing on those. Truth be told, if my breathing issues get sorted out, and the back pain goes, I’ll be in a much better position with the other issues anyway, especially since being sedentary isn’t great for arthritis patients.

The app suggests a number of ways in which to approach things, so that people can find what they are most comfortable with. I really appreciate this approach, because it turns out I struggle with a lot of the stuff suggested. Still, I was able to work with it, and together with the reassurance coming from the very idea behind the app (which is that the brain may be sending pain signals when there is no need for pain), I was able to take steps towards regaining my life and my freedom, including how to contain the pain without always resorting to painkillers. As of the time of writing, the only pain medications I take are the migraine ones (I was already on an ad hoc schedule anyway, and have been ever since I have gone freelancer and took it easier on my body).

The only regret I have about the past few weeks is that I have jumped head in into the process, and only made use of the Me Time meditations 3 times (against 36 of the other sessions). I have a relatively full prayer life for a laywoman, and have had a lot going on with Brownies holiday and the Easter retreat following it so I never really find the time or motivation to use the meditations. I know I probably should make the time, so that’s my job for the next four weeks. I am curious to see if it will swing the pendulum for the migraines, as they are now lagging behind the sciatic pain. I also find it more difficult to address them, as what I learnt makes more obvious sense about the back pain, because of the idea the brain is playing signals for an injury that already healed, trying to protect me. This is not quite as intuitive when it comes to migraine, so that’s a possible barrier. We’ll see if the future sessions will help to overcome that.

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