Chronic Pain

Understanding & Explaining Chronic Pain Part 3- The Wolf Theory

So, to end this week's series on ways to explain chronic pain, I present my own theory.  I have used this metaphor to describe how living with chronic pain has changed me.  I call it "The Wolf Theory."

From She-Wolf to Domesticated Dog: How Pain Changed Me
Approximately 35,000 years ago, the Grey Wolf was not a domesticated animal.  It had no master.  It lived off the land, found itself shelter and food.  It did not depend on humans for sustenance.  Prior to domestication, the wolf lived its own life.  It fought its own battles, it took care of itself. It had a purpose.

Chronic Pain

Understanding & Explaining Chronic Pain Part 2- The Flip Flop Theory

In keeping with the topic of theories about chronic pain, I would like to present "The Flip Flop Theory," written by Cassandra Russom.  This theory is geared a little more toward how to HANDLE pain ourselves, as opposed to explain it to others, but the more we educate ourselves and the better we understand hot to handle our own pain, the better we are at getting others to understand how it feels to walk in our...flip flops.

THE FLIP FLOP THEORYBy: Cassandra Russom at

If you have a chronic illness or deal with chronic pain, chances are you’ve heard of “

Chronic Pain

Understanding & Explaining Chronic Pain Part 1- The Spoon Theory

For those of us with chronic pain, "The Spoon Theory," originally written by Christine Miserandino, has been widely used to help people with chronic pain explain to friends and family what it is like to live with chronic pain.  The theory has become so popular that many people in pain even refer to themselves as "Spoonies."

I would like everyone to check out the spoon theory because this week, I would like to talk about explaining chronic pain to others.  There are a few other theories out there, and I have one of my own, so this week we will explore the best ways to communicate to others what our lives are like.

Chronic Pain

Growing up with Depression

“The most beautiful people I've known are those who have known trials, have known struggles, have known loss, and have found their way out of the depths.” (Elisabeth Kübler-Ross)

I have spoken a lot about the last two years of my life because of the back surgeries and chronic pain, but there were 31 years before chronic pain became a part of my daily life.  I believe I have had a...

Chronic Pain

Why Pain Affects the Perception of our Future

I used to have a very clear picture of my future.  I saw myself in a nice house, accomplished in my job as a therapist and an author.  I saw a couple children, saw myself running around after them and laughing.  I saw a healthy, fun life, full of laughter and smiles. Two years ago that picture became fuzzy and, ultimately, disappeared. I am not trying to be over-dramatic and suggesting I don’t have a...

Chronic Pain

Hurtful Comments and Chronic Pain

Written with Cassandra Russom In a moment of frustration I posted this on my Facebook page dedicated to Chronic Pain, Tracy Rydzy- Oh What a Pain:

Sometimes I wonder, when something comes up that is difficult to accept or hurtful or upsetting because of living with chronic pain, do people try to be jerks about it or are they really too stupid to understand?

One of the  pages' followers, Cassandra, responded with her opinion and I think it will resonate with many readers.  We co-wrote the following article:

When you live with chronic pain, it often feels that no one understands how difficult life is and people sometimes make comments that end up being hurtful.   There are three key reasons why people say things or act in a careless or hurtful manner when it comes to dealing with chronic illness issues.

Chronic Pain

Chronic Pain and Narcotic Use

In the past 2 years I have had the misfortune of dealing with doctors who have left me feeling like a drug addict trying to get my fix due to the stigma attached to taking opioids for pain.

I have felt the judgment, been grilled by pain management doctors about my behavior and use of medications, been given the suspicious glances and been...

Chronic Pain

Chronic Pain and Weight Loss

Before and After, though the After is about 10 pounds heavier than I currently am.
Weight loss is a heavy topic in the United States, with ads on every webpage advertising "quick and easy solutions" to weight loss. There are pills, juices, powders, shakes and more, all designed to get you in shape. With an obesity rate over 35% for adults (and a shocking 17% for adolescents), weight loss is not only about vanity, it's a matter of life or death. (

In July of last year, when I had my first surgery, I was already obese. Add to that an injury, chronic pain and a three-month course of steroids and I went from obese to morbidly obese and extremely unhappy in under six months. I was overweight, unhealthy and I was facing a second surgery. That alone should have been all the motivation I needed, but it wasn't. I was depressed, angry, unhappy...and I kept eating to feel better.

Chronic Pain

Pregnancy, Disability and Chronic Pain

Kids are a joy…and a lot of work.  For about 4 years now, much of my social life has revolved around my friends and family and their children.  Children make me so very happy, so it should come as no surprise that my husband and I have spoken about having kids.

Being an aunt is wonderful, but at times strange.  I love the children in my life.  However, when you are an aunt, you miss out on the true love a child has for their parent, and vice versa.  I may be the coolest, best aunt ever, but these children will never love me the way they love their mother and, without kids, I have never experienced the unconditional, amazing, terrifying love that comes with being a parent.  I often feel like an imposter.  I am always happy to take the kids off their parent’s hands, even with my back problems, but I am not their mother.  I have no say in how they are raised, I don’t have any parental authority and I have to be very careful with the parents not to overstep my bounds, even if I have the best intentions at heart.  Help can sometimes be mistaken when it comes to children that are not your own.

Chronic Pain

Feeling Safe and Supported/Additions to What NOT to Say

I wanted to do a post in response to so many of the wonderful comments that were posted in the last post “What NOT to Say to Someone in Chronic Pain.”   I was unable to respond to each comment individually but I was both sad and happy at the overwhelming response to this article.
It made me sad to read so many stories similar to mine regarding how difficult it is...