Thursday, September 29, 2011

National Pain Awareness Month

This year's National Pain Awareness Month is coming to an end, and yet I'm continually reminded that my pain is not.

It pains me to know that there are so many people in chronic pain; and that they, too, often feel misunderstood. It can be difficult for others to comprehend / believe that anyone could really hurt so much all the time, which is the reality for those that live with a chronic illness. Regardless of the intensity of the pain, when it's unrelenting, it reduces a person's ability to function (concentrate, perform day-to-day tasks, work, socialize, exercise, sleep); and it can lead to depression, isolation, and loss of self-esteem.

While it can be very difficult for others to imagine what it must be like to live with constant pain, it's important for friends and family members of someone in chronic pain to be understanding, and to show support and encouragement. Listen without judgment, and let them know you care. Just because someone with a chronic illness is doing something that seems "normal" doesn't mean that they are suddenly better / cured... it's not all or nothing. It's extremely painful to have loved ones question the validity of your pain or accuse you of being lazy or just wanting drugs / pain meds... sometimes more painful than the physical pain itself.

The caregivers of those in chronic pain also face misunderstanding, isolation, and frustration. I'm so grateful that my husband has taken such a difficult situation and helped make it something to bring us closer together. He takes care of me, cheers me on, etc... all without making me feel guilty for my illness changing the trajectory of his life. He is such a blessing!

My hope is that EVERYONE will try to be more compassionate and understanding with each other. One of the groups of people that desperately needs this is the chronic pain community.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

NHF Regional Conference - Part IV

Dr. Tim Clark

Dr. Tim Clark is the program director for interdisciplinary services for the Baylor Center for Pain Management in Dallas.

Migraine is a Chronic Disease
  • Examples of other chronic diseases: diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, fibromyalgia, arthritis, asthma
  • It's there even when you're not having a headache

Knowledge is power
  • What you think (your perception) matters
  • Identify, manage, avoid triggers
  • Take medications as directed
  • Talk with your doctor (it's important to establish empathy and trust between patient and healthcare provider)

- Being exposed to more at one time makes you more vulnerable for a "perfect storm" / migraine attack

Pain is the 5th vital sign
  • There's no way to objectively measure pain
  • You have to record it and communicate it with your doctor

Ways to Improve Chances for Successful Headache Management:
  • Diaries
  • Managing pain is the primary goal
  • Discuss goals/expectations with doctor
  • Find support
  • Doing several positive things at a time often leads to greater effects
  • 3 P's of long-term success -
    • Persistence
    • Patience
    • Positive attitude

Physical Therapies
  • Acupuncture
    • Have to give it a fair chance - 2 x's per week for 10 sessions, 1 week off, then 10 more sessions (sessions ~30 minutes each)
  • Exercise
  • Massage
  • Chiropractic

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapies
  • Biofeedback
  • Training body in relaxation techniques (must practice regularly)

Relaxation Therapies
  • Progressive muscle relaxation
  • Autogenics
  • Meditation or passive relaxation
  • Hypnosis
  • Abdominal breathing
  • Mindfulness meditation

Treat Comorbidities
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Sleep disorders
  • Chronic dysfunctional coping skills
  • etc...

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

NHF Regional Conference - Part III

Dr. Steven Linder

Dr. Linder has a private practice in Dallas, TX, where he treats children and adolescents with migraine. He discussed neurostimulators (occipital and supra-orbital nerves) in adolescents. He was very knowledgeable, and answered audience questions.

Dr. John Claude Krusz

Dr. Krusz has a private practice in North Texas (Anodyne Headache and PainCare), where he treats pain, headache disorders, sleep, mood and neuropsychiatry/neurobehavioral disorders. He spoke primarily about treatment options for migraine.

