Tag Archives: advocate

2014 INTRACTABLE HERO Award Winner Doug Cook Gives His All

11 Jul

By Heather Grace, IPJ Staff Writer

Doug and Radene Marie Cook

 met Doug Cook through his wife Radene Marie Cook, a fellow patient with severe constant pain who became my best friend. Yes, Doug is her caregiver. He has helped Radene navigate the hell that is Intractable Pain since 2000. Unlike most spouses, he stayed after her injury instead of fleeing in terror. The vows they exchanged actually meant something. Though it’s truly sad, loved ones leave when someone gets seriously ill and doesn’t get better. But not Doug. For that reason alone, he is exceptional.

That’s just where the story begins, however. Doug Cook has a quiet way about him that somehow speaks volumes, the more you get to know him. I’d know him for a while before I really saw Doug in action, at the 2010 Women In Pain Conference. Though Radene & I helped put the conference together and were also speakers, Doug Cook was the one who was a huge part of the success of the event.

He arrived hours early, bringing art and other supplies. Doug backed up his SUV, unloading and arranging everything, including beautiful art that was created for the event by For Grace’s Artist in Residence, Radene Marie Cook. Afterward, he spent at least 90 minutes aiding CEO John Garrett with conference design/setup, moving the large conference tables and nearly 200 chairs, ensuring there was plenty of room for everyone to move freely through the space. Even as the event was about to begin, Doug focused on helping people get from the parking lot to the registration area. (Myself included!)

At that point, it hit me. Doug was caring for everyone–ensuring all the people who needed help got it. He continued his efforts throughout the day, helping anyone who needed it. Holding doors for people, moving chairs so that anyone with a wheelchair did not have difficulty getting where they needed to go… doing anything people needed help with.

In his quiet way, Doug has helped make the event a seemingly-effortless success. Not because he was paid to do so–in fact he has volunteered his time. Doug Cook is one of those people with a huge heart; a natural-born caregiver. This innate quality is extraordinary in today’s world, to be sure.

And the conference is just one day among the thousands where Doug gives and gives and gives. When he isn’t assisting Radene, his parents or mother-in-law–or working a full-time job–Doug dedicates a great deal of his time to helping others. He’s been active in his community for many years, doing things like painting over graffiti and ensuring the neighborhood is safe. He spends much of his free time making the world a better place, because that’s who he is.

In 2011, Doug Cook received a Shire BRAVE Award for caregivers. The BRAVE Awards are the first and only to honor the courage and dedication of non-professional caregivers, the everyday heroes who provide regular and consistent care for other people. Out of nearly 400 nominations, Doug and 14 others were honored. Read more about the annual award at http://www.shirebraveawards.com.

In addition to being an award-winning caregiver, Doug has also become a dedicated advocate and speaker. Doug spoke about caregiving at two national conferences in 2012, including the Woman In Pain Conference.

Caregiver. Advocate. Speaker. Award-Winner. Community Leader. Doug Cook is an ‘unsung hero’ that deserves to have his praises sung today and everyday.

So Doug, thank you for all the things you’ve done and continue to do–great and small, noticed or not. Read more about Doug Cook in the caregiver story by ABC News.

About The Author

Heather Grace is an Intractable Pain Sufferer, Writer & Advocate. She’s Co-Director of the 501c3 nonprofit Intractable Pain Patients United (http://www.ippu.info), has been a Speaker/Conference Planner at For Grace’s (http://www.forgrace.org) annual Women in Pain Conference and is a Pain Ambassador for the U.S. Pain Foundation (http://uspainfoundation.org).

© 2011-2015 Intractable Pain Journal & Heather Grace. All rights reserved.

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Chronic Pain Patient In Crisis: Lifesaving Care Needed

4 Oct

READER QUESTION:

This is my first time responding to any type of blog, forum, etc. This story hit home (Surprise! We’re Chronic & Intractable Pain Patients NOT Addicts)!

You explained my life to a “T”. I can feel my body dying. I dont know where to get help. The harder I try to find a good doctor, the worse it looks. As I am writing this, tears are rolling down my face. The suffering is not only affecting me, but also my children and wonderful husband. I am crying also because there are so many of us.

