National Pain Report Says Goodbye

National Pain Report Says Goodbye

It is classically a bittersweet moment for those of us at the National Pain Report.

We are saying “Goodbye”.

When we started this idea nearly a decade ago, we asked ourselves a question:

“Is there enough content to sustain a news blog about chronic pain?”

Turns out the answer was yes.

There weren’t many information options for chronic pain patients, providers and family members back then. There are plenty now. It’s that quantity that allows us to leave.

You may ask why now? That’s a fair question.

We have always run the National Pain Report as a service to our audience—it’s never been a job (goodness knows it wasn’t for the money) but an avocation. In the past, when we were ready to shutter the operation, we never could quite do it.

We didn’t want to disappoint anyone.

But the decision is easier given all the other information options and social media sites that are out there.

The truth is we are burnt out—and the quality of the work has slipped and that is something we cannot stand. Our lives are taking us in different directions and don’t leave enough time to do this well.

So, we’re done.

But it’s not easy. We have met so many great people along the way—there’s not enough digital space to thank all of them, but we must note a few.

The U.S. Pain Foundation has been a great partner. The largest pain patient advocacy group has a great heart under the leadership of Nicole Hemmenway. We remain fans and friends.

Cynthia Toussaint (her partner John Garrett) and For Grace. Chronic Pain disproportionately impacts women and her leadership brings attention to that issue and her on-point columns about living with chronic pain (and now with cancer) were something we all looked forward to reading every month.

Terri Lewis Ph.D. She commented on one of our stories years ago and I reached out to her. Turns out we had lots in common. (Hint: Montana is the longest Main Street in the world) Her vigilance in pointing out how the system is broken and is failing chronic pain patients was driven by both her relentless intellectual curiosity and the fact her father and her son have endured this terrible malady.

Jim Broatch, the long-time Executive Director of RSDSA, helped me learn more about CRPS and introduced me to a number of experts and patients who educated our readers on this terrible malady.

David Nagel, M.D. Dave is a true healer—one who is trying to change the system from the inside out. His book “Needless Pain: How Society Fails Those with Chronic Pain” is a great read. His is an important voice in chronic pain because as Lynn Webster M.D. once wrote, “Dave never forgot why he went to medical school.”

Steve Ariens, a retired pharmacist who “told it like it is” even if it made his former profession and colleagues a bit (or a lot) uncomfortable.

Claudia Merandi and her Don’t Punish Pain Rallies. She’s a fierce advocate who has ruffled more than a few feathers not only in state legislative chambers but also among her fellow pain advocates.

Two of my favorite psychologists, Beth Darnall and Geralyn Datz educated me (and thus you) on the importance of mental health in the treatment of chronic pain.

Kerry Smith—the former minister and current wildlife artist—whose body is wracked by chronic pain and who never stopped looking for alternatives to treat his pain—and was always willing to share that journey with characteristic candor.

Our columnists—Ellen Smith, Liza Zoellick, Red Lawhern, Joanna Mechlinski, Katie O’Leary, Melissa Wardlaw and dozens more who shared their personal stories and expertise.

To my partners, Geoff “Geo” Sims and Doug Lynch, who quietly supported this effort, thank you!

And everyone else not mentioned, who wrote, called, emailed, commented, criticized, cursed or otherwise made their point of view known, you all became family.

A final thought if we may.

In covering the chronic pain community, in addition to meeting hundreds of really interesting people, it is also evident how the community’s fractious nature holds it back. Rivalries, which from where I sit look rather petty, prevent a unified voice for truly addressing solutions in fixing a broken health care system that simply does not work for the chronically ill.

Ok!

That’s it.

We’re done.

Thank you for all your support.

It’s been an honor.

Authored by: Ed Coghlan

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Oh me I so hate to loose y’all all. Y’all have been so wonderful! We all needed this group so badly. I guess there’s no way some of y’all cldnt stay & run the group? I understand the being burned out thing because I ran a Lyme Disease group but I so wish someone wld keep it going? God bless u all for all uve all done. Thanks, brenda Pitts Bennett bbpittsbennett@gmail.com on FB as Brenda Pitts Bennett

Alan Edwards

Thank you all for your exemplary work. I was never last because I wanted to be first. The pain is intense. Walking is no more. Physical therapy has failed. Opioids if regularly rotated at slightly above effective dose and the return of morphine pumps, would put an end to mine and a million suffering pain patients. As as been stated, the Harrrison Act, the Controlled Substance Act. the DEA and a million others need to be abolished. Doctors and police and other HCW need serious education about intractable pain. Pain patients were attacked in March 2016 and NPR was first in reporting the illlegality of this action. Elites were immune and we learned the nature of Andrew Kolodny and others. He is a short-sighted fellow.

