I just finished reading The Problem of Pain by C. S. Lewis. This book has been on my reading list for quite some time, and I finally started it this past week when I discovered there is a free pdf version of the book available online. Continue reading →
Every time I try to push against the boundaries my body has set for me, it seems to end in more pain and regression. Continue reading →
Welcome to my new and updated website!
Over the past few months I have been going back and forth about my blog. Posts have been scarce because I struggled to decide what I wanted to write about and how to move forward.
I almost left Life in Slow Motion all together. I almost set out on a new venture and put this blog to the side. I went as far as buying a new domain name, creating a new website, and setting a launch date for my new site.
In the end, I just couldn’t do it. It didn’t feel right. Continue reading →
My body has been holding stable for weeks, perhaps even months. Of course I still have pain, and my limitations remain significant. But my pelvis is holding in place, and I can tell. Continue reading →
Occasionally someone asks me for an update on my book, and I finally have an answer. And it’s good news – I am feeling so excited about what I have decided. For months I went back and forth about what to do, feeling uncomfortable about each option that came to mind. But I have finally come up with an option that I believe will make the best use of the material I have written, while also taking care of the flaws and weaknesses of my manuscript. Continue reading →
I came across this Jonathon Edward’s resolution in a book I am reading, and it gave me pause and direction to consider how I spend my time, my life.
Will I look back in regret on my life, wishing I had put my limited energy to other endeavors?
Here is what I have decided. Continue reading →
When you have chronic pain, dreams and desires are a dangerous practice. Sometimes I wonder if I am shooting myself in the foot, just by wanting things in life that may or may not happen. Continue reading →
When you have chronic pain, life is all about energy allocation. Each day you face the question of where you will use your precious energy levels. You can’t go to work and clean the house, so you choose one. You can’t make dinner and go see a friends, so you choose. One or the other. Continue reading →
For the past 52 weeks I have been following a careful pacing plan for chronic pain. Every single day I open up my excel spreadsheet and log in every single one of my activities for the day. Each activity corresponds with a numerical quantity and at the end of the day, and again at the end of the week, I can add the numbers up to see how many points I used. Continue reading →
[Image taken from Neuroplastic Transformation by Moskowitz and Golden (2013)]
In recent posts, I have been detailing how we can harness the neuroplastic nature of the brain to reverse the unnatural chronic pain pathways that have become ingrained in our nervous systems. We know that our brain has the ability to change, and that means our chronic pain can be unlearned. Continue reading →
Today I am going to share a specific visualization with you that can be used to help manage chronic pain. To understand the neuroscience behind how visualizations can decrease chronic pain, you can check out my last two posts that go into great detail about this. Please get caught up, because it is important to understand the WHY to be motivated to actually practice these strategies. Continue reading →
Last week I posted my book review of Normon Dodge’s The Brain’s Way of Healing. As I stated in that review, one of the greatest perks of this book was how it pointed me to resources I felt I could trust and that would be worth my time. Continue reading →
The Brain’s Way of Healing is a book about neuroplasticity and healing written by Norman Doidge.
The premise of his book rests on our new understanding of the brain. For many years, scientists thought that the brain was a stable and unchanging organ. Hundreds of years of medical treatments were based on this belief, leaving little hope for those who suffered from injury or illness related to the brain and nervous system. Continue reading →
I can think of few things more shameful in our current society and culture than taking time to rest more than people think is necessary. Continue reading →
Life is a tenuous walk on tight rope these days. Fortunately, I am getting much better at staying in line. For the most part I know what needs to be done for the days to work out in my favor. Continue reading →
This weekend a blizzard hit the East Coast. Its center hovered close to my house, right around the Baltimore/DC area. There were certainly areas that got more snow than we did, but the 29.2 inch record that assaulted us was enough for me. Continue reading →
For the past 48 weeks, I have kept track of every single activity that I do using the method outlined in this post. When I started, I took the time to assign each activity in my life a numerical quantity. This allows me to quantify all of the activities I do in a given day, week, or month and better pace myself. Continue reading →
Lately life has been quiet, simple, and focused. Each week I look at the schedule laid out in front of me: three days of work and perhaps a doctor’s appointment or meeting on one of my days off. Each week I make careful plans that will get me through the days without flaring or relapse. Each week I carefully rest to make sure I can make it to work. Continue reading →
The month after Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year. OK, I hate the snow and the wind and the ice. I hate how cold and dreary the world becomes. But I love the freshness of considering the past year and starting anew. I love the hope that perhaps this year will be better than the year before. I love the possibility for new dreams, goals, and ideas to come to fruition. A lot can happen in a year, and it is always possible that some of those things that happen will be wonderful things.