Please if anyone knows how I can get help let me know. I am at the end…only enough strength left in me to try ONE more time to get help,and this is only because I love my husband and children too much to give up. I dont know what to do, and I am so frightened. — Shannon (Original Post here)


Getting Help While In Chronic Pain Crisis
Answered by Heather Grace

Shannon: First & foremost, I’m so sorry for all you’ve been through, and all you continue to go through. And, I’m so glad you took a chance & reached out! That tells me you know you deserve better than what you’ve been given. And somewhere inside you, I think you believe it is possible for things to turn around for you, too. Because *it is* – truly!

I can feel the pain & desperation in your message, because sadly, I know where you’ve been. Yes, it feels like a crushing nightmare that you cannot awake from…

Not only are you suffering physically–all the people who are supposed to help you are NOT doing so. Not doctors, perhaps not even some loved ones. Pain is a cruel, cruel illness–it is so misunderstood. The toll it takes on one’s health is serious enough. Add to that the torment of being judged, doubted and mistreated… It DOES feel like it’s more than anyone can or should be able to bear. And, for some, this suffering IS too much to take.

Intense pain caused by injury or illness does lead many to thoughts of suicide. It’s the lack of treatment when a person gets to that point that I believe pushes people over the edge. Pain KILLS.

I know, because I have been on that ledge, Shannon, right where you now stand. I tried twice to step off it. Twice a voice somewhere inside me said “NO! You can’t. It’s *not* over.” Like you, I told myself, ‘FINE. Just one more try. If this doesn’t help, I can still end my pain on my terms.’

And when I decided to try once more, a strange set of circumstances lead me to the perfect doctor *and* the perfect support system. Ironically, it was a stranger who helped me, too. He gave me the phone number of the doctor who saved his wife’s life. What a gift that was! And here I am.

As hard as it is to do, you have reached out your hand to ask for help. Don’t you see how perfect it is that you asked ME to help you find your way out of this darkness? I was you, Shannon, in 2007. Though it was just five years ago, I am now a completely different person.

I now see the power of what ONE PERSON can do. Pain Advocacy has become my life. I do what I can every day, hoping to repay the kindness that was shown to me when I needed it most. Your letter really touched me, and I want to give you all the help I can, so you can be well again.

Though you have every doubt in the world, though is the hardest fight you’ve ever faced… Even if you don’t see if yet, YOU ARE A SURVIVOR. You ARE strong enough, you CAN do this. I know from personal experience! It can and will get better for you with the right help. A doctor who “gets you” makes all the difference. I will help you find the right treatment to save your life.

Two things to get you started:

(1) All patients without effective care may benefit from the advice given in the article, Tips & Secrets: How to Find a Good Pain Management Doctor online at http://thepainstore.blogspot.com/2010/10/how-to-find-good-pain-doctor-tips.html. This is based on information I have used, myself–as well as tools I’ve used to help others.

(2) It becomes especially important to ensure physicians see that you are suffering with severely pain. How do you do this? Provide current and prospective physicians information on the OBJECTIVE signs of severe pain: http://pain-topics.org/pdf/Tennant-PainSigns.pdf. Medical professionals often refer to pain as the 5th vital sign, but how many actually look for it in their patients? So many doctors believe pain is a subjective complaint. In fact, there are many signs!

Going forward… Know that effective pain care does exist. And, I will help you find it.

All I ask of you, Shannon: Promise me you will trust me enough to hang on. Not just for your family, but because YOU deserve a chance at life again. To really live. You will get there! And one day, you will be so well, you may find yourself in my shoes… helping someone else to survive this terribly difficult disease.

If at any point you feel like you are in need of immediate attention, please call 9-1-1. There is also the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255. I sincerely hope you don’t get to this point, because I believe you want help as much as you truly deserve it. Hang in there, ok?

I’ve emailed you my contact info. Feel free to write back or contact me via Twitter @IntractablePain, anytime, as well.

Take care Shannon, and I’m so glad you reached out! I’m hoping to hear from you very soon. Hopefully today… I’m here for you.

Hugs, Heather G.

**************
UPDATE December 2012: I am happy to report than Shannon is doing much better, under the care of a specialist who is working to resolve her intractable pain and related conditions. I’m so pleased–everyone deserves appropriate access to care for their chronic & intractable pain!

© 2012 Intractable Pain Journal & Heather Grace. All rights reserved.

Portrait of Activism: Pain Advocates Meet with Los Angeles DEA

21 Aug

“Advocating for Another” Carnival 2012 – Day 1

By Heather Grace, IPJ Staff Writer

Being an advocate in the pain community can be challenging. Much of the country has a stigma against pain care. The media teaches the public that lifesaving medications are dangerous and addictive–to be feared.
Often, that requires pain advocates to be incredibly brave. We don’t just speak up, and go against the grain by telling people how much our lives have improved by received adequate pain treatment.

