Category: What works


The Truth About Pain

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Most of my friends, and even much of my family, don’t quite get the fact that I am in pain constantly.

That means, like, every minute of every day of every week of every month.

Some ask, “How can you stand it?”

I typically respond, “What choice do I have?”

If I choose to live, then I choose to experience pain. Because … so far … and I haven’t given up hope … I will find relief for this pain.

How bad is the pain? Well, the medical profession likes to ask you to measure your pain on a scale from 1 to 10, where 10 is the worst pain you’ve ever experienced. I have problems with this approach to rating pain but that’s another discussion.

To convey how bad the pain is I say, “15 out of 10!”

The truth is the pain has gotten worse over the years. And, it’s not like I haven’t tried “pain killers”. They call them that because they kill the pain while killing you. I’ve tried more than a dozen medications and a half dozen alternative therapies. They haven’t worked.

In fact, all of the traditional pain drugs have created horrendous side effects. To quote “All medications have side effects.” I seem to be the sort of person who gets the most obscure, rare side effect of a drugs.


I have been obsessively collecting weather and other data, for the last 10 years, in an attempt to identify the cause or causes of my pain.

I knew that the unstable weather of Calgary provoked my pain. But, not always.

Finally, the other day, I got the solution.

It is weather plus my level of stress that evokes pain.

And, I’ve had a shit storm of stress lately.

Here’s the good news. I can DO something about my stress.

So, I’ve been dusting off all those stress management techniques I used to teach and using them myself.

Wish me luck!


It’s Just Pain

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I recently met with my new Pain Management Specialist.

It was 1 of those “good news, bad news’ sessions.

The good news?

After reviewing 30 years of my medical history, he discovered that there was “nothing wrong with me physically”.

YES, you heard that correctly!

YES, I have been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia Syndrome and Chronic Fatigue (CFIDS). So, how is possible that with so much muscle pain, so much exhaustion, there could be nothing wrong with my body?

It’s simple really.

Very recent research into the mechanism by which Fibromyalgia operates suggest that it is due to a dysfunction of the Central Nervous System (CNS). That means the problem is in the brain, not the body.

Therefore, as I understand it, the myriad of symptoms experienced by Fibromites are the result of CNS problems.

Here’s how that news has freed me up.

If there’s nothing wrong with my muscles — well, other than the fact that 14 months in bed have atrophied them to some degree — then there’s really nothing preventing me from doing stuff. Stuff like walking, hiking, running (except I don’t DO jogging), making love (except I don’t have a lover).

So, for the past 2 weeks, I’ve hiked my butt out of bed first thing in the morning. And, gone for a walk.

When I first started I could walk  for 1/2 an hour and travel 6 blocks. Now, I walk for an hour and travel 30 or more blocks. YIPPEE!

I’m pumped!

Morning walks have been an integral part of my Spiritual / Creative Practice. For it’s on these walks that I have the alone time I need to ponder, mull, and compost ideas. And, to dialogue with God Within Me.

Starting my day this way is critical because it gets me calm, centered, and focused on what’s important. And, because it connects me to Spirit.

I’ve noticed important improvements in my life. For example, on the weekend I drove to the foothills west of Calgary and hiked in the wind.  Why is that a big deal? Because normally — whatever normal is — wind provokes massive pain. And, it didn’t! YIPPEE!

What’s the bad news?

Tune in to the next post to see why the bad news is really good news.