Meet the Peer Mentors

  • Carol

    Having run my own small company I was devastated when I was forced to retire because of chronic pain.  I have double curvature in my spine, arthritis, fibromyalgia and acute IBS.  I cannot take pain medication because of allergies. I rely heavily on the methods of pain control taught to me by the Pain Management Group (PMC).  Like most chronic pain sufferers black days can be found but after attending PMC I have learnt that I can distract from my pain.

    I have many hobbies and also remotely run my sons appointment line (free!)  for his Physio Clinic which gives me a great opportunity to chat to many of the patients.

    I’m told I am a good listener with a good sense of humour (laughter is a great medicine) and having lived with chronic pain for years I have a great understanding of the effects that pain has on every aspect of our lives.  

    I have been volunteering for PMC for many years and I decided to be a pain coach to put back something to a team and a theory that I have derived so much help from. Also I felt strongly that people that experience the high and lows of chronic pain have a greater understanding of how you can so easily become overwhelmed, but how with help you can take control and begin to rebuild your life. 

  • Roland (Ben)

    I am 66 years old and after studying biological sciences at university I worked for 20 years in the pharmaceutical industry in a number of roles and locations. My career was ended abruptly due to ill health, a catastrophe at the time but, as it turned out, a blessing in disguise.

    I have a number of interests and hobbies, the main ones being; the arts; fishing; and beekeeping.

    Since my mid-forties I have suffered several health issues, principally associated with arthritic conditions, and have had multiple (17, I think) surgical procedures - most with some success, some not.

    I had a number of complications with a hip replacement which is the main, but not only, source of the chronic pain that took me to the Dorset Pain Management Programme. A programme that has helped me greatly. So much so that I now want to give something back and help others with chronic pain to live and thrive, despite the debilitating effects – whoever they are and whatever the cause.

  • Debbie

    I am 53 years old and have multiple sclerosis, which has over the years created other problems.  I am normally a positive person though do have bad days, like everyone else in the world. They are also normally related to my pain levels.  I have done the pain management course and found it to be beneficial.  It helps me to be me. 

    I feel I am able to help support a person with pain by being there for them. Perhaps help them understand why and how it will enable them to help themselves. If they get lost a bit and disheartened, gently reminding on what helps them and why, by gently reminding them of what they have mentioned.

  • Lynda

    I was unfortunate to suffer nerve damage during breast and lymph node surgery in 1996. That same year I also underwent a complete hysterectomy and lost my mother to ovarian cancer. The neuropathic pain because of the nerve damage was really unbearable and  I was soon referred to the Pain clinic where I had various treatments which helped in the short term. However it was when I learned about the then new Pain management programme and signed up to it that I learned over time to gain control over my life living with chronic pain. Another blow was dealt me when I developed a different pain alongside the neuropathic pain and that was diagnosed as Fibromyalgia.

    Over the years I have gone through different episodes of emotion attached to the daily pain but  have  used my Pain management tools to engage  in positive activity like volunteering, learning to drive at 61years in order to gain more independence. I try to have the attitude that this is my one life and I’m going to make the most of it.  I have my bad days but I don’t define myself by them. I hope my own experience is where I can empathise with others also living with persistent pain.

  • Lesley

    I am just 58 years old, have a great deal of empathy, am always looking for the positive in life and suffered chronic pain most of it.  Not until just 2 years ago did I begin to learn about chronic pain, begin to understand it and live with it more effectively.   I did this by taking part in the Pain Management Programme and for having this life changing opportunity I will be eternally grateful. 

    I have always worked until just two years ago when my many conditions of which fibromyalgia and migraines are key players made this no longer possible. I had to make a sensible life choice to ensure that I can make life more effective and pleasurable whilst dealing with chronic pain and have now retired.  A hard choice to make when I have devoted my career in helping others, whether that be in education, volunteering in my local community or working in  drug  and alcohol services and lastly with the homeless,  it was however worth it!

    Personally I use many techniques to control and live with my pain, one of which is mindfulness which has been a blessing in disguise. Heat and cold compresses are also a game changer as is a hot bath.   I am unable to take many medications.  I use movement to help and love a bit of seated Thai Chi. Using these techniques I am now able to control and live with my pain far more effectively.  I am me again!

    By becoming a volunteer for the Pain Management Service I hope to be able to give back and to inspire others to move forward in their journey to manage their chronic pain so they too can enjoy life again.

  • Penny

    I was referred to the pain management team about 9 years ago, after being diagnosed with Fibromyalgia.

    I have learnt to manage my condition reasonably well and if I am able to help anyone else in some small way to live with and manage their pain then I would like to do so.