At the risk of being hyperbolic about a site called Hyperbole and a Half, this is the most important thing on the internet for individuals with chronic pain. Nope, not the Wikipedia page for your illness, or the website you can use to make doctor’s appointments, but this: A Better Pain Scale. I would have already had this printed on a t-shirt to wear to medical appointments if that wouldn’t require me pointing at my boobs when confronted with the “where are we today” question.
A realistic and practical (while simultaneously depressing) account of the financial impact of degenerative illness, and one family’s measures to deal with it. While the government support and likely the legal issues vary between the US and Australia, it still raises some useful things to think about when preparing for probable long-term disability and unemployment.
An interesting look at the history of pain management in the medical field. Happy 60th anniversary, pain specialisation! The article touches on the mechanisms by which chronic pain perpetuates and is distinct from acute pain. It also relates research findings that for individuals with chronic pain or illness, “blogging relieved personal isolation while providing a renewed sense of purpose”. Win!
Further information regarding the research mentioned above. I had a project involving use of health blogging as a support for those with chronic illness in mind for a potential Masters project, so I’m excited to see research being done in this area. I think online services are uniquely appropriate and important for individuals with illness, pain, and mobility, who may otherwise be isolated and unable to attend pain management or support services. Also, I really wish I was in the US and could do the Tufts School of Medicine Masters degree in Pain Research Education and Policy. It sounds amazing! Hopefully more universities will begin to offer pain management-related courses in the health professions.
A video on Ronald Melzack, a psychology professor who was a pioneer in pain research and whose findings are integral to our current understanding of the complex processes involved in the pain experience. The video also gives a good outline of historical and current pain theories, including the gate control theory of pain. Melzack also created the McGill Pain Questionnaire based on his research, which as a pain patient I am very familiar with!
Empirical support for my mother’s advice to wiggle your toes when you are getting an injection/ having an inept phlebotomist dig around for your cowering veins during a blood draw; by not only avoiding looking at the needle go in, but focusing on another part of your body, your perception of the pain is reduced. My mother also sings ‘So What’ by Pink during particularly painful procedures, but each to his/her own.
Thank you to Sunlight in Winter for pointing me in the direction of a few of these valuable links, and for the further resources available she has collected here: