@ClevelandClinic: When life interferes with relief

Lizze and I have come to a realization that her entrance into the @ClevelandClinic Chronic Pain Rehabilitation Program. This has nothing to do with money or lack there of.  It has nothing to do with fear or lack of confidence in the program itself.

The truth of the matter is the fact that Lizze will only get one shot at this.  One shot to go through this intensive program and come out the other side,  better for it.


Because there is such a huge psychological component to pain, Lizze needs to be in an emotional place that will allow her to truly benefit from all the program has to offer. This is easier said than done.

Unfortunately, Lizze is still reeling from the very recent loss of her Grandfather.

The horrifying truth is that her Grandfather won’t be the only loss she will have to cope with in the near future.  If fact, her Grandfather was the third loss of a friend or family member in the last month alone. 

Lizze is an emotional train wreck.

Not only is she grieving the recent losses but fearing the near future ones as well.

There is simply no way she would benefit from the program at this point. If we’re lucky enough to get insurance to cover this first time through we’ll be lucky. A second time through would be a pipe dream.

Sometimes reality is cruel and unfair. Unfortunately, this type of reality is not based on perceptions but rather facts. 

The reality of this particular situation is that Lizze may not be in a position to experience this program for some time.  She’s going to have to get through these very tough and heart breaking times before she’s ready to move forward with this attempt to help manage her chronic pain.

I do have a few ideas in the short term that may help her long term. I need to make a few calls and get some options. 

As always, please keep her in your thoughts and prayers during this extremely difficult time in her life.

Rob Gorski

Full time, work from home single Dad to my 3 amazing boys. Oh...and creator fo this blog. :-)
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You do what you gotta do. I’m not even sure if they LET you go through the program twice if the first time doesn’t work. But I think even the IMATCH people would agree that entering in the wake of such a loss is not a good idea.
Stress had strange effects on my own headache. Or rather, I’m not sure whether it had an effect at all. I remember at Christmas, a high-stress time and even higher stress than usual that year, the pain was much worse than usual. But then there was a time when my father was in the hospital with some mysterious heart failure and it looked like he would die (he didn’t, but it was a close thing), and while he was in the hospital I found out my parents were getting a divorce (I found out by accident, too, they had been planning this for months and hadn’t told me and had no intention of telling me at any time in the near future), and in the middle of all this the headache vanished. Gone. Just like that. For three solid days I was completely pain free, while going through a VERY stressful time.
Shrug. It has been suggested to me that the headache vanished during that time because it kind of needed to be gone. With my mom at the hospital three hours away dealing with Dad’s health, I needed to hold down the fort at home, take care of the dogs etc., and I needed to be “all there” so to speak. Shrug.
But anyway, IMATCH will be waiting for Lizze when she’s ready for it.


Ive been dealing with chronic pain most of my adult life, I can relate to Lizzie.She needs to be the one who decides what and when regarding her health, with your support. Talking someone into something rarely works. She will know  when she is ready. If shes not seeing a counsulor, or therapist it may be something worth checking into.The mind and the body work hand in hand, and if shes not able to work on the body aspect right now, therapy can really help her thru grief, stress, and pain. I know this from past expierences. When I lost my father 3 yrs ago, my physical pain intensifyed greatly
There are alot of sliding scale fee organizations that provide counsuling, as to help with the cost if insurance doesnt cover it.
I continue to keep her and your family in prayer, and if she ever needs someone who understands chronic pain to vent or share with please do not hesitate to let me know. ~~~big warm hugs!


I know this sounds weird, but does your insurance cover accupuncture at all? I am a part of a PANDAS support group, and many of the parents report their kids get chronic, debilitating migraines. Only the IV meds at the hospital or accupuncture actually work for their children. One woman said her child had a headache for many, many days and the accupuncture made it stop completely. Accupuncture is also successfully used for chronic pain, in conditions like arthritis and for chemo patients in constant pain and nausea. There is also accupressure, which you could easily learn to do at home for her, for free. It’s similar to accupuncture, with no needles. You just manipulate (massage or press on) pressure points along the neck and spine and head. You could probably find an accupuncturist or chiropractor willing to teach you some of the basic accupressure points and how to do them carefully.


I agree with Kathy.  If there is any way to do the program now, do it.  Insurance is going to be tougher, not easier down the road, and Lizze’s brain is not going to rewire herself.   People will not stop dying in your life and with your challenges there will never be an easy time.  
(side note:  Depression often causes people to be more passive in their response to life events.  That doesn’t mean depressed people always make the wrong decision, but it does mean that we should err on the side of doing the harder, active thing rather than putting it off. )


Thanks for your advice. However, this program requires her to be in a place to really work. I have spoken with people who have gone through this program or a similar one at the Mayo Clinic. You have to be in a place or you won’t benefit from the program.
I have to agree because they need to deal with the psychological side of the pain. They can’t do that if it’s buried in grief. This is only a 3 week program and they won’t have time to deal with all the new trauma.
You’re correct in your assumption that there is never going to be a perfect time. However, the reality is that now is not going to work.
I’m am going to speak with the clinic and get their opinion as well.


Well, I know what a problem insurance can be, but if the miracle happens that you are approved, I would move heaven and earth to take advantage of the opportunity to live a better, healthier life.  Something will always be happening at an inopportune time.  Since Lizzie is wired to worry, there will always be a problem she will feel deeply.  There will be no ideal emotional time to focus on herself, but she must indeed pull it together  enough to go if she is approved, or she will continue on this path, which not only impacts the quality of her life, but your family life as well.  She deserves so much more.  You all do, but it will take determination to get there.  Sorry if that sounds harsh, but it is frustrating for your readers as well as yourselves that things have to be so bad, and nothing ever gets going.  Residential care is one of those, as I am sure you will agree…The poor gal has had a terrible headache for what, a year? Somebody’s got to try something that will help, and is possible.  Rethink botox, if nothing else.  Several people I know well swear by it. probably should hit delete rather than send, but here goes!