Mental toolkit for overwhelming times

As I’ve said before, much of brain-retraining has to do with speaking to the primitive parts of the brain in ways it can’t ignore. Being overwhelmed is very common these days. So, this tool is helpful for far more than just  my fellow painiacs. I originally laid this out for … Continue reading

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When I lose everything but me

This is one of several blog posts I drafted late last year and got distracted from. This isn’t the duckiest or most amusing one to read, but it’s so important for so many that I’m posting it anyway. (My mother will probably want to give this one a miss.) This level … Continue reading

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“Best Christmas in years”

J’s experience of the holiday of loving and giving was one of manipulating and threatening for a long time. He doesn’t say that, of course; it takes detective work to glean the data from the clues he drops. He doesn’t reflect on the past, but it does tend to cast … Continue reading

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My guts are gallivanting

The past few weeks have been… interesting. I seem to have gastroparesis, because after every bite or two of food, I felt like I’d swallowed a cannonball, I’d still taste it up to five hours later, and even the thought of food made me nauseous. At the same time, I … Continue reading

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International group post: Love is portable

The point is this: love is portable. Real, solid love can handle time and distance. I’ve been saying that for a very long time. I didn’t know, however, that even the formation of love can cover distance. It can cross the globe. I grew up overseas. Since there wasn’t always … Continue reading

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There’s always an afterwards

When I was a nurse, I could see when death was creeping up on someone. I saw gray fluttering around the person’s edges, especially around the head and upper body. As they recovered, the fluttering grew narrower and disappeared; as they lost ground, it grew wider, sometimes growing too wide … Continue reading

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The Red Pen Technique (dramatic music, please)

This is probably the simplest, most powerful tool for getting your complex care back into the realm of sanity. It’s easier said than done, but it’s worth it. More valuable than words can say. It’s a fairly simple 3-step process:  Get copies of your medical records.  Prepare: understand the records, get … Continue reading

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Is losing our minds to “pain brain” optional?

64% of CRPSers experience significant cognitive decline. Speaking as a member of that majority, I think that sucks. Most people with chronic pain find that they experience the following: – Confusion: it’s harder to keep track of things like we used to. – Forgetfulness: forget the car keys? We’re capable … Continue reading

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Imaginative experience and rebuilding the brain

In 1986, the course of neurologic treatment changed forever when Mark Block, one severely spine-injured young man, chose “imp-possible” over “impossible” and, every day, spent hours imagining how it would be to walk again, imagining his “wires” getting hooked back up again, riding a wave of inner certainty that can … Continue reading

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