Nurse who suffers chronic tailbone pain

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I am a Registered Nurse who has suffered with tailbone pain for over 8 years. Like all chronic pain, it is essential that sufferers get the correct support, diagnosis and treatment appropriate for them as an individual. This blog follows my journey with chronic pain, it expresses my personal opinions and thoughts. It is not intended as a replacement for advice or treatment from your normal Healthcare Provider.

Sunday, 19 April 2015

More about me (incase you're interested)

I just thought I'd share what I do day to day with you.

I'm a part-time Community Nurse for Older People-  CNOP for short.

My job involves helping people to stay living independently at home for as long as they want, or can. Or helping with decisions to move to residential, care homes, sheltered housing, nursing homes etc. if that is their wish.

Most of those I see are over the age of 75, but some are younger. Many are in their 90's. I complete Falls Assessments; anyone who has fallen or is afraid of falling has a thorough assessment, and any obvious causes are addressed. Sometimes this means onward referrals, for example: to occupational therapists (who assess the patient, house, mobility) and can provide walking frames, grab rails and various other types of equipment, to help improve their independence around the house. Physiotherapy is another possible referral, to help with, for example, strengthening exercises, and showing people how to get up after a fall. We also refer onto specialists such as opticians, podiatrists, dieticians, GP's, social workers, care agencies and so on.

CNOP's also perform memory screening for those who have, or are worried that they have memory problems. Again we can do onward referrals. We can involve dementia specialists if needed and consented to. Continence assessments are also a big part of our role, as too are health checks- blood pressure, pulse, respiratory checks, taking bloods and medication reviews. Sometimes our role involves safeguarding and reporting vulnerable adults who are at risk.

We also do things such as nutritional screening, skin checks (to check for pressure sores), and small wound dressings if needed. A lot of the role involves 'carer support', advice and health promotion for the patient and other family members as well as advice on financial benefits, and signposting to other agencies.

It is a very varied, interesting and rewarding job. Some days it can be very challenging, demanding and sad. In the main I enjoy it.

On my days off I obviously do normal day to day things like housework, cooking, shopping and gyming. I love reading; I am currently reading Les Miserables (which is as big as a brick!) I love going out with my husband- to the pub, and to restaurant's, and we do a lot of walking.

I try to go the gym at least 3-4 times a week, but am finding this hard after work. I am trying to reduce my hours so I can also go after work. This is because exercise seems to help my coccydynia.

I am fortunate that at work I have a sit/stand station, my job involves being out and about, and my car seat is really comfortable. Sitting most places is not comfortable. I have to choose my seat with care- hard seats are best for me, or leaning forward, preferably resting elbows on a table. Travelling anywhere is a challenge- trains, planes, long car journeys- all need forward planning. Activities other people enjoy- such as the hairdressers, cinema, theatre etc. I dread. Long dental appointments fill me with fear for lots of reasons!

I think all in all I have a good work life balance and am very fortunate. I know things could be a lot worse.

7 comments:

  1. It sounds like you have a lot of connections in the health field . Why is difficult for you to the right diagnoses ?

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    1. I have no 'connections' to do with coccydynia at all. And sadly for me I am just another patient to everyone I see; being a nurse or working in the NHS makes no difference at all.

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    2. What type of doctor constitute a coccydynia expert ?

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  2. You have a very important job to make sure the elderly have care , it is easy for them to become isolated , they are lucky to have you .

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  3. I'm not sure what constitutes a coccydynia expert. I'm starting to think they don't exist! I think it depends on your diagnosis/cause. It maybe an orthopaedic consultant, it may be a specialist physio, it may be a pain consultant. I'd definitely tell anyone to get a diagnosis they feel confident with before seeking treatment. Go with your gut feeling-it's your body, your pain, 'the patient knows best'.

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    1. it is hard to go with your gut when they all believe they are experts and sound so confident with their diagnoses ,we put so trust in doctors

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