Thursday 12th October was a hugely informative evening for the 50 people who attended the “Chronic Pain Information evening” hosted by Whelehans Pharmacy, Arthritis Ireland (Westmeath Branch) and Chronic pain Ireland in The Greville Arms hotel. Three speakers presented on Chronic Pain following a brief overview of Arthritis Ireland local activity from branch chair Margaret Egerton.
Siobhan Perner spoke of her own experience living the constant pain of Rheumatoid Arthritis. One of her most beneficial choices was to join the local branch of Arthritis Ireland, where she found people in a similar position and happy to share experiences. Remaining active and participating in branch activities such as Aqua Aerobics was at the core of Siobhan’s message.
Eamonn Brady, Pharmacist from Whelehans Pharmacies Pearse St and Clonmore Mullingar explained 13% of the Irish population and 27% of Irish households are effected by the condition, with an average duration of the condition being about 5 years with an alarming number reporting 20 years or more. Eamonn explained for 45% of those with Chronic pain, the cause was unknown thus delaying quick diagnosis, one the main obstacles of effective treatment. Eamonn explained a variety of “over the counter” and prescription only medications most commonly used to treat Chronic Pain. Eamonn also highlighted the potential risks and possible side effects of each.
The final speaker was John Lindsay, Chairperson of Chronic Pain Ireland. John focused on Self-Management, discussing the psychological and social impact of the condition, which, if left unrecognised, can lead to depression, social isolation and loneliness. This can develop into a vicious circle, with medication becoming less effective, stress going up which exacerbates the mental and personal fallout. To counter this, John told the audience about a HSE led programme “Counselling in Primary Care Programme (CIPC)”. Following a referral from GP, people can avail of up to 8 free sessions per annum with input from specialists such as Clinical Psychologists, psychotherapists and/or counsellors. John gave examples of people who had been in desperate situations, heavily dependent on medication, at an extreme point of despair with their own situation, then embracing a different way forward through fully supported Self-Management strategies to now living a different life, to the point where some were now “medicine free” and totally in control of their own outcomes
Upcoming pain event in Mullingar
John Lindsay explained Chronic Pain Ireland are hosting a 3 Hour Self-Management Techniques for Chronic Pain event at the Mullingar Park Hotel 29th October. Everyone welcome so if you wish to book a place or find out more, contact Chronic Pain Ireland directly on 01 8047567 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Cost €10