Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Somatic Experiencing® for Pain

I arrived at today's session in severe pain (pain score 9) with globalised trigger points of pain throughout my pain, like needles, and feeling an echo pain - like you get when you bang your funny bone (and it isn't!). I explained to T (Therapist) how when I had been in hospital with severe abdominal pain that pain had then spread to my entire body in this spectacular fashion ever since, and that there was now no abdominal pain. I told T how the hospital had failed to get on top of my pain and that although originally on admission the general surgeons had thought it was extremely likely to be endometriosis, but my usual surgeon had said it was going to be my Functional Bowel Disorder, even though, quite ironically, my digestive system was in fact functioning well.

I became tearful. I said to T how unbearable all of this was for me and that I was hardly able to walk 20 minutes before the pain became too much and I was in tears, this all being extraordinary for me. I also said how angry I felt about it all and how unfair it all was.

T sat closer to me and said he wanted to give me SE® today. T asked me if there was anywhere in my body that felt OK. I said that my chest did and part of my face. T asked me just to go into that area and to try and breathe more deeply. After a short while I was able to do this, giving some nice deep exhalations. I then started to cry quite a lot. T kept reassuring me that it was OK and that T was there for me. Not long after this, anger started to follow. T asked me to do something strange, T asked me to squeeze T's wrists as hard as possible. I did this, but felt guilty for doing so - because I could be hurting T. T said not to worry about it. We did this several times throughout the session. I then said to T that I wanted to scream, since we were in a place with other therapists, this was never going to be possible so T asked me to make a face of anger and to open my mouth as if I was going to scream without actually doing so. This I did, all as a release of anger.

T and I then discussed some imagery that I could use. I came up with some good ideas. One was that I was in a huge bath that completely maintained a hot temperature, that it was deep and that there were candles and very quiet music playing, but otherwise it was quite dark and quiet. Another imagery I then came up with was that I was standing against a wall and that a fireman's hose was aimed at the worst points in my back which were going to be 'zapped' away, or at least cooled down. The third piece of imagery included imagining that I had a drip that put in some local anaesthetic throughout my body.

T asked me how I felt. I know that I left the session a good deal calmer than when I went in and that the pain volume was turned down for a few days afterwards until I hit another shocking day. I am now back to obvious pain medication as well as use of my new tools.