Me and Pinches of Pain


I am Hazel. I experience chronic pain. I have conducted research to extend our understanding of chronic pain. I live a full life. Most hours I am in pain. Sometimes I suffer, most of the time I don’t. I am a wife, a daughter, a friend.

Pinches of pain

Pinches of pain started out as a place for me to share my thoughts about my chronic pain, about our scientific understanding of chronic pain, and about how I (as an example of someone with chronic pain) live in this world.

Pinches is a good name for my blog because, well, it’s a funny pun and I love puns. More importantly though it captures that some of my posts/pinches will be short and some long and that some will be harder and more painful to write than others.

I’ve also added my Twitter so you can see my thoughts, and the posts I choose to share more widely, on science.

If you’d like to see the research me, check out my Google Scholar page.

You can read a little about my PhD on in the Listener:

There’ll be a pinch about the experience of this article being produced and suffering narratives in pain experience at some point.

Update 2023

In 2021 I became a Lecturer in the School of Science in Society. In 2022, as part of my professional development, I took a creative non-fiction writing course. I am now using creative non-fiction techniques in some of my pinches and writing is part of my scholarly activity for my job. I am a teaching focussed academic and am exploring how creative non-fiction can inform my teaching about chronic experiences; and how my teaching can inform my writing.


The main photo is of me starting up at a big rock on the south coast of Wellington, New Zealand. It is a photo taken by husband of me being curious and looking closely at a rock while we were taking a long walk.

When I was looking for an image for this blog though, it leapt out at me. This photo can also be a metaphor for how my pain can sometimes seem to me to be overwhelming, but when I look closely there’s a lot more finer grained detail that can be managed a bit at a time, and that can be quite fascinating.