By: Michaela O’Connor

So many people with chronic illness look back at their lives prior to their illnesses with such nostalgia, pride, and infallibility. It is as if their lives were the picture of perfection with nothing and no one to hold them back. They forget the embarrassments, shortcomings, and utter failures they previously experienced. In their eyes, the moment that their pain began was the moment their lives of perfection ended. In the 14 years since my trigeminal neuralgia began, I am extremely guilty of looking back at my “flawless” life and praying for the pain to end so I can return to that perfect life.

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By Ellen Lenox Smith

It sure would be easier to be home isolating with the consistent sun shining down. Instead, here we go again with another day of mist, rain, or clouds.  Here on the East Coast, the weather we have had to cope with has included only a few sunny days since the pandemic. When the sun hits, the world seems safe, beautiful, and full of hope.

When the weather switches back, hope is harder to hold onto, and the emotions seem to dip.

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By Michele Rice

My sisters and I pulled the large round rug our grandma had crocheted for us as close to the TV as we could get away with. It was winter and cold in our family room, but we didn’t notice as we huddled together, fidgeting with excitement waiting for the commercials to end and our movie to start. Yes, this was before there were VCRs, Netflix, and other viewing options, and we were forced to watch commercials. This was also years before a slip and fall would lead to the end of my teaching career and send me on a journey to find a way to live a happy life, despite having severe chronic pain.

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By Diane Talbert, a U.S. Pain Foundation advocate

I’m a “baby boomer,” and I’ve experienced psoriatic arthritis for over 25 years. It’s hard to explain what it’s like to be tired all the time or feel  pain 24 hours a day. The absurd part is that it doesn’t even bother me anymore. I just take my pain pills and go about my day. There are times I do face daily challenges and I know I’m not alone with this.

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By Janet Jay

Finding a new doctor or other medical professional can be incredibly daunting– not only do you want to find someone good, but you have to also factor in cost, insurance, distance, compatibility, background, and dozens of other factors.

Luckily, knowing some basic search strategies can make your quest much easier and less stressful. Don’t let the pressure of trying to find a doctor keep you from getting treatment. You deserve a good medical team and are within your rights to keep looking until you find the right fit!

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Self-care is not selfish

Originally appeared on HealthCentral.com, by Marianna Paulson

Self-care is an important strategy for everyone. If you live with a chronic illness, please don’t negate or neglect this vital part of your treatment plan.

Self-care can help propel you to better emotional, mental, and physical health. At the very least, it can help you maintain the quality of health you currently have. That’s not a bad thing. Far too often, the road of chronic illness is riddled with potholes, which can cause serious breakdowns.

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By Katie Golden

In Dr. Robert Cowan’s paper “CAM in the Real World: You May Practice Evidence-Based Medicine, But Your Patients Don’t,” he explores the notion that patients with migraine disease often incorporate complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) into their treatment regime, although it is a topic often left out of the discussion between physician and patient.

Some examples of CAM are yoga, meditation, acupuncture, massage therapy, homeopathy, biofeedback, and natural supplements.

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