We also act. How many people with pain would willingly walk into their local DEA office and openly discuss their pain care with federal law enforcement? I don’t know how many. But, we did.

Myself & 3 other dedicated advocates met with the DEA in Los Angeles to discuss how we could better work with them to build a bridge of understanding between patients & law enforcement.


Pictured are L to R: Heather Grace, Radene Marie Cook, Gina Libby and Doug Cook (members of the American Pain Foundation’s Action Network/Intractable Pain Patients United). Taken January, 2012.

People who live with chronic or intractable pain just want some semblance of a normal life. And the DEA wants to go after bad guys. Why would patients ever be suspects? You’d think it would be simple to tell the difference between a patient and a bad guy. Year after year, the line just seems to become more blurred.

The truth is, law enforcement isn’t taught what a patient is/does. They’re taught to hunt the bad guys-often deceptive, often going to great lengths to get pain treatments that should go to seriously ill people. So how does the DEA see a person with pain like any other sick person?

That’s where advocacy comes in. It’s our job to help them see us as victims in the drug war. And, that’s not exactly an easy task! Good patients, good doctors and even good pharmacies have been wrongly accused. And it can take thousands of dollars to prove your innocence. (In the case of patients, the degree of stress involved can also be life-threatening.)

It’s an important issue with no easy answers, but I’m glad we all worked together and got our meeting with the DEA. I think we made an impression by telling our stories and sharing our concern for other people, just like us. Obviously, a single discussion won’t change people’s hearts & minds. That’s why we never give up!

My fellow advocates are incredibly dedicated–doing all they can, fearlessly and tenaciously, for the benefit of all people with pain. I couldn’t be more proud to be a pain advocate!

The above blog entry is part of a week-long series created by WEGOHealth “Advocating for Another” Carnival 2012. You may follow my blog here, and see me on Twitter @IntractablePain. Check out other entries: #A4AMONTH.

© 2010-2012 Intractable Pain Journal & Heather Grace. All rights reserved.

September is National Pain Awareness Month–What Will YOUR Focus Be?

21 Aug

By Heather Grace, IPJ Staff Writer

As August is nearing an end, we at IPJ are wondering what people with chronic and intractable pain will be doing to acknowledge the important month ahead. To many, September is just another month. But to people with pain, it can be a very meaningful and important time of year. September is National Pain Awareness Month.

Will you celebrate this month–being thankful for your continued health? Perhaps you’ll think about how lucky you are to have adequate pain care? Or will you focus on pain advocacy, recognizing that so few people have the pain care they desperately need? Maybe you’ll write a blog, share a video about your experience with pain, or make your voice heard in the media?

Please take a few moments to discuss National Pain Awareness Month here. Share what you’re doing to take care of yourself, as well as what you’re doing to help others. We’d also love to hear your hopes/dreams for the future of pain treatment.

And to all people with pain: We wish you a happy healthy September, filled with acceptance, support and understanding.

© 2010-2012 Intractable Pain Journal & Heather Grace. All rights reserved.

The End of American Pain Foundation–A New Beginning for Pain Advocacy

10 May

The American Pain Foundation may have come to an end, but the advocacy efforts of APF’s Action Network will be reborn.

by Heather Grace, IPJ Staff Writer

While I by no means speak for the American Pain Foundation nor the Action Network Leaders, as a Leader myself, I *do* realize what a shock the loss of APF is to people with pain across America, and worldwide. (See APF notice regarding the closing, released May 9.) I think it’s important to note that in addition to the work that is being done to re-home the vast APF database of articles and information as was noted on the APF web site, the advocacy efforts will also continue.

Please know that there are very capable individuals working toward solutions that will ensure the vibrant pain community that existed on APF’s web site(s) is rebuilt. We, as Action Network Leaders are doing all we can to support the rebuilding efforts, as well as our ongoing advocacy projects. Behind the scenes since Tuesday the Action Network, APF’s grassroots advocacy team, have been discussing future plans. The volume of people who have stood up and asked “What can I do to help?” are a testament to the dedication of this wonderful group of advocates.

Even more importantly, we have continued speaking out for the rights of people with pain, and we will continue to do so in every possible medium. We have come together like never before and are determined to continue our work as advocates via Facebook, Twitter, blog/article and interview, to bring a promote a message that represents all people with pain. Each of the Leaders strongly believes that all people have the right to timely, appropriate and effective pain care.