* The goal of medication is to improve function *

Acute Medication Treatment:
  • Not more than 2 days per week
  • Treat early (don't wait until severe)
  • Use adequate dose, combine meds
  • Keep headache diary
  • Goal is to get you back to 'normal' within 2-4 hours
  • Can repeat meds, if not getting relief
  • Go to sleep (sometimes, no matter what you do, some headaches get out of control)
  • Some examples:
    • NSAIDs - Aspirin, Ibuprofin, Naproxen, Diclofenac, Indocin
    • Anti-Nausea - Reglan, Compazine, Zofran, Phenergan
    • Others - Excedrin, Tramadol
    • Triptans - Amerge, Axert, Frova, Imitrex, Maxalt, Relpax, Zomig
    • Ergots - DHE, Migranal, Ergotamine

Rescue Medication Treatment (when acute treatments don't work):
  • Sedatives - get to sleep
  • IV or IM injections (often requires office or ER visit)
  • Avoid narcotic pain meds
  • Examples: Corticosteroids, Depacon, Magnesium, Toradol

Medication Overuse Headache:
  • Rebound (use acute/rescue meds too often)
  • Acute meds become less effective
  • Headache frequency increases, eventually becoming daily
  • Narcotics (opioids)/barbituates - high rebound
  • No preventative works well

Preventive Therapy:
  • Control other medical problems
  • Diet
  • Exercise
  • Sleep
  • Medication
    • Anti-depressants (SNRIs)
    • Anti-hypertensives
    • Anti-epilepsy (neurostabilizers)
    • Anti-inflammatory
    • Muscle relaxants
    • Sleep aids

  • 5-HTP
  • Magnesium
  • Riboflavin (Vitamin B-2)
  • CoQ-10
  • Butterbur
  • Feverfew

Monday, September 19, 2011

NHF Regional Conference - Part II

Migraine Triggers
Dr. Frederick Freitag

Dr. Freitag recently stepped down as co-director of the Diamond Headache Clinic in Chicago, IL. His new position is at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, TX. He is very active in headache initiatives (including clinical research, lecturing, etc...).

Migraine Facts:
  • 1 in 4 households has a migraine sufferer
  • Migraine affects women more than men (3:1)
  • ~30 million people in the U.S. have migraine
  • 12-18% of the population have migraine (more than asthma and diabetes combined)
  • If one parent has migraine, his/her child has ~50% chance of also having migraine
  • 75% of migraine sufferers have neck pain/tenderness

Migraine is...
  • Genetic - brain programmed to be sensitive
  • Hyperexcitability / hypersensitivity of the brain
  • Neurologic process
  • Whole-body disorder
  • Chronic systemic disease
  • Attacks vary (between migraineurs and migraine attacks)
  • May be progressive
  • SULTANS --
    • (moderate to) Severe pain
    • Uni-Lateral
    • Throbbing
    • Aggravated by activity
    • Nausea or vomiting
    • Sensitivity to light and sound (environmental)

Premonitory Phase (can include any combination of the following symptoms):
  • Fatigue
  • Thirst
  • Yawning
  • Dizziness
  • Increased energy
  • Food cravings
  • Frequent urination
  • Poor concentration
  • Hypersensitivity to sound
  • Neck pain/tightness
  • Blurred vision
  • Irritability/emotional

Aura - builds gradually 5-60 minutes (usually visual)

Prodrome Phase ("Migraine Hangover") can include any combination of the symptoms from the Premonitory Phase

Comorbidities (more prevalent in people with migraines than the normal population):
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Bipolar
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Panic
  • Sleep disorders
  • Heart disease
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Stroke
  • Obesity
  • Migral valve prolapse
  • Back/neck pain
  • Patent foramen ovale (PFO)

Risk Factors (Triggers):
  • Stress (or let down)
  • Hormonal changes
  • Diet (skipping meals; specific foods)
  • Sleep disruptions
  • Weather
  • Head trauma

Food Triggers (not an exhaustive list):
  • Additives - aspartame, MSG
  • Vasoactive amines - aged cheddar, fava beans, soy products, left overs, lunch meats
  • Other foods - long list of possible food triggers
  • Alcohol - red wine, other wines/beers
  • Caffeine

Protective Factors:
  • Eat regular meals
  • Standardized sleep pattern
  • Exercise
  • Stress management (biofeedback, recreation/have fun, massage)
  • Post-menopause

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Just Keep Swimming...

Patients For A Moment (PFAM) is a patient-centered blog carnival to build connections within the community of people who blog about illness, disease, and disability. Brittney, at The Road I'm On, is hosting the next edition of the PFAM blog carnival:  "What do you do when something you thought you conquered comes back? How do you deal with the change, accept that what you thought was gone for good isn't, and get back to the positive side of life?"

This topic couldn't have come at a better time because I'm currently dealing with this in my life.

I know that I'm going to struggle, at least to some extent, with my illness for the rest of my life (I'm not sure I've fully accepted and embraced this, but I know it). I'm hoping to be able to get things under as much control as possible, so that I can live as close to a 'normal' life as possible.

Now, I can't say that my life was in any way 'normal.' But, I felt like I was on the right track. My husband and I had moved back to Texas (near our families... and doctors). I was starting to be able to do a little bit more around the apartment, and spend a bit more time with my family (though still definitely much less than 'normal'). And, then, everything tumbled down...

Things have been really rough for me over the last few weeks. It's been a pretty big set-back, but I'm really trying to just remember that things will get better. I've kinda gotten used to the 'one step forward, two steps backward' process that tends to be prevalent in chronic illness. It's difficult, but I have to be very deliberate in my thinking, in order to remind myself that things will get better.

I think that part of the challenge is that a false sense of stability forms, when someone that is chronically ill experiences even a short amount of time functioning at a higher level (even if it's only minimally higher). Having even the smallest taste of 'normal' can trick your mind into thinking that things have changed permanently. But, having a chronic illness doesn't work like that. There will continually be ups and downs. You just have to learn to cherish and savor the ups, and trudge through and survive the downs. Much easier said than done... but it's an important thing to work towards. So, when life gets you down...  just keep swimming...
by midnightheartache

NHF Regional Conference - Part I

"The National Headache Foundation (NHF) exists to enhance the healthcare of headache sufferers. It is a source of help to sufferers' families, physicians who treat headache sufferers, allied healthcare professionals and to the public. The NHF accomplishes its mission by providing educational and informational resources, supporting headache research and advocating for the understanding of headache as a legitimate neurobiological disease" (NHF Mission Statement)

"The National Headache Foundation will be the premier educational and informational resource for headache sufferers, their families, physicians, allied healthcare professionals and health policy decision makers. The NHF will advocate for the headache sufferers. The organization will employ the most effective means to disseminate information and knowledge to headache sufferers and non-sufferers" (NHF Vision Statement)

My husband and I attended the NHF Regional Conference, Bridging the Gap Between Patient & Clinician, yesterday in Dallas, TX. So, I'd like to pass along some of the things we learned at the conference.

Serene Branson was the keynote speaker. She shared about her on-air migraine attack that happened in February. She has partnered with the NHF to help educate others about migraine.

There were several doctors there that spoke about related topics. Please join me over the next few days, as I share some of what each of them covered (it may not be new information, but it's always good to refresh and return to the basics).

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

30 Things About My Invisible Illness You May Not Know

Last year, I wrote about 30 Things About My Invisible Illness You May Not Know. I'm completing it again this year, for Invisible Illness Week. Some of my answers are the same or similar. But, I think it can be good to review how you've answered these questions in the past, so you can see where you were and how far you've come.

