Chronic Pain

Food and Chronic Pain

(Wo)Man cannot live without food.  For anyone living with chronic pain, food can either be a friend, or an enemy.  Food can contribute to healing, provide energy and sustain life.  Food can also be a source of comfort in a negative way, wherein it is used as a pain killer, an anti-depressant and an anti-anxiety “drug.”

For years I used food in a negative way.  Truth be told, I still do not have a “healthy” relationship with...

Chronic Pain

Happiness as a Choice

Pardon my absence for the last week- For all that I write about how stress affects illness, I am not doing a good job at controlling either right now and have been quite sick the past couple weeks…

Anyway, last week I was having dinner with my best friend of almost 30 years and her two children, ages 4 and...

Chronic Pain

When Doctors Don’t See Past Diagnoses

What can you do when your doctor won’t look past a previous diagnosis? This is ESPECIALLY common (and sometimes detrimental) in cases of diagnoses involving mental illness or emotional distress, like Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Depression, Somataform Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia.  This can be frustrating because a patient may have their concerns of pain passed off as a byproduct of mental illness.

I am a licensed social worker and I have (had) the...

Chronic Pain

The Cost of Living with Chronic Pain

Living with chronic pain can put a strain on many aspects of your life- your emotional health, physical well-being, relationships…but sometimes the greatest strain feels as if it is on the wallet.  Being sick comes at a great cost.  Even with insurance, illness can be costly.  With co-pays, deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums, not to mention in and out-of-network care, you have to be an insurance agent just to get a physical.

General healthcare is expensive, especially...


Why Pain is so Lonely

Jonathan Kos-Read via Compfight
Many people in Chronic Pain feel very alone sometimes, myself included.  There is a big reason for that loneliness, mainly the fact that YOU are the one in pain.  Despite how much we wish our doctors or loved ones could feel our physical pain in order...

Chronic Pain

The Mind-Body Connection and Chronic Pain

Many people have the incredibly misguided idea that people with chronic pain are malingerers, or that the pain can’t possibly be “that bad,” or that the physical pain is a manifestation of some sort of emotional issue that has not been dealt with.  This is especially true for people who have been diagnosed with so-called invisible illnesses, like Fibromyalgia, CRPS, etc.  I have the screws in my back to “prove my pain,” but it only gives an answer for my back pain, not my other symptoms.

Chronic Pain

Strength, Invisible Illness, and Chronic Pain

I am a strong woman.  I am strong of character, of mind (debatable), of body, of spirit.  To possess strength is admirable...but when you have an “invisible illness,” strength can be a detriment as well.

Invisible illness encompasses many medical conditions, including many chronic pain conditions, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, etc.  At this point I consider myself to have an invisible illness, although the X-rays that are alight with screws and rods would beg to differ.  However, after 8 months of intensive physical therapy and weight loss, I move like a “healthy” woman.  I am physically strong, and on a good day, I walk like someone who didn’t undergo 2 spinal surgeries in the pas 2 years.  That’s the tricky part, however, of the invisible illness.  I look fine, but many times, I do not feel fine.