While the loss of APF will be felt for some time, it does not change the dire situation for all people with pain in America nor the need for pain advocacy. Pain is a national health care crisis, a hidden epidemic, and the problem continues to worsen. This is why the Action Network was formed, and continues to grow. We are a dedicated network of volunteer advocates from over 35 U.S. states and Puerto Rico. We are people living with pain, caregivers and health care providers who work collaboratively with other advocates, professionals and organizations to transform pain care in America through grassroots advocacy.

Yes, this is a difficult time for everyone, but I hope all people impacted by pain will see this as an alarm being sounded. If you have the passion to make a difference—please do so. Join this fight. It’s time to stop believing someone else will do it–it’s your cause just as it is my cause. Please show your support via the Action Network California Facebook page. If you feel strongly about the pain advocacy movement, LEAVE A COMMENT ON THIS PAGE letting the Action Network know you are interested in advocacy. We need your help now more than ever!

With all the passion of an advocates heart,
Heather Grace
California Action Network Leader
http://www.facebook.com/APFCalifornia
Twitter: @IntractablePain


Heather Grace is an Intractable Pain Sufferer, Writer & Advocate. Her intractable pain went from chronic to constant due to medical neglect of a serious yet treatable spinal injury. She now lives with Central Pain Syndrome and underlying illnesses. She Co-Manages Intractable Pain Patients United, has been Technical Director/Guest Speaker at For Grace’s Annual Women in Pain Conference. She is also a California Leader for the American Pain Foundation.

Additional Resources: http://www.thepainstore.com/articles.html
http://thepainstore.blog·spot.com · http://www.ippu.info

© 2010-2012 Intractable Pain Journal & Heather Grace. All rights reserved.

Intractable Pain: Our Story—Why We Became Advocates

7 Mar

by Heather Grace, IPJ Staff Writer

Why We Fight: My Story

Imagine having a health condition that had progressed over the course of several years. First, it was a minor annoyance. You were prevented from doing fun activities after work, and certain seemingly vital chores got ignored little by little. Within six months, you became seriously concerned. Even after seeing doing all the doctor said, you weren’t better. And now, you were afraid to do more vigorous activities, like your favorite stress reliever, rollerblading miles each week. You’d already taken one serious spill because your condition was more severe than you wanted to acknowledge. Something was really wrong, and you felt it in your arms and legs. The more you worked, the worse it got. The boss was now angry that you weren’t putting in overtime anymore. The pressure was mounting, but you couldn’t pretend anymore.

You were forced to go into “the system.” Workers Comp was an added stress no one could possibly enjoy, but you did as you were told, and tried to make the best of the waiting game. Months turned into years, but your very necessary surgery was still in a holding pattern. The condition was now serious—clearly, you could not continue at your usual pace at work. You often spent your breaks in crying spells in the bathroom.

You felt hopeless. There were no answers. It felt excruciating, never-ending. More than that, it was as if entire systems of your body were failing. You couldn’t get comfortable to sleep. When you did, sometimes you only slept an hour at a time. Sometimes you just drifted in and out of consciousness, awakened so often by the feeling of a piercing hot poker slicing down your spine. Other times, you felt your heart would beat out of your chest. Whatever this was, you didn’t understand it, or have a word for it. It was pure misery. Worst of all, there was no diagnosis.

You dragged yourself to one appointment after the next, always with the same result. They all seemed to shake their heads. They didn’t know what was wrong. Sometimes, they were mean and accusatory. It often felt like they weren’t sure if anything actually was wrong… Still, you were in a spiral, unable to reclaim the person you were even a year ago. The person you were five years ago was completely unrecognizable.

You knew the job was killing you, but it almost didn’t matter. No matter what you did, it kept getting worse. Spending 16 hours trying to recover from the 8 you were at work was now not enough. From total ‘Type A’ overachiever to… THIS? Your primary doctor cautioned you, said you should go on leave. You knew it would be the end of your career, so you refused.

Soon after, the employer would force you out. By that point, all you could muster was a vexed look of betrayal and confusion. Yes, you were very concerned with how you’d keep a roof over your head, but in a lot of ways, you were relieved. This illness was all-consuming. You knew it was bad, really bad.