1. The illness I live with is: Chronic post-traumatic headache/migraine (intractable, with aura)
2. I was diagnosed with it in the year: 2008 - after a car accident
3. But I had symptoms since: some headaches throughout teenage years
4. The biggest adjustment I've had to make is: not always being able to take care of myself / depending on other people so much. And, giving up my perfectionist tendencies and accept "good enough" because that's all I am often able to do.
5. Most people assume: that nothing is wrong with me / that I'm fine
6. The hardest part about mornings are: getting up, not knowing how much pain the day will bring
7. My favorite medical TV show is: House, CSI (Miami, New York)
8. A gadget I couldn’t live without is: my computer, and cell phone (especially my calendar)
9. The hardest part about nights are: getting to and staying asleep. I often wake up because of the pain
10. Each day I take __ pills & vitamins: I plead the fifth
11. Regarding alternative treatments I have tried: massage, physical therapy, chiropractic
12. If I had to choose between an invisible illness or visible I would choose: I'm not sure. At least with an invisible illness, I don't always have people looking at me strangely or asking me what's wrong/what happened.
13. Regarding working and career: I have been unable to work since the accident in 2008. I tried to return to graduate school for a year, but ended up taking a leave of absence and then made the difficult decision not to return.
14. People would be surprised to know: I am in pain (often severe) every single day
15. The hardest thing to accept about my new reality has been: that I have changed and that I have limitations - I can't "do it all" anymore.
16. Something I never thought I could do with my illness that I did was: plan the wedding of my dreams
17. The commercials about my illness: are very misleading as to what migraine really is and how debilitating it can be.
18. Something I really miss doing since I was diagnosed is: This could be a very long list... I miss being able to live life without having to really think about the consequences of everything I eat, do, etc...
19. It was really hard to have to give up: who I was before the accident... I still haven't completely let go of that yet
20. A new hobby I have taken up since my diagnosis is: blogging
21. If I could have one day of feeling normal again I would: have no idea what to do with myself (assuming "normal" is feeling "good," not what my "normal" has become)! I don't even know what life without pain is anymore.
22. My illness has taught me: to recognize the strength that I DO have. It is teaching me to TRUST God more... but it is definitely a process.
23. Want to know a secret? One thing people say that gets under my skin is: Migraines are just bad headaches; take some pills and keep going / move on, it can't be that bad
24. But I love it when people: Show that they care. Even just little things like: being aware of how bright a room is, asking if the TV/radio is too loud, rubbing my neck/shoulders/head, treating me like a person rather than the disease/illness, being considerate at a restaurant by allowing me to sit facing away from windows (so the glare shining off of cars doesn't worsen my pain)
25. My favorite motto, scripture, quote that gets me through tough times is:
  • "Be still, and know that I am God" (Psalm 46:10)
  • "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything" (James 1:2-4)
  • "You will seek me and find me when you seek me with your whole heart" (Jeremiah 29:13)
  • "Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight" (Proverbs 3:5-6)
26. When someone is diagnosed I'd like to tell them: keep yourself informed - research things online, ask your doctor questions, do your best to understand and articulate your disease/illness. Don't feel like you're alone - join blogging, church, or other support group(s) to help you through the difficult times that you will go through.
27. Something that has surprised me about living with an illness is: how strong I can be, and how many people misunderstand invisible illnesses so much that even their well-intentioned words and actions can be hurtful. Also, how much so many of us take for granted the freedom of just doing/being. Before my accident, I could choose what to do, without having to seriously consider each little thing as being a potential source of increased pain. Now, everything I do has to be a conscious decision to use my energy for that specific thing (even basic things, like taking a shower).
28. The nicest thing someone did for me when I wasn't feeling well was: take care of me... When I have a bad migraine, my husband does everything he can to take care of me (feeds me, makes sure I take my medicine, massage my head/neck/shoulders/back/feet, make sure I'm in a dark room and am as comfortable as I can be, and anything else that I need).
29. I’m involved with Invisible Illness Week because: I feel that we need to speak out and get more awareness and understanding out into the public view about invisible illnesses - they are real and often difficult to bear.
30. The fact that you read this list make me feel: heard/validated, and hopefully a bit better understood. It gives me hope that invisible illnesses can be better understood, if only people will listen.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Hottest Summer

Okay, so I know I'm kinda a freak... but I'm so excited that we officially set a new record for most number of triple-digit heat days in a year (today marked day 70, and we're supposed to make it near 100 degrees tomorrow, so we could add another day for the year - the record was 69 days, set back in 1980). We missed the record for the number of consecutive triple-digit heat days by only two days. Today, we also shattered the high temperature that was set back in 1965 (100 degrees) - we reached 107 degrees (which is also the record for the hottest temperature post-Labor Day).

Let me be clear. I don't love the horrendous heat-wave that's battered Texas this year. BUT, if we're going to suffer through such a hot summer and be so close to breaking record(s), then we might as well go all out! Luckily, relief from the heat is in the near future. We're supposed to get a cool front Thursday, which will drop our highs into the 80s. I'm definitely ready for some cooler weather (but I'm glad that we broke some records)! I'm a bit concerned, though because the relief from the heat includes chances of storms. We desperately need rain (and an end to this drought), but storms are rough on my migraines. I'm bracing for a bumpy ride.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Invisible Illness Week

This week is Invisible Illness Week. The these this year is "Deep Breath, Start Fresh."

I participated last year with a post titled, 30 Things About My Invisible Illness That You May Not Know.

I hope to feel more up to writing in the next few days. Until then, feel free to check out the Invisible Illness Week website.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Building Resiliency

The theme for the September 2011 Headache & Migraine Disease Blog Carnival is: "Building Resiliency: How do you bounce back when life kicks you in the chin? What can you share with fellow migraine & headache patients about how to build their coping skills to better handle unexpected, tough situations?"

