Life with chronic pain is being a stranger in a strange land whether you have the pain, live with someone who experiences chronic pain, or treat people with chronic pain. You all have much in common and little in common. The more we can speak the same language, use the same descriptors, and shortcuts, and understand each other’s dreams and pressures, the better we function as a team. Penney Cowan’s American Chronic Pain Association is for the whole team.
I depend on my team – laypeople and professionals – to help me understand my body, abilities, circumstances, moods, and reactions. Profound understanding promotes self-appreciation – loving myself as I am. On my professional team, my primary care doc, chiropractor, massage therapist, neurologist, optometrist, physical therapist, and acupuncturist are the strongest and most important professionals for me. I’ve learned which of their skills help me, how they communicate with me, and what work I need to do to maximize their impact. This episode begins an intermittent series about the professionals on my health team, starting with Dr. Keith Puri, my chiropractor. I’ve learned much from Dr. Puri about maximizing my gross motor capabilities through good habits. I’m indebted to him. Listen in or read on.
Before her auto accident that caused chronic pain and subsequent surgeries, Barby Ingle was no stranger to pain. After her accident, Barby felt overtreated, untreated, and mistreated. She took control of her medical management and replaced drug pain solutions with physical pain solutions. She repurposed her media savvy to heal herself and engage others.
Chat with Jan Oldenburg, a nationally recognized thought leader on personal health engagement focused on transforming healthcare and the physician-patient relationship through digital tools. In this podcast episode, we spoke about the language of goals and preferences, situational leadership, making a story from the noise of data, contextual education, and drinking from both ends of a fire hose.
You’re in for a treat. Amy Baxter, pediatric emergency physician, pain researcher, and device manufacturer, is the CEO and Founder of Pain Care Labs. We talked about:
- Pain is inevitable, it’s life. Unnecessary pain is wasteful and it sucks.
- Doctors’ superpower is writing prescriptions. While lots of research has been done about non-pharm pain, doctors aren’t familiar with it.
- Public policy doesn’t support non-drug solutions. It funnels people to doctors and medication.
- Attitude and attention impact pain. If you focus on life rather than pain, the pain can be more manageable. We’re in control.
- The 1-10 pain scale has limited value unless you’re evaluating what’s not working for acute pain.
- We could teach our kids about pain differently. Think, dancers and other athletes.
- While cannabis may be helpful for chronic pain, it’s not a panacea, especially for young brains.
We learned about TENS units, Buzzy, the Meissner Corpusle, the thalamus (the brains CPU/microprocessor), the Schmidt Sting Pain Scale, the IKEA bias, beta nerves and mechanoreceptors, and more. My head spins.
I think the most important lesson I’ve learned from Amy is that it’s not about the pain, it’s about what we want to do with our lives and how we manage the challenges we face that get in the way, including pain. Let’s take control. It’s the most powerful tool we have.
When I examine the puzzle of pain management and opioid use, I often see Melissa Reynold’s words in my mind’s eye. She lives with, struggles with pain. She’s so sensible about pain. Melissa writes about Fibromyalgia, chronic pain, and pregnancy, separately and together. I read her faithfully and comment more than I do with most. She has inspired me from the start. Please allow me to share Melissa’s wisdom with you here.