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Stayin’ alive

By Mia Maysack

There’s no limit to the unconditional amount of reasons a person could be in pain: genetics, an accident, injury, or surgery gone array.

Swimming/diving were my passions.

It has been said, fear wasn’t an emotion I demonstrated often – at the age of 3, I would attempt jumping into the deep end on my own accord.

At 10 years old, you could find me spending my waking moments at the neighborhood pool from open – to close. Until bacterial meningitis robbed me of childhood, little could anyone have known that I’d live with head pain forevermore.

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Each November, U.S. Pain Foundation organizes a month-long educational campaign for the pain community. Recognizing that art and writing can help kids and adults cope with and/or express chronic pain and its effects on their lives, this year’s KNOWvember campaign will focus on creativity.

During the month, titled “Art through Pain: How Creativity Helps Us Cope,” U.S. Pain will be:

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Thanks to its dedicated volunteers, U.S. Pain Foundation’s 2019 Pain Awareness Month campaign, #LetsTalkAboutPain, was the most robust yet. All of the month’s activities—from educational events to the daily social media challenge—were possible through the generosity of Thrive Tape, makers of a far-infrared kinesiology tape.

“We chose the theme because we believe that speaking up about personal experiences is the first step to creating awareness and change,” says Interim CEO Nicole Hemmenway. “We are incredibly grateful to our supportive, passionate community for bringing pain to the forefront throughout September, and to Thrive Tape for providing the funding to support these efforts.”

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In honor of Pain Awareness Month, U.S. Pain is collaborating with Enso to raffle off one Enso Model 1 device, valued at $250. The device delivers electric pulses similar to implanted stimulators to relieve pain. The giveaway is free to enter and will close Thursday, Sept. 26, at 11:59 PM PST.

About Enso

Enso Model 1 is a wearable device that delivers a patented high-frequency electrical stimulation. Enso Model 1 is small and unobtrusive and delivers a more comfortable treatment vs other stimulators. It is also controlled using your smartphone.

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They range in ages, from 17 to 70. They live across the country–from New Jersey all the way to Puerto Rico. They have been diagnosed with dozens of different pain conditions, from sickle cell to fibromyalgia. They are all races, and all genders.

These are the faces of our Pain Awareness Month Storyathon. And they embody the fact that chronic pain doesn’t care what you look like, or where you come from. It can affect anyone, at any time, and in so many ways.

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In honor of Pain Awareness Month, now through Friday, Sept. 20, at 11:59 PM PST, you can enter to win a Quell 2.0 pain relief device. Quell is wearable technology that uses prescription-strength nerve stimulation to help relieve chronic pain. It is up to ten times more powerful than a typical transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) device. It is worn on the lower leg, and controlled remotely by you through a smartphone app.

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The Zakim Bridge.

Buildings and landmarks across the country are lighting up in blue in honor of Pain Awareness Month as part of U.S. Pain’s “Shine Blue for Pain” initiative. Blue is the designated color for pain awareness.

“We are so grateful to all of the volunteers who helped reach out to these locations and request their participation,” says Nicole Hemmenway, Interim CEO of U.S. Pain Foundation. “Special thanks goes to our dedicated team member, Michele Rice, who coordinated everyone’s efforts and reached out to a number of landmarks.”

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U.S. Pain Foundation has partnered with Health Union — which offers health-focused online communities and news content — to conduct a survey, “Chronic Pain In America 2019.” The goal? To get a better understanding of how people with chronic health conditions experience pain, how they navigate the health care system, and what there experiences are managing and treating chronic pain.

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On Tuesday, Sept. 17, U.S. Pain is hosting a candid conversation with Victoria Suan, director of the award-winning documentary film, Becoming Incurable.

Released earlier this year, Becoming Incurable explores the transformation of three individuals who became diagnosed with painful, chronic, incurable illnesses. Suan was inspired to create the movie after seeing the struggles faced by her cousin, Leo, who lives with severe dystonia.

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30 days. 30 stories.

In August, we put out the call for videos stories from our community. The stories we received were incredibly courageous, inspiring, and raw. The patients who shared about their experiences come from all walks of life. They were of all ages, all ethnicities, with all types of pain, from all across the country–and even around the world.

In honor of Pain Awareness Month and our campaign theme, #LetsTalkAboutPain, we’re sharing one video story each day.

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