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Chronic mess?

The trickiness of chronic pain is its chronic-ness. It’s ongoing, unending. Auto-correct suggested chronic mess for chronic-ness, that seems sadly apt for how I feel and sometimes how I feel I am seen. Researchers use the words chronic and persistent to describe pain, fatigue, nausea, itch, ulcers, wounds, stress, sadness, fear… The whole Pandora’s box …

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Doing research on pain

In this big pinch, I’m going to describe some of my PhD work that looked at attention in pain, as a concrete example of the research process to understand why pain makes it hard to think. Words in blue bold text are research jargon; I’ll define these as we go along. Science is a team …

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My brain closet is full

I said when I started this blog that I wouldn’t put pressure on myself if I didn’t write regularly. All in all, I’d give myself a B+. Very good performance, but not excellent1. I haven’t posted since August and have felt only a little guilty about it. I often feel guilty when I don’t do …

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Sad, not happy

Question from health professional: “How do you feel?” Answer from me: “Sad… not happy”. Pain is multidimensional. The experience of pain is not generated from physiological processes alone. Considering the multidimensionality of pain is especially important for both 1) understanding why chronic pain has such a large impact on peoples’ lives, and 2) for developing …

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Hiding pain

This pinch sets up my next two pinches. I am now open about my pain with my family, friends, colleagues and even people I’ve just met. This is not how I was for most of the time I’ve had chronic pain. For a long time the way I handled my pain was to tell myself …

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Thoughts (2)

I drafted this pinch on my phone one evening. I’ve left the first half as I wrote it in the moment. Pain in the moment It is 6.20pm on a Tuesday evening and I’m struggling. My pain has flared up over the last week. I’m stuck in a loop where I’m sore so I’m not …

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Fibromyalgia (1)

I planned to make this post live on Friday. However today, Tuesday 12th May, is Fibromyalgia Awareness Day. The topic seemed appropriate. My chronic pain has the diagnosis fibromyalgia. I can see that I’m going to write many pinches about fibromyalgia as this is my pain condition. I’ve labelled this pinch “fibromyalgia (1)” as I …

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Images of pain

One thing I starting noticing once I had chronic pain was the images used to depict pain. I noticed what images were commonly used to show pain, and what images weren’t. Open a new tab now and Google “pain”, look at the images tab. What do you see? Do the same for “chronic pain“. You’ll …

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Thoughts

One of the key changes in the way that I think about my pain that resulted in great improvements in how I manage my pain is: Chronic pain is my brain and body being really, really, really good at protecting me. I was first introduced to this way of thinking about pain at the Pain …

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