Like the willow tree, people thrive if they have a strong, healthy root system.  A healthy body, sound mind, and a solid support system provide resiliency to weather storms and remain strong.
Resiliency refers to one's ability to quickly recover (or "bounce back") from change or misfortune. I believe that it involves the ability to learn from life's lessons, allowing you to cope with (and grow from) your encounters with adversity. This means viewing troubles as being comprised of both risk and opportunity.

I first read the call for submissions for this blog carnival before I got hit with a horrible streak of painful days (that still hasn't dissipated - so, please forgive me, if this post seems choppy or incomprehensible). That being said, it's a good idea to keep a written account of some coping skills that you've used in the past (or that have been recommended to you by others) because it can be hard to remember these coping skills, in the middle of tough situations.

Try not to freak-out:  First, I try to keep myself from freaking out. I live my life day-in and day-out with the ever-present possibility of a full-on pain flare-up. So, when the pain worsens, you never know how bad it's going to be... this time (even when pain is less severe, there's the fear of the next time the pain will flare).

Be mindful:  I always have to be very mindful of what I do, but especially when times are tough. I have to take even more special care to do even the most essential activities (such as eat and sleep) well. If I don't take care of these basic needs, it'll only worsen the tough situation I'm facing.

Be patient:  I have to try to be patient, especially with myself. I'm absolutely horrible at this! I don't like having to take breaks, and I haven't reached a point that I've completely accepted the limitations that I have (though I have gotten better with these). It's hard to tolerate and accept myself the way I am now, especially on those pain-crazed days. But, it's important to at least try to be patient and tolerant with yourself, and with others.

Reach out:  Reach out to others for support. This can be a very difficult step for me. When I'm in the midst of a horrible bout of pain, it can be extremely hard to see anything beyond the pain. Just as it's difficult to reach out when depression hits, it can be hard to reach out in the midst of pain (especially chronic pain). My resources to reach out to include: family, online support group, friends, or even a professional.

Keep the faith:  Through everything, I try to hold on to my faith, and find hope in the promises our Lord has given us. I try to focus more of my attention to prayer... it may be difficult sometimes, but it helps me cope. I have many songs and Scripture verses that help me through difficult times and remind me that I'm never alone, even in the toughest of times.

"Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him" ~ James 1:12

Monday, September 5, 2011

Migraine Awareness Week

Each year, the Migraine Trust promotes Migraine Awareness Week to raise awareness of migraine as a serious health issue. Below are just some quick facts about migraine disease.
  • Migraine is a genetic neurological disease, characterized by episodes often called Migraine attacks (, 2010)
  • Among adults of all ages, migraine is one of the top 20 causes of disability expressed as years of healthy life lost to disability (The World Health Report 2001, WHO)
  • Severe migraine attacks are classified by the World Health Organisation as among the most disabling illnesses, comparable to dementia, quadriplegia and active psychosis (Shapiro & Goadsby, Cephalalgia, September 2007)
  • There are about 100 million people with headaches in the U.S.; about 37 million of these people have migraines. The World Health Organization suggests that 18 percent of women and 7 percent of men in the U.S. suffer from migraines (, 2010)
  • Migraine is the least publicly funded of all neurological illnesses relative to its economic impact (Shapiro & Goadsby, Cephalalgia, September 2007)
  • Many people experience migraines lasting for at least four hours or may last for days. The range of time someone is affected by an attack is actually longer than the migraine itself, as there is a pre-monitory, or build-up phase, and a post-drome that can last one to two days (, 2010)
  • Depression is three times more common in people with migraine or severe headaches than in healthy individuals (WHO, Factsheet 277, March 2004)
  • There are a large number of migraine symptoms, the most common are (American Migraine Study II of almost 4,000 migraine sufferers in 1999):
              Throbbing, pulsating pain — 85 percent
              Light sensitivity — 80 percent
              Sound sensitivity — 76 percent
              Nausea — 73 percent
              Pain on one side — 59 percent
              Vision changes, blurred vision — 44 percent
              Aura — 36 percent
              Vomiting — 29 percent
    Other symptoms include:
              Sensitivity to smell
              Stiff neck
              Dizziness or dizzy spells
              Cloudy vision or other vision changes
  • Migraine remains undiagnosed and undertreated in at least 50% of patients, and less than 50% of migraine patients consult a physician (Pavone, Banfi, Vaiani & Panconesi, Cephalalgia, September 2007)

National Suicide Prevention Week

This week (September 4-10) is the 37th Annual National Suicide Prevention Week. This coincides with Pain Awareness Month.