Each year that passes by with chronic pain,I learn more about how to manage life in the midst of limitations. Here is what I learned in 2015. Continue reading →
I am taking a risk. I am stepping out and trying something new that may be the next step towards meeting my goals, or may be a disaster.
For the past few months, I have been contemplating what the next steps for me should be. My long term goal right now is to become a fully licensed counselor. Right now I have my MA and I am partially licensed. I can work as a counselor under supervision, but since I am not fully licensed I cannot yet open up my own private practice. Continue reading →
It’s been a good year of blogging. Check out my top posts of 2015 for any you might have missed! Continue reading →
Counting Down to the New Year is a series of 12 posts in which I reflect on 2015 and prepare for 2016.
Today I am exhausted and worn out. Last night I slept 13 hours and woke up still feeling depleted. Tired. Thinking slowly. Unmotivated.
Even writing this post, I’m struggling to find words. My thoughts are lagging, my brain feels fuzzy, and I keep losing words and thoughts. Continue reading →
Counting Down to the New Year is a series of 12 posts in which I reflect on 2015 and prepare for 2016.
Plans and lists may be some of my favorite things. Maybe it is the sense of control and mastery they give me. Perhaps I love to look back at everything I have crossed out to see that I accomplished what I set out to do. Or maybe it is the way they focus me in on the things that I believe to be most important. Plans and lists both move me forward as well as help me to remain in the moment. Continue reading →
Thanksgiving has passed, and December is upon us, which means….time to do some Christmas shopping!
And I can think of no better place to buy Christmas gifts than from shops around the web that are run by some amazing people fighting chronic pain, chronic illness, and disability. Continue reading →
How do you feel towards your chronic pain?
I started thinking about this today, and I realized that despite the strong and harsh things we feel towards our pain, we don’t often talk about it. It’s not something we often say out loud.
Here is the thing. Typically I am so focused on figuring out how to move forward in the midst of my pain, that I don’t stop and think about how I feel towards the pain. Continue reading →
As you can see, I have a new business proposition in mind. Look for my spray cans of Flare-Be-Gone, which will be available after the new year. GUARANTEED to reduce the length and intensity of your flare by half, or your money back. Will be hitting the market at a REDUCED PRICE of $99.99 per can!!!***
Ok, all joking aside. I’m flaring. And I’m feeling a bit strange about it all. Continue reading →
Every so often, when my brain turns into a whirlwind, I have to come up with a plan. If the contents of my brain were laid out on a piece of paper, they wouldn’t be pretty right now. To be honest, I am struggling to even know what is going on internally. It is not horrible. It is not good. It’s not numb. I’m feeling something, but not quite certain what. And this is often how I begin to feel when there is too much swirling around up there. Continue reading →
Lately, each day fades into the other until I lose track of which day of the week it is. The days seem to come right after the other, a meaningless collision of each day leaking into the next. Continue reading →
This is the second part of a short series on how to grieve when you have chronic pain.
A life of chronic pain is a life of loss. Somewhere in the process of living out years into decades of pain, we learn the importance of grieving our former lives and who we once were. We think of all the things that have been taken away and know we must learn to live without them. Somehow, we must grieve our losses if we want to move forward. Continue reading →
When life feels heavy and hard for days on end, it feels impossible to find the good things that are there, hiding behind the wreckage.
I’m a hard sell on the gratitude train. Thankfulness lists feel corny, and many posts on gratitude leave me feeling uncomfortable and weird. I cringe when gratitude is touted as a cure all. Continue reading →
I’ve been playing the chronic pain comparison game way too much lately. You know the one. The one where I compare myself to healthy people and am hit with, once again, how limited my life is. The one where I compare myself to other sick people and think how much better or worse off I am than them. Somehow or other it doesn’t matter if I am better or worse off than whoever I am thinking about – both seem to lead to uncomfortable feelings of jealousy or guilt or confusion or sadness. Continue reading →
Let me try to explain something about myself. I get bored very easily. In the past this was never a problem because there was always some way to fend off the boredom. Go for a run, spend hours cooking new recipes in the kitchen, find the best hiking trails, have jobs that had me on my feet all day long, etc.. and so on.
