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Is There a Reason for Chronic Pain?

When I initially read this blog post, I didn’t consider “reblogging” it. However, I found myself reading it again. The more I thought I about it, the more I realized how much the chronic pain community needs to hear this. In Scott Williams’ blog post, he talks about the phrase “Everything happens for a reason,” and how nonsensical and unhelpful it is. For the chronic pain community, in my opinion, this phrase is absolutely ridiculous. Doctors, even after a couple thousand years of studying the human body, still don’t understand what exactly happens in the nervous system when a person experiences chronic pain. They can’t tell you what causes chronic pain or where in the nervous system is the problem. They can’t even give you an exact time line on how long rehabilitation will take. Then we start questioning ourselves. Right? Why me? Why now? All you end up with is mascara running down your face and your hair in a matted mess. Or, you jump on that depreciating Merry-Go-Round ride of the “Could’ve-Should’ve-Would’ve,” and at the end, the only thing you can do is to keep yourself from puking. So, do we just give up on life? Throw in the towel. Should we put on our favorite sweats & t-shirt, grab some Cool Ranch Doritos, and morph into a couch potato? I hope you already know the answer to this, but I will say it anyways: NO! I will repeat myself: NO! So, what are we to do? In order to answer that question, here’s a little snippet of my personal history with chronic pain. A couple years back, I was very, very ill with chronic pain and also quite depressed. I was angry and bitter with God, myself, my parents, life, everything, and anything. It was at that point I realized that I could either wallow in pain and misery and end up making things worse, or I could grit my teeth and come to terms with my situation. I humbly realized that no good would come out of continuing to deny reality or defining chronic pain as something other than what it really was. Mind you this was not a flippant, easy, 1-2-3 process for me but was a several month process. However, that period was quite healing for me, more emotionally and spiritually than physically. As many of us already know, life with chronic pain is an endless roller coaster with highs and lows, twists and turns. I have more “blue” days than I care to admit, but I choose to put a smile on my face everyday and keep a positive, hopeful attitude. Hope, joy, and peace have replaced the anger and bitterness. I still have unanswered questions, even more than I started with a couple years ago. I know in this life I will not have all the answers, and I’m learning to accept that. So, I encourage you to read the following blog post. Then, take an honest look at your circumstances, accept reality, and continue with life!

English: Nyamata Memorial Site, skulls. Nyamat...

It’s called a cognitive distortion. We all have heard it, probably most of us believe it. We aren’t sure where it came from. It’s in the bible somewhere or the Dali Lama said it. Everything does happen for a reason.

Tell that to the six million jews who died in World War Two. Or the twenty-five million Russians who perished fighting the Nazis. Tell that to the children born in Mogadishu, or in starvation conditions in Africa. Tell that to the Tutsi’s hacked to death in Rwanda, or the genocide victims in The Congo.

“Everything happens for a reason” is a western, affluent, construct. It is a convenient and heartening way to explain away pain and suffering but it is, unfortunately, not based on any legitimate philosophy and it hurts people. It reminds me of my friend who was told, after his child died, that “God must have wanted another…

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Mapping Fibromyalgia Resources

I don’t know about you, but over the years, I have come across so many websites, blogs, and articles. I either pasted the URL on word document to look it up later, or I would tell myself that if it is really important to me, I’ll come by that site again. Well, thanks to The Iffy Patient blog I have been introduced to Pearltrees; this amazing tool that allows you to collect, organize, and easily view your webfindings, photos, and notes. Plus you can share your Pearltrees with your friends on the Pearltree website, your blog, Facebook, and Twitter! Check it out and start “pearling” away 🙂

Welcome!

Hello friends,

Welcome to the blog “Continuing with Life!” Let me introduce myself: I’m Amy. I’m a young adult who loves the simple and beautiful in life. I enjoy life by the water. My favorite room in the house is the kitchen. I have a wonderful family and awesome friends. I’m usually singing along to music as I go about my day. And, yes, I deal with chronic pain.

So, for a quick medical overview of myself: it all began with a bad fall resulting in a severe sprain approximately 7 years ago. I was finally diagnosed of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS – I)/Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome (RSD) in the spring of ’09. So, I guess one could say that I’m a classical case of CRPS/RSD but more on that later. I learned very quickly that pain conditions come in package deals. In the fall ’11, doctors told me I was also dealing with Fibromyalgia (FM). Then, in the spring ’12, I found out that I have Gastroparesis. And, finally, in the summer ’12, I was diagnosed with Inflammatory Arthritis (IA); they sub-type is unknown for now. Okay, I think we’re up to date.

What is this blog about? Yes, it is about living life with chronic pain. No, it will not be a chronicle of my personal experience. I think we all should respect each other’s personal boundaries. So I will not be relating every detail of my health care and don’t expect you to do so either. So, needless to say, this will NOT a “TMI” (i.e. a “too much information”) blog. However, I would like to share with you life lessons & helpful tips, discuss available treatments, books, and research out there, and maybe have a laugh or two along the way! I also encourage you to comment and ask questions. I certainly don’t know everything about chronic pain, and each of us has had a different experience with it. Also, I will not sugar-coat the reality of chronic pain but I will not dwell on its negatives either. With a life filled with pain, one needs hope, joy, and laughter to make it through each day.

I should be upfront about a couple things. I’m NOT a medical professional and will not pretend to be one. I encourage you to talk with your doctor and ask him/her questions about your condition(s), available treatments, etc. I’m also not a writer so bear with me 😉 I’m one of those people that would prefer a test over a paper any day haha! I can’t promise that I will post every day but hopefully a couple times a week.  Finally, I ask for your patience as I continue to construct this blog. Hopefully, it will come together over the next common months…

So, my goal and hope is that the “Continuing With Hope” blog will be an encouraging and positive read for those who are involved in the chronic pain community. We come from different backgrounds and lead different lives; our pain affects us in different ways; we each have a different experience as we work through recovery & rehabilitation. I look forward to learning from and with you in the future!