In honor of these, Kelly at Fly With Hope is sharing a series that she started with a post titled, Migraine and Suicide. There will be a new post each day this week that includes her own thoughts and stories, as well as contributions from others in the chronic Migraine and chronic pain community. The topics include:  how to cope when you are close to the end of your rope, personal stories from those who have been there (Greater AppreciationWhen Living Seems Too Hard, and I Want to Live! But I Don't Feel Like I Am!), prevention, on suicide and faith (and a personal experience, Perspective Determines the View), a post especially for loved ones (family, friends, caregivers), and links to other blogs/articles on Migraine and suicide. Her goal is to decrease the stigma attached to the discussion of suicide, so that we can better support one another.

If you, or someone you know, is in suicidal crisis or emotional distress, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Saturday, September 3, 2011

My Playlist: Songs of Hope

Patients For A Moment (PFAM) is a patient-centered blog carnival to build connections within the community of people who blog about illness, disease, and disability. Phylor, at Phylor's Blog, is hosting the September edition of the PFAM blog carnival. This month, Phylor is calling for a personal playlist (for songs that inspire, elevate mood, give a shot of energy, etc...).

Music has always played an important role in my life. Sometimes it's the beat of the music that appeals to me... sometimes it's the lyrics that I relate with... and sometimes the combination is incredibly moving. I used to make CDs to listen to, while I warmed up for cross-country and/or track races. They'd get me pumped up, and they gave me something to play in my head during the race. Now, music tends to play more of a comforting role in my life.

I have many different types of music that I like to listen to, depending on my mood and what's going on in my life. Some of the songs that have moved me can be found on my other blog, Unfolding the Rosebud (some of the ones listed on that blog are also found below).

My faith is where I find my strength to keep going, so my most inspiring songs reflect that. I hope the artists and songs below will bless you.

Falling Inside the Black by Skillet
I must say that I enjoy listening to music by Skillet. Sometimes the songs just say what I can't say myself. Whenever I'm fighting feelings of depression and/or feeling separated from God, there's a specific song that helps me express that I'm just trying to hold on.
Falling in the black / Slipping through the cracks / Falling to the depths can I ever go back / Dreaming of the way it used to be / Can you hear me

Stronger by Mandisa
This song is such a strong reminder that God loves me unconditionally and will never forsake me. He knows the hurt I feel, and He will help me through even the most difficult of times.
'Cause if He started this work in your life / He will be faithful to complete it / If only you believe it / He knows how much it hurts / And I'm sure that He's gonna help you get through this

Before the Morning by Josh Wilson
This song fills me with hope. I truly believe that the Lord has something great planned for my life. I cannot see what it is, but I must place my trust in Him and continue to move forward in my life.
Would dare you, would you dare, to believe, / That you still have a reason to sing, / 'Cause the pain you've been feeling, / Can't compare to the joy that's coming / So hold on, you got to wait for the light / Press on, just fight the good fight / Because the pain you've been feeling, / It's just the dark before the morning

No Matter What by Kerrie Roberts
This is one of the most moving songs I've ever heard. It's difficult to keep your faith in the Lord, especially when you're in pain ALL the time. But, God loves us no matter what. We need to trust and love God unconditionally, as well... no matter what.
No matter what, I’m gonna love You, / No matter what I’m gonna need You, / I know You can find a way to keep me from the pain / But if not, I’ll trust you, / No matter what, no matter what.

Angel By Your Side by Francesca Battistelli
This song reminds me that I am blessed to have a few people in my life that I know feel the words of this song deep in their heart. I'm so grateful for each of these people.
I can't say that everything's ok, / 'Cause I can see the tears you're crying / And I can't promise to take the pain away / But you can know I won't stop trying.

What You Are by Jewel
This song is a reminder that we are enough. What we are is beautiful, good, strong, and bright enough. It's important to try to remember this, in the midst of pain and lowered self-esteem.
We already are what we are / And what we are is beautiful / And good enough / And strong enough / And bright enough

Blessings by Laura Story
This song is an absolutely beautiful reminder of God's amazing love for us. When times are difficult, it's human nature to wonder "why?" and try to make sense of it. Asking "why?" doesn't mean that I don't trust Him, or that I love Him any less in the difficult times of life. Through my doubt, my faith is seeking understanding - it's not weakening, it's trying to grow stronger.