My Pulitzer goes to Ed Coghlan, I hope you fare well and live a life free of pain.

Lisa K

THANK YOU!!!! 😂

Rebecca Hollingsworth

Thank you all for everything you’ve done, for all the lives you have touched, and how you have been there for all of us. I feel like I’ve lost a good friend, a place to vent, to listen, to share, and to cry. I will miss this . Thank you just for being here.

Susan Beamer

Thank you for everything! This blog gave me hope every day. It was “nice” to know I’m not alone. God Bless you for all you did for those of us that needed you most!

Gretchen

Good bye too all and good wishes for your future endeavors. Thank you so much you will be missed And Good bye and best wishes too all my fellow pain patients may God be with you all

Desiree Ruple

I was also new to NPR stories articles were informative and helping me realize I was not alone. Wish I would have found the site sooner I feel I would have made friends when you have chronic pain you find out who you’re friends are….I found I had none and my family only stuck around because they needed someone to take care of mom she’s gone so are they…. Sorry I guess I needed one last rant…Good Luck with everything you do in your future projects have a great retirement and God bless 😇

In a short time you gave me some hope

Kimberly

I should have thought of asking this in my earlier comment and now it may already be too late to ask, but will your old articles remain up for years or are you shuttering every bit of the National Pain Report? If you are shuttering everything, has any other pain group offered to keep your articles available online for the future?

You will be sorely missed!

Audrey Liebl

Thank you so much for all your hard work Ed! I will be sad to see this endeavor go, as I feel it is still very needed, but we all deserve a break once in a while. I will miss this place!

Thank you for all of your hard work, your dedication, and your advocacy. It’s meant a great deal to so many people. I wish you all the very best in your future endeavors.

Sarah

You got the discussions going, you gathered every one of us together and educated us on more than just our pain – new research, alternative options, how we can work to help ourselves and so much more. You gave the chronic pain community a real voice and taught us how to use it. Your hard work is done – there are many others you have empowered to carry on all that you’ve started – rest. Be proud of what you accomplished. Thank you!

Sandy Unsworth

Dear Ed, I just want to extend to you a huge thank you for all you have done for all of us over the years.

You have been consistently professional for the years that you’ve been doing this and all the Articles and information you have written have been so valuable to all of us! I still look forward to seeing the report each day in my inbox so I will definitely miss the daily report.

Thanks to your help, we have come a very long way in the pain arena. But we still have a long way to go and I hope we will continue to see you going forward.

Thank you again and best wishes for all and every endeavor(s) you decide to pursue going forward.

Please keep in touch and thanks again for all your hard work and dedication
Sandy
❤❤❤

Kat koe

You and your team have done an outstanding job supporting an endeavor that’s taken the pain community and physicians down a deep, dark hole, one that never should have been allowed. Many of the aforementioned people and organizations are succeeding in ways we never thought possible. Because of your support and passion I’ve been able to connect with other people through their stories. We wish everyone the best in their much, more relaxed and less stressful life.

Joanna M

I was so surprised and saddened to read this, but I can certainly understand how you’d feel.

Thank you so much for helping unite a community and give those who are often marginalized a voice.

Libbi Miles

You and your team have provided our community with an abundance of information and recognition. You will truly be missed. ♥️
How wonderful that your last bit of advice for CP PATIENTS is that we must UNITE to be successful in our mission!🌟
Libbi

Traci Rochon

I have enjoyed the National Pain Report more than any other pain platform out there, & will truly, genuinely miss your work.
However, as a chronic pain patient, I understand the need to enjoy anything & everything in your life, & I sincerely hope you will enjoy your retirement.
TDR~

Kellie Gasser

Thank you for everything!! I’ve truly learned so much from all of you.
When I started experiencing everything that most have or were experiencing too; I was grateful to have found you!! I did t feel so alone anymore.
I was able to get information, chat w others & overall vent to those who understood- although just as hurt & pissed off as I was!! LOL

Thank you for just being there so some of us weren’t so alone iij n this tragedy!!!

By learning of Dont Punish Pain thru your blog, I even held my own rally & attended several others at our state Capitol.

Thank you all again! You will be missed!! Good luck to each & everyone of you!

JeremyInColorado

I understand. Self care comes first. Thanks for being one of the first and one of the best. I appreciate all the work every one of you has done. Thank you.

