Sunday, October 15, 2017

Your Life/My Life with Chronic Pain #MakeItVisible

Throughout the month of October the U.S. Pain Foundation is teaming up with Healthline to bring awareness to invisible illness. The request: share a photo or video on Instagram with the #MakeItVisible hashtag and make your chronic condition visible. For every submission, Heathline will donate $5 to U.S. Pain Foundation.

The following are excerpts from an interview I did for Melissa Swanson and the National Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain Association.

My life before fibro was not without pain. I had my first cystoscopy at age five, and I have had migraines and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) since puberty.

During my school years, I ran track, bowled on a team, and played intramural volleyball. As a young adult, I was a competitive racquetball player and instructor, and a competitive downhill skier. [All my life] I enjoyed physically active sports. Having joint hypermobility, I experienced some significant soft tissue injuries, [but] I thought I was invincible, and I wanted to fit in. It never occurred to me that what I experienced—muscle symptoms and recovery time, feeling sick to my stomach after activity—was anything different from my peers.

I worked all my life with chronic pain, but it wasn’t until my brain turned to mush that my life really changed. I knew I would not be able to continue my nursing career or continue my work as a Legal Nurse Consultant… By age 50, I had to face a harsh reality. {As] I walked out those hospital doors for the last time as a healthcare provider, I had no idea what was ahead of me. I only knew what I was leaving behind. I was terrified. 

Melissa is founder of Fibro Warriors Living Life and author of Ravyn’s Doll: How to Explain Fibromyalgia to Your Child. You can read the entire interview here.

What I have learned from interviewing others is that my story is not unique. We all struggle with the stigma associated with invisible illness, especially chronic pain. Discrimination against certain groups of people, women being one, is increasing, not diminishing. I write about this in my Health Central article, Women, Bias, Discrimination, and Chronic Pain. And labels affect everyon as I share in my ProHealth article, Pain and Prejudice: Surviving Fibromyalgianess. Discrimination against those of us living with chronic pain doesn’t stop there either. Many patients are not only forced to live with the stigma of chronic pain, they are also suffering physically as the opioid crisis grows. Last resort medications are being withdrawn. Some patients are forced into withdrawal, and the suicide rate is growing because of untreated pain. Pain warriors are now living in exile. It’s time for the tide to turn, but it won’t happen unless we…


Healthline is encouraging us to share our story. Help the world understand that we might be battling chronic pain and/or illness even though we don't always look sick.

In healing,,Celeste

"Adversity is only an obstacle if we fail to see opportunity."

~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~

Celeste Cooper, RN
Author—Patient—Freelance Writer at Health Central & ProHealth Advocate

Celeste’s Website:

Learn more about Celeste’s books at her website or find links here on Celeste's  blog. Subscribe to posts by using the information in the upper right hand corner or use the share buttons to share with others.

All blogs and comments are based on the author's opinions and are not meant to replace medical advice.  

No comments:

Celeste's Website

Celeste's Website
Click on the picture