God knows what we need before we ask Him (Matthew 6:8). Especially in the midst of trials, though, it's difficult to consider that they're "mercies in disguise." But, God places the trials and obstacles that we need in our paths, so that we can grow and become the people He calls us to be. Sometimes He may overwhelm us with trials, so that we realize that we cannot do it all on our own, but must lean into His grace. It may be of some comfort to know that it's in the moments you feel weak and vulnerable that you're most ready to receive God's wisdom, peace, understanding, and strength
'Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops / What if Your healing comes through tears / What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near / What if my greatest disappointments / Or the aching of this life / Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can't satisfy / What if trials of this life / The rain, the storms, the hardest nights / Are your mercies in disguise

Strong Enough by Matthew West
This song is a reminder that even though I'm not strong enough on my own, that I have a loving God that is strong enough for both of us.
I know I'm not strong enough to be / Everything that I'm supposed to be / I give up / I'm not strong enough / Hands of mercy won't you cover me / Lord right now I'm asking you to be / Strong enough / Strong enough / For the both of us

Bring the Rain by Mercy Me
This song expresses my soul's desire to praise my Lord with my life. I try to give God the glory, regardless of the situation I find myself in.
Bring me joy, bring me peace / Bring the chance to be free / Bring me anything that brings You glory / And I know there'll be days / When this life brings me pain / But if that's what it takes to praise You / Jesus, bring the rain

What Faith Can Do by Kutless
This song has helped me through many difficult times, especially since the car accident. It is such a moving song.
Don’t you give up now / The sun will soon be shining / You gotta face the clouds / To find the silver lining

There Will Be A Day by Jeremy Camp
Jeremy Camp is my favorite musical artist. His music always speaks to my heart and soothes my soul. This song has really helped me through some of the toughest times. It's a reminder of the promise that our Lord has given us.
There will be a day with no more tears, / No more pain, and no more fears / There will be a day when the burdens of this place, / Will be no more, we’ll see Jesus face to face / But until that day, we’ll hold on to you always

Praise You In This Storm by Casting Crowns
This song further expresses my soul's desire to praise the Lord with my life. I know that He will never forsake me, so I know that I can handle whatever comes my way... as long as I continue to trust in the Lord.
And I will praise you in this storm / And I will lift my hands / For You are who You are no matter where I am / And every tear I've cried You hold in your hand / You never left my side and though my heart is torn / I will praise You in this storm 

Palladio by Escala
This song doesn't have any words, but I just love Escala's music!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

September is Pain Awareness Month

September is Pain Awareness Month – part of the Decade of Pain Research and Treatment established by Congress, which took effect in January 2001.

"Imagine a world where people with pain are believed. Imagine a world where people with pain are heard and shown respect and dignity. Imagine a world where pain is as important to manage or treat as any other disease. Imagine a World with Less Pain.

Imagine the possibilities — now is the time to rally together and speak out for the rights of the more than 116 million Americans who live with pain!  You can help APF make a difference today. 
Speak out and tell President Obama what YOUR World with Less Pain would be like. Your submission will be used to secure a first-ever presidential proclamation, officially naming September National Pain Awareness Month." (American Pain Foundation)

Here are some ways that you can help build awareness: 
  1. Add your Voice! 
  1. Spread the word.
    • Visit the “If I Lived in a World with Less Pain, I Could…” campaign event on Facebook and RSVP that you are attending.
    • Share the Facebook event on your wall during September and encourage others to support a presidential proclamation by participating in this campaign.
    • Ask your friends, family members, neighbors, colleagues, and health care providers to "Like" and RSVP to APF’s Facebook event and submit a response to the “If I Lived in a Word with Less Pain, I Could…” campaign.
    • Change your Facebook profile image to the “If I Lived in a World with Less Pain” image.
    • Spread the word on Twitter.
Our collective voice will make a difference!
 Together we CAN make a difference!
Disclaimer: Nothing on this blog is intended as medical or legal advice.

What I write on this site is my own, and if it is someone else's, I take special care to attribute it to the original author. So, please don't use any of my material without proper attribution or permission. Thanks.