Joel

Very sorry to see you go. But you are right. There are a lot more resource sites. I am an Honorably Discharged Veteran (USAF) who is disabled, among many issues, such as cancer twice due to what I believe to be exposure through handling of parts returned from many different places. Most notably, from Viet Nam. I was required to clean up and “refurbish” parts from jets, weapons, etc. The ones from Viet Nam were most notably encrusted with the top soil there. I was required to work with my hands without gloves or other protection. I do believe hand- removing the dried mud from the equipment exposed me with Agent Orange over an extended period of time. Of course, the VA denied my disability claim for this and three other health issues I got while serving. I think it’s a shame that our government wants us to perform “top notch”, yet they continually sweep issues with denial of disability claims because they don’t want to pay or even own up to what happens to USA Military personnel after they get out. Now, the additional irretracrable pain I have from a car wreck in the 80’s (I fractured my T-12 disc down the middle, had to have surgery on my left leg from hitting and bending the stick shift to the floorboard with my lower left leg. Additionally, I have facet socket osteoarthritis up and down the whole right side of my back. In November of 2016, the Pain Clinic I had been going to started to get worse and worse about giving out pain medication. Since November 2016, the only thing I have had for pain is Tylenol Extra Strength. It doesn’t kill the pain AT ALL!!! I hope someone goes and plants their boot up the backside of the morons who falsely reported deaths from opioids. What they WEREN’T saying was that there numbers only reflected a numbered study, obtained from all States via their Governors, Senators and MOST of all, everyone at the CDC involved in this mandatoty policing. Yet, CDC and others responsible didn’t report that most of these were from street drugs.

Thank you so much for all your work!! Have a good “retirement”.

CarolynRombardo

I am fairly new to this website..I cant begin to Thank u all for the great info n articles n comments i have read here.they have gotten me through many bad days..would also like to Thank u all for the hard work u have done on behalf of all CPP, ..wish u well..n..GOD BLESS..

Edward Glamuzina

Thank you very much for all the work you have put into the pain report. I doubt that anyone can fill those shoes.

Darrell Pearson

Farewell and love on your great final journey 😿

Penny J

I couldn’t agree more, Ed, in that all too many group endeavors (sadly, including the chronic pain community, it would seem), appear to all too often ultimately shoot themselves in the foot due to “petty rivalries,” at which point “Ego” insidiously and virtually always fractures group and mission cohesion. Despite having been initially strongly united by a clear and purposeful mission, if such stumbling blocks are left to simmer long enough without positive intervention, the group will ultimately either subvert or all but completely divert its originally intended constructive undertaking. How incredibly unfortunate and sad that humans have yet to learn to set egos aside and work together to strive toward becoming a mature, enlightened world culture working together to save our planet and ourselves from pain and ultimate destruction rather than allowing ourselves to be so frequently seduced by personal gain in whatever form!

Words are not nearly enough to describe the depth of my gratitude to you, Ed, and to each and every person who has contributed to the National Pain Report and various other venues throughout these many years. You have ALL been such amazing and enormously appreciated advocates for those of us who live with chronic pain, and I so VERY gratefully and sincerely thank you from the bottom of my heart. You’ve contributed FAR MORE than your share! My greatest hope is that each of you will take great comfort in knowing how incredibly much help and hope you’ve given to SO many! Kudos, Godspeed, and blessings to you all.

This is indeed a MASSIVE shock! Sadness and disappointment cannot express the deep emotions I feel right now despite my failing health. Ed, I believe I can speak for all those that respect you and will miss you dearly. NPR will always be remembered as that shining light that brought order to chaos… a force for truth with the determination to right any wrong that befell the chronic pain community. My only regret is that I wasn’t well enough to contribute more to your honorable efforts. Good luck to you in your future endeavors, you are a good person, a warm-hearted friend, a very patient listener and the fairest minded advocate on the planet which made you a deeply respected hero to all of us … you and NPR will never be forgotten. Farewell and thanks!

Alesia

Thank you for all you have done for everyone. Pain is a far reaching subject. You opened many eyes to this fact. Chronic pain is a subject folks like to turn a blind eye to because it is so difficult to comprehend. You, sir, helped me to contend with my own chronic pain through the presentation of many avenues. You guided me to credible sources. I truly thank you from the bottom of my heart for your help! What a blessing you have been to us all.

Sally Sands

Thanks to everyone for their input here and to Ed and the rest of the NPR group. You will definitely be missed.

Julie

Thank you so much for all that you have done! I am sad to hear that the National Pain Report will be ending, but wish you all the best in your future. But it definitely makes me sad.

