Hi my name is Hazel and I would like to share my recovery story.

My pain started in January 2012 and 2 years later I am now pain free thanks to SIRPA and the dedicated work by Georgie.  Without her help I wouldn’t be the happy person I am today!

My pain started up after a bad fall at my Mother’s house. I had no physical breaks or real damage, but looking back I believed this was the emotional trigger.  I developed what was genuine pain at the time in my upper back and side. Nothing helped the pain and I ended up on all sorts of strong painkillers and sleeping pills. We spent a fortune on chiropractors and private physios.

The medication disagreed with me and I became extremely depressed and anxious. I ended up stopping my exercise classes and became scared to leave the house or even venture into the garden. From a ‘happy go lucky’ person I became totally withdrawn, obsessed with pain.

My pain got worse and my Husband felt he had lost me. I had test after test and scan after scan. Despite spending over two thousand pounds on private treatments it made no difference to my pain. I couldn’t walk anywhere, sit comfortably drive or anywhere and I was a nervous wreck. No medication or treatment helped. I was diagnosed with Sacroiliitis, hip problems, facet joint problems and finally Polymyalgia Rheumatica and although mild doses of steroids did help, they didn’t help totally.

Finally we discovered Georgie and I travelled down to see her for an assessment in Huddersfield. I felt immediately that she was right, but obviously it takes a while to accept that all your pain and suffering is caused by your emotions and stress and not that there is something physically wrong.

I signed up last May and although I found the programme hard to grasp at first, I persevered and I still read the programme as often as possible to reinforce everything. My appointments via phone call with Georgie really helped my confidence which I had lost completely.

My Husband is disabled and relies on me to help him to go out and get around. I lost all my confidence to do this too, which further added to my guilt and therefore my pain.
Now I have been off steroids over 2 weeks, I am walking further, lifting and even putting light bulbs in ceiling lights! I can climb step ladders, am carrying more and am able to pick things up from the floor again!

We recently went to the Cinema which was something I was unable to do before. Having developed extreme pain when on holiday, I was scared stiff of going away again and being in a similar situation.  Thanks to Georgie, my husband and also help from Talking Therapies with CBT though, we went abroad twice, which further helped my confidence.

What amazes me is I was convinced I had a serious back or rheumatic problem and I also had problems with my eyes! Now I understand my triggers and find positive self-talk and night-time programming my main helpers, along with mindfulness meditation, which I practice every day.

I realise this is an ongoing journey and I feel so pleased to now have control over my life and understand the cause of the stiffness and pain.

Thank you to Georgie and SIRPA for giving me my life back. I feel like every day is a new day and living in the moment is a better way to be take a step back and make time to relax. I have no fear now and look forward to achieving more goals this year on my continuing journey!

Hazel Cross

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