The challenging patient…

My pain didn’t go away as expected. Not as I expected. Not as any of the dozen plus clinicians who treated me expected. Not as the worker’s compensation claims adjusters expected. I was labeled a challenging patient, a “difficult” patient, and punted down the line to the next care provider, the next treatment. The next failure. It was I who

It’s words that I remember ~ language matters

I’m writing about language…again! It’s because this year I have had the great honor to speak at a number of conferences, and it’s come up every time. One of the most important talks I’ve ever given was at the Paincloud Convention. It was the most vulnerable I’ve ever been on stage, probably the most vulnerable I’d ever been in public period (including

Musings on the 2016 SDPain Summit (part 2)

This is part 2 of my initial musings on the 2nd annual San Diego Pain Summit, it has to be two parts because there was so much good stuff it was way too much to include in one post. Here’s Part 1 if you missed it which went over stress, motivational interviewing, acceptance, creativity, and being human. Awesome, right? On to


Labels, narratives, identity, and chronic pain

I have been thinking about the language we use with ourselves lately, particularly our self-talk and our labels. I’ve been thinking a lot about the words chronic, pain, and patient in particular. How does continually using, or hearing, these words reinforce our pain? Does being identified as a ‘chronic pain patient’ become an integral part of our identity that then makes it more difficult to change our