Now that I can’t do these things anymore, there just aren’t enough acceptable activities in the world that can be done lying down to keep me occupied. What do I mean by acceptable? I mean activities that don’t make me want to pull my hair out and scream. Things like knitting and sewing and crossword puzzles …things that no one should ever be forced to do for more than a few minutes.
When people ask me about my chronic pain, I usually just say I have “back problems,” but in reality, it is more complicated than that. Even online I don’t mention my particular condition often, mostly because I interact with so few people who share the same problem as me and because my focus is more on mental and emotional aspects of chronic pain.
However, this post is all about my main condition, sacroiliac joint dysfunction (SIJD). In this post, I share strategies that in combination over the past year have brought my pain levels from SIJD down from a 6-7 average to a 3-4 average. I don’t think I need to say that this is a HUGE difference in terms of quality of life. Continue reading →
How am I doing? I think the easiest way to describe this is to say that I am better, but not better, if you know what I mean. Continue reading →
There is always something new to figure out when it comes to this chronic pain life. Right now I am battling work woes, and let’s just say that chronic pain and work schedules do not go well together. Continue reading →
The motivation fairy has been stealing into my room at night and sucking the life from my brain.
Pretty sure this is a real thing. Continue reading →
Few people are aware of how much is lost in the face of chronic pain and illness. The all-encompassing nature of chronic pain, the way it takes hold of every single part of life, makes it unique among many life struggles. Continue reading →
I wrote this today because I feel this unspoken rule in our world that after we have told our story of suffering and pain once or twice we are not supposed to speak it again. I feel this unspoken rule that, after a time, we are supposed to become silent and simply bear with the pain without a word, without a complaint because that would certainly infringe on the comfort of those around us. No one wants to feel like a broken record, mostly because the world has said they don’t want to hear broken records. But when our lives are filled with unending suffering, I am not sure silence is possible, and even if it was, I don’t believe it is the best option. And so I wrote this for all who feel silenced in their pain. Continue reading →
If you are just tuning in, I’m in the middle of a series called Explain Your Pain. You can check out the introductory post here. This post is the third out of ten conversations we need to have with family and friends about our chronic pain. Since I wrote about this subject in the past, today’s conversation is a repost of a past article previously entitled The #1 Reason Your Healthy Friends Misunderstand Your Chronic Pain. Check out the other ten conversations here. Continue reading →
If you are just tuning in, I’m in the middle of a series called Explain Your Pain. You can check out the introductory post here. This is the second out of ten conversations we need to have with family and friends about our chronic pain. To check out other topics, click here.
Today’s topic is the subject of invisible disability, a topic that has been addressed time and time again. It is a classic for a reason. For many of us, if we could choose just one thing for people to understand about our pain, we would go back to this age-old issue of invisible illness, this fairly simple concept that the vast majority of the world can’t seem to grasp. Continue reading →
I’m taking a brief break from my Explain Your Pain series, because I needed some lighter content for today! Today is one of those days when the bad seems to outweigh the good ten to one, and I need to remind myself this is not really the case. There ARE good things happening in the world and in my life.
They say the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem. Perhaps the first step forward in our life of chronic pain is to admit that we, indeed, have chronic pain.
Some of us need to step into the world declaring, “Hello my name is _______, and I have chronic pain. Continue reading →
Hey folks, if you are just tuning in, I am in the middle of a series called Explain Your Pain. So far, I have been laying out the framework for why and how we have conversations about our chronic pain. You can catch up on the first few posts below. Continue reading →
Welcome to the 4th post in my Explain Your Pain Series. Feel free to catch up on earlier posts before you get started. Continue reading →
Welcome to the second post in my series Explain Your Pain, in which I attempt to address the difficulty of explaining our chronic pain to our family friends, and others who need to be in the know.
Explaining our pain takes hard work, dedicated time, and great effort. If you read my first post in the series, The Communication Dilemma, you now know my thoughts on why explaining our pain is so difficult, but knowing the reasons does not immediately make these conversations easier. Continue reading →
Hi Folks, I’m starting a new series called “Explain Your Pain” which will attempt to address the difficulty of explaining our chronic pain to our family, friends, and others who need to be in the know. In this first post “The Communication Dilemma” I lay out the problem, and in future posts I will give some thoughts on how to move productively move forward to explain our pain. Continue reading →
It is easy for me to get bogged down in all that I can’t do. I naturally and frequently bemoan the fact that I have so far to go, when I really should be jumping up and down at the progress I have made in the past six months. Continue reading →