The personal experience that changed my life and which has made me committed to this cause was being in a car accident over twenty-eight years ago. In a split second my whole life changed, and the accident left me handicapped with chronic pain in the neck, shoulders, and head. I was thrown into a world of medical decisions of which I knew nothing and began frantically searching for an answer. I read everything on cervical discs, facet joints, myofascial pain, referred pain, medications, orthopedics', neurology, neurosurgery, conservative and alternative treatments and various medical procedures.
I saw how my personality changed, my role as a wife and mother, my career, my dreams...
I felt lost, I felt like I was drowning in pain, I saw myself slipping away, I was scared, and I didn't know where to turn or whom to trust. I felt like no one believed me.
I realized I needed a resource to consult where I could obtain better information and my need to talk to others in similar situations.
I was frustrated by the lack of awareness and understanding of chronic pain that I repeatedly confronted among medical professionals.
Once my migraines were managed better with medications, pacing, guided imagery, diet, meditation, I developed my ideas and started a support group in 1999 which developed three months later into the non-profit, Pain Connection7.
I was the Founder and Executive Director of
Pain Connection - Chronic Pain Outreach Center, Inc. from April, 1999 to May, 2016.
Pain Connection joined the U.S. Pain Foundation, Inc., in May 2016. Pain Connection is now the direct service component of the
U.S. Pain Foundation and I was the Clinical Director of Pain Connection programs until February 2023.
I have written a book, "Making the Invisible Visible: Chronic Pain Manual for
Health Care Providers", which I co-authored with Mary French,
RN, MSW, LCSW-C. The book is also recommended for people with chronic pain and their family members. Cost: $30.00.