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Pick your pain

By Amber Fonseca

“Pick your poison,” or so goes the expression. But when it comes to living with multiple chronic pain conditions, I think “pick your pain” is more fitting. While I wish that I could choose to lessen my pain or to not have any pain at all, neither quite fits what I mean when I say “pick your pain”.

There are innumerable levels and types of pain: sharp, throbbing, piercing, stabbing, burning, aching, and more. Not all pain is created equally, and neither are the treatments. In fact, many of us with chronic pain find ourselves having to choose between which pain to treat when you have multiple conditions that involve pain, the treatments are different, and often cannot be combined. If you have ever had to choose between a migraine and back flare, you know what it means to “pick your pain.”

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Op-eds, blogs, articles, and other communications are excellent platforms to create awareness and understanding for the pain community. These write-ups can be used to share individual pain journeys or the experiences of multiple people with pain. Either way, the U.S. Pain Foundation wants your voice to be heard through every possible platform.

“You have the ability to change the negative perceptions held by many people about what it means to live with pain,” says Jacki Drexel, who serves as co-director of the Pain Ambassador Network, alongside Lori Monarca.  “We hope you can help U.S. Pain open a positive and productive dialogue that accurately reflects the daily battle fought by pain warriors.”

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