Marybeth is familiar with severe chronic pain due to pancreatitis. During one particular year in her journey to manage her pain, she spent over one-third of the days in the hospital because of pain and nausea. Her job, relationships, and her wellbeing were disrupted by the disease. The doctors and nurses at United Family Medicine helped her stabilize her symptoms and manage her pain.

“Without this place, I don’t know what I would have done,” said Marybeth.
Due to her chronic pain, Marybeth would frequently need to go to the Emergency Department. One result was that she was enrolled in the Minnesota Restricted Recipients Program. This program assigns the patient to a single physician, pharmacy, and hospital when prescription medications are necessary.

Marybeth worked with her doctor at United Family Medicine to stabilize her condition and to learn techniques to manage her chronic pain. She and her doctor made a care plan with the goal to effectively manage the pain with minimal use of opioids.

“Having homecare and a port made a big difference,” said Marybeth, “but the biggest support to help me minimize use of opioids was what they call a multi-modal approach. That’s where I use multiple skills and techniques that I learned, to help me manage the pain.”

“Complementary and alternative medicine, medical marijuana, and learning about the Gate Theory of pain management – now I have a lot of things I can do when the pain flairs up. I have more control in my life thanks to the doctors at United Family Medicine,” said Marybeth.

Along with learning how to do yoga breathing and massage, Marybeth also successfully quit smoking. She learned about the “somatic instinct”—how to listen to what her body is telling her, and how to respond with newly learned techniques.

“The trust I have with my doctor and my healthcare team makes a big difference to me,” said Marybeth. “I have regained more control in my life, while living with chronic pain.”

These days, Marybeth still experiences moderate pain but it is much more manageable because of the techniques she has learned to apply. She still uses opioids infrequently with good results when necessary, without becoming reliant on them.

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