Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

March 8, 2013

Support group aims to provide relief for chronic pain

By Steven Penn

— People who suffer from Fibromyalgia and other forms of chronic pain and fatigue sometimes don’t know how, or where, to get help.

Lesley Neeley, along with Cindy Myers, and Brenda Hernandez — who all suffer from chronic pain — hope their Hendricks Regional Health (HRH) Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain/Fatigue Support Group will provide people that opportunity.

Neeley serves as the group facilitator and owns Living Better

Therapeutics in Brownsburg. She is trained as a health coach and massage therapist.

Myers is the HRH hospital liaison to the group and is trained as a physical therapist, while Hernandez will serve as the group assistant.

Neeley said she started a similar group in the past, but had to stop it after her own battles with Fibromyalgia made it too difficult to keep it going.

“The first group was me, by myself, so I was just winging it,” she said. “This time around we’re forming a group with a support system of several of us working together. Brenda, Cindy, and I are using one another to help (make the group a success).”

Myers said she was asked to join the group because of her training and expertise with patients who suffer from chronic pain.

“I came into that position (of hospital liaison because) ... I have a long history of treating patients with various kinds of chronic pain,” she said. “They asked me if I would be willing to do that, then I met with Lesley and (Hernandez). I met with them just to see if we were all sort of a compatible fit. That was over a year ago. We decided to go ahead and go forward with trying to re-establish the group.”

Myers said the goal this time around is to expand on the previous group and make it better overall.

“The three of us have put our heads together and come up with what we think is going to be a better and improved group,” she said. “Hopefully, it’s going to meet the needs of the community, both for Fibromyalgia patients and for other people with chronic pain.”

She said the group will utilize a Fibromyalgia workbook, and involve discussions, a nutritional component from dietitians, and guest speakers.

“The format of the meetings is going to include an educational section, which we’re going to customize to the needs of the group,” Myers said.

She said each person will take a written assessment from the workbook.

“We’re going to be assessing each person’s stage of change,” Myers said. “(We’ll look at) where are they currently in the change process for that particular topic (from the Fibromyalgia workbook). Then depending on, the group at large, and depending on what stage of change they’re in, then we’re going to modify the approach ... the way the content is delivered.”

Neeley said tailoring the experience to each person’s needs is an important part of the group.

“We’re going to try to make it as specific to each person as we can,” she said. “We’ll break out into small groups if we have a pretty large group that is in a lot of different places in that stage of change.”

The overall goal of the group is to educate, encourage, and empower those living with chronic pain, Fibromyalgia and/or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFIDS).

The group will have an informational meeting from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Jan. 25 at the HRH YMCA in Avon. The regularly scheduled meeting times will begin in February, from 3 to 4:30 p.m. on the second Friday of each month thereafter. Registration is requested and participants are welcome to join at anytime throughout the year.

For more information, call Neeley at 270-2277 or e-mail to FSG@hendricks.org.