There is irony in the timing of my writing this in my non-flattering state you see above.
It’s currently Wednesday, August 31, close to 9 pm Central Time. I was fine all day – really productive and got some self-love stuff done even. I made the mistake of having a full glass of milk around 4:30 pm… then around 7:30 pm, my pain went straight from a 2 to a 7. Extra medications, my tens unit, and ice barely brought it down at all.
Oh, the pain.
Well, September is Pain Awareness Month! It was started in 2001 with the help of a number of organizations coming together. You can learn more about the history via this PDF.
According to Johns Hopkins, 100 million Americans deal with chronic pain… my guess is the real number is slightly higher than that since the CDC states that 117 million Americans as of 2012 had some sort of chronic illness or disability. You can find some additional facts, though they’re from 2007, over at Health Central.
What can you do to raise awareness or help?
Learn more about and share People with Pain Matter, a new initiative from the US Pain Foundation (I shared them on Medium).
Take the Pain Awareness Month pledge.
Share your story, whether it’s one blog post or a daily account on social media. Make sure to use the tags: #PAM16 #PainAwarenessMonth #USPain #IAmAPainWarrior (Optional: #30DayChallenge #PeopleWithPainMatter). Make sure you’re not being ableist and utilizing tags like #PatientsNotAddicts though. That just hurts other patients with genetic predispositions, trauma, and other pain. Addicts are still humans – and still patients. Don’t be a jerk.
If you’re going to tweet/post/IG your pain, check out the 30 Day Challenge for themes and ideas. The US Pain Foundation Facebook page also has a ton of information and will have a lot of new stuff going up this month.
Speak out against organizations that try to trademark and profit off of our pain by eliminating other organizations they don’t like with said trademark. (Confused? Catch up here.)
You can add a Twibbon to your Facebook or Twitter profile photo, like I’ve done above, here.
Remember that it’s also Animal Pain Awareness Month so if you have a spoonie pet, share their story, too!
And, please, be kind to yourself this month regarding your pain. It’s okay to do less or to say no to things in order to take care of you. I love you and you need to be safe.