If they’d just listen, the doctors would get an idea of what this was and how to fix it. But, they seemed to have their minds made up before they even saw you. They just didn’t want to see that pain had taken you over and you were disappearing a little more each day. You were a young woman that used to have such promise… a good job, money in the bank, a bright future. But now everything hurt. It used to come and go. How you wished you could go back to that time… you had thought the pain was horrible then, but now you wished for that kind of pain. Just off and on, yes, that was manageable. But this? This was nearly unlivable. Unspeakable. Torturous. But none of the medical professionals wanted to hear it. As soon as you said that simple, four-letter word, they shut off: P   A   I   N.

Pain?!

No, it wasn’t that, they thought. They were neurologists, orthopedic surgeons, physical therapists, pain management doctors, even. Yet, they wouldn’t hear you. It couldn’t be pain, no, it wasn’t. You were too young. Instead, maybe you were just another one of those liars. An attention-seeker. Or worse, an addict. The appointments seemed to get shorter and shorter, and the wait to see the doctors, longer and longer. Unbearable, unspeakable, suffering. Misery. Yes, from time to time, you doubted yourself, because you didn’t really want to believe it, either. They were all so cruel, and at the same time, so certain you were wrong. But the searing pain shooting through you always reminded you of the reality of the situation… the pain–all of it–was indeed real. It was also very hard to take.

And once the doctors started doubting you, others followed. First, your employer… coworkers were whispering. You were less than impeccably dressed as time wore on, not at all yourself. You marveled that you’d made it to work at all, but still they scoffed. It was clear the boss wanted you gone. The people you counted on—your closest friends and even family—were not far behind. Doubt was a secondary sickness that seemed to infect the people around you, no matter how hard you tried to keep it together. You were extremely ill, and you were the only one who really seemed to know it. It took so much energy to leave the house now, to be around anyone who you had to be “okay” for. But you knew the truth of it all: the pain was wearing you down to nothing. You were losing this battle, and no one seemed to even offer a single answer as to what was causing it, or what could make it go away.

To Search for Normal, Or Say Goodbye

You wanted to go back to normal. Where was normal? Desperation set in. You couldn’t force yourself to clean the house. No more cooking, not for yourself and certainly not for guests. You ate less and less; barely mustering the buttons on the microwave, but nothing more. You cried all the time now. More and more of that strength you’d always had, that will to fight left your body. Not because you didn’t believe you deserved help, but because your body could only take so many years of fighting

At a certain point, you decided it was time to give up. It was too much, you were too weary, and in far too much agony to keep going. If the pain had no end, if there was no “normal” to be had and the allies had all but disappeared, it was okay to say goodbye now… Despite the person you once were, you were at peace with your decision to end your life. It had been seven long years. More than most would fight… All you really wanted was a fool-proof way to end it all. No doctor would treat you, they barely looked at you. Now, you didn’t have the strength to disagree. It was just too hard to go on fighting.

Even as you’d decided to die, something deep down inside you wanted so badly to see light at the end of the tunnel, that you told yourself, “Ok, I will see just one more doctor… But if he can’t help me, that’s it. No more.”

Maybe that doctor was in West Covina, and he had saved many people, just like you. And when you spoke to him, he asked you questions, he wanted to know what was wrong. You wept, merely because he listened, and didn’t judge you. And even though words like Morphine scared you a little, it was better to keep trying. 

And this doctor did something that made you more assured than you had been before. Instead of patronizing you by patting your hand and saying everything would be just fine, he told you the cold hard truth: That “normal” was out the window, and it was time to begin again. It was time to see where this treatment could take you, but you had to stop making yourself crazy with the idea of who you once were. It would hurt to let that “ideal you” go, but you could do it if something better than THIS awaited you…

You put your faith in this treatment, because you knew deep down, life could still be worth living. So you did exactly as the doctor said, followed all the rules, and you even started to a little feel better month after month. And month after month, you let go of the back-up plan of suicide. You decided that as hard as this road was, and would still be, you would take solace in this third option. No, it wasn’t just a choice between going back to normal or committing suicide. There was a third option, after all. You chose to rebuild.

Rebuilding: The New You

Best of all, you weren’t alone anymore. Someone wanted to help you find the pieces of the puzzle that would make you whole again. He put his heart and soul into not just his patients, but research to help everyone with constant, severe pain. Intractable, it was called. And, he had an army of dedicated patients who were so enthusiastic, it was infectious. You could actually envision a life full of meaning, even if you never worked again a day in your life. What a refreshing thought that was! So many tears over the loss of career, who you thought you were. But the inspiring people you met–what a joy it was to be around them when you’d spent so long in such a dark and scary place!

You had seen the power of giving in a person who was seriously ill… seriously ill, just like you! But she was a powerhouse of love and support to all the people with intractable pain who needed her. It made you want to work on yourself, to get to that point… to be of help to others, like she was. Because for the first time, you could envision doing something that made a real difference, even in a small way, when and how you were able. Why? Because helping people didn’t have to be a full-time job… you just had to give of yourself how and when you could. It was both inspiring and exciting!

Soon, you’d gotten back enough of your old self to remember who you used to be. And you knew that you would soon take up this cause, too. Heck, you had no choice. The fact that you stepped back from the ledge was a true miracle. You wanted more than anything for others who were nearing the ledge to get their miracles, too. The more people you could save from going over the edge, the better. You wanted to help them see there were options, even for people with severe constant pain. You didn’t want them to actually end it, like you almost had.

You could be useful, help save lives. You could be the support system for someone else when they thought there was nothing and no one left. Maybe they would find more reasons to step back from the ledge than you first had… Because, in all honesty, you still aren’t sure why that voice inside you said, “Stop, wait, not now, not yet,” when you got to that point. You truly had no one there to stop you, but yourself.

Yes, you would help people who were nearing the ledge, and even those who stood upon it. You would save as many people as you could. Dealing with intractable pain was a war within the body, and often it took someone who had been there to help you find a way out. And, maybe through telling your story, you could even prevent people from getting to the edge in the first place! Maybe by letting people know that chronic pain could lead to intractable pain was a strong enough message to help people get early treatment, and save them from living the rest of their lives in pain.

An Advocate’s Heart

The more you fought for people with pain, the more you realized what a serious struggle this would be. There was no easy road, especially when it came to intractable pain. People with IP had to work harder, doing more to keep their health where it needed to be. They had to find a pharmacist they could count on… someone who wouldn’t judge them, or insist that high dose opioids would kill them. Or worse, report them to the DEA for suspected abuse, merely because they didn’t understand intractable pain. They had to educate themselves on all of the other things that would help them live better lives. It was vital to get in the game, 100% and never stop learning about this illness.

You lived with hope, and a lot of it. But, you also lived with the fear that any little problem could bring an end to the life you’d fought so hard to win back. You supported others, and tried to build them up, too. And when you found someone who understood, you treasured them—they were family. A piece of your heart was healed because of the support they gave you. And you hoped you did the same for them. People who understood helped each other to carry on when the pain was bad. They checked in on you, like no one else knew to do. They were there to help when something went wrong that you had no control over. Together you were stronger, more prepared to fight for each other, and for this important cause.

You never envisioned having to do so much to keep yourself alive, but you did it gladly. You tried to be good to yourself, preventing any stress that could cause you undo suffering. You picked your battles more carefully, knowing that so many small things didn’t matter at all anymore. You appreciated life in a new way—and you found happiness wherever you could. Simple things were beautiful, amazing, inspiring. They were to be treasured. Most importantly of all, you told as many people as possible about your experience, hoping that one day, the world would understand.

And if, by some horrible chance you were caught up in ‘the war on drugs’ because of your treatment, you would be honest, and explain your plight the best you could, and hope for the best possible outcome. You would do what you had to do, in order to survive, knowing that the law supported you, even if most people didn’t understand. Yes, your intractable pain meant a regimen of prescription medication, along with many nonprescription treatments including protein, vitamins and supplements. You knew you were doing the right thing, and that mattered. Not just for yourself, but for everyone else with intractable pain that needed support, that needed to rebuild.

You would show them the reality of a life of pain ‘til your dying breath. You would share, help, guide, educate. You would bring cheer. You would listen. You had an advocate’s heart, and vowed to never stop trying to change people’s minds.


Heather Grace is an Intractable Pain Sufferer, Writer & Advocate. Her intractable pain went from chronic to constant due to medical neglect of a serious yet treatable spinal injury. She now lives with Central Pain Syndrome and underlying illnesses. She Co-Manages Intractable Pain Patients United, has been Technical Director/Guest Speaker at For Grace’s Annual Women in Pain Conference. She is also a California Leader for the American Pain Foundation.

Additional Resources: http://www.thepainstore.com/articles.html  http://thepainstore.blog·spot.com · http://www.ippu.info

© 2010-2012 Intractable Pain Journal & Heather Grace. All rights reserved.

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