At 35 I remember proclaiming to a friend that, finally, I had attained everything that I’d ever wanted, I had a wonderful job and had just bought my first home, a dutch barge from Amsterdam, to live on in Central London with my long-term partner. This was no mean feat, I worked damned hard for all this, and was rightfully proud. Just one year later all this was gone. An injury, which turned into a chronic pain condition caused me to lose first my job, consequently my home, finally my man. All gone. A sobering experience and one frankly that has taken me a long time to get my head around.
Chronic Pain Syndrome is complex and difficult to treat but I think I am starting to get a handle on it and this blog is about sharing these findings. My intention is to look at what the condition actually is, how it affects people, some of the treatments and approaches I have explored and the techniques I am currently using. I will be sharing information about books I have and am currently reading and articles I find online. I am writing this to help me structure my own learning, but also, hopefully, to assist others with their own journey. I will post working drawings/sketches/notes too, because that’s one of the ways that I try to make sense of all this. I also seem to be putting together my own toolkit as I go along so will share that. Everyone has their own way through this, so, this is not prescriptive, purely a personal perspective as I navigate my way through the maze of information out there. Developments in neuroimaging techniques, assistive technologies and biofeedback devices also are of great interest to me at the moment so I’ll be posting articles/links to devices too as I go along for the ‘geek inclined’ in addition to relevant articles about mindfulness and neuropsychology. I will also look at the concept of neuroplasticity in relation to pain.
Oh, and the title “Do Not Bend” came to me as I was bed bound after a relapse a year ago and saw my MRI scans with that phrase written on the side. Bending was a painful activity for me, one I was told to avoid. It perfectly states the rigidity of chronic pain, the idea of being stuck, static. Happily it is the antithesis to everything that I now practice since learning about neuroplasticity, and how the pain signals in our brain do not have to remain quite so stuck after all.