Jill

Your work has been much appreciated as I turned to your site for that connection to other CPP. Thank you. Don’t be sad! Ya did good:)

Carolyn Robinson

Thank you for providing much-needed stories, updates, and information we need as chronic pain patients. I use your posts as references in my chronic pain blog and will miss seeing these in my inbox! I’m sorry you guys decided to leave. You will be missed more than you’ll ever know.

Jess

I am very sorry to see you go! I always knew I could trust what you all wrote! Considering I have become burnt out lately and very frustrated with never seeing things get better so I do understand and wish you all well! Thank you for everything you have done!

Kelly Potter

Thank you for everything Ed. Sad to see you go, but understand your reasons. I will miss the National pain report. Rest well.

Sonia Bodie

It’s been a pleasure! For your unending dedication I sincerely thank you! Blessings in your new endeavors, without a doubt you’ll do amazing things!

Granny

Thanks to all! This was a great almost daily source oof helpful info… All the bbest to alll of you in your new endeavors….

Jeanette French

I am so very sorry you are saying goodbye, I don’t feel like chronic pain patients have enough advocacy and we need all we can get. I for one, will miss you and your work greatly, and am so very sorry that you are leaving us. But I do understand, this has been an incredible battle that still rages on all levels, and I know that many people including pain specialist too are getting burnt out and leaving patients without good treatment. It is such s sad story. Even with all the advocacy we have had, we still have pain patients who are under-treated and left to suffer alone and in desperation. They are still taking their lives, that hasn’t stopped. We have fought so hard, tried to reach into the brain of those leaders who will listen and try to get them to understand what we have to go through, but the old saying is you don’t understand it, until you have lived it, def stands here. If only the leaders could live it for just one week of their lives, and understand there is no light at the end of that week, or that tunnel, then maybe they would get it, and make the changes that need to be made. We of course , we still try to fight this fight, we are literally fighting for our lives. Living everyday in constant pain, with no viable treatment is outright torture and I for one will not be quiet about it, and I hope that you who read this will not be as well. There are many leaders who need to hear from patients, their loved ones and just ordinary people, that this fights needs solutions, Please continue to reach out to the Attorney General, Senators, Congresspersons, and our top leaders as well. This also involves the DEA, the CDC, and all associations included in the treatment of pain across the country. I want to also take this time to thank you for all you have done to help us, it is a labor of love and one based on the belief that pain patients deserve better then this, no matter who they are. thank you !

Sandi

You have been so appreciated. You will be missed.

Judy Birchfield

Thank you for your many contributions to help CPP.’s.You will be greatly missed .

Judy Birchfield

Thank you. We appreciate your special efforts to make the Chronic Pain Story known and understood. .You will be missed .

Ed,

You know how much I love this place. Writing for this place, and the people who have supported it. I’m a pain patient, I’m an activist and I’m a writer. I’ll still be all those things tomorrow and if in any way I can help- just find me. I want these people to matter and be heard. Their stories to be heard.
Thank you for your time and energy and for being my mentor and cheerleader when I needed one. I’ve never had one who truly believed in me without the side-bar of “as long as you make money.” And making money has never been as important to me as leading a meaningful life.
Take care of yourself friend.

Jason Dauenhauer

I am very saddened by this. You and your mission will be sorely missed. As one of so many who suffer daily with pain, your blog was a light in the darkness and hope in the storm. You filled a hole and now that casm will open again. Thank you for all you did and contributed, it means more than you know. Best wishes to you and yours.

Gina

Thank you for all you have done for us. You will definitely be missed.

Katie Olmstead

Thank you, Ed, and everyone. It’s good to know when to call it quits! I never did write that blog on cognitive behavior therapy for you. Ha.
It was an excellent run and a lot of people appreciated your work. Best with whatever endeavors draw you in next!

Jim

Thank you all. I have been kept informed the whole time. My situation has not improved, but hasn’t worsened much. This has been a very informative blog with great reading. I am sorry this blog is shutting down, but wish all of you well and a blessed productive life.

Thank you for your dedication to the National Pain Report. You have always put out wonderful, insightful, and compelling articles. I will miss seeing/reading them. Go rest and discover new journeys. Thank you again.
-Beth

Thank you so much for everything. You will be deeply missed. I understand burnout completely though, and you have to make the choice that benefits you and your activism best. So grateful for all you have done.

Thanks Ed !

Kristine Anderson

Ed and crew, a big thanks for a tremendous amount of hard work and caring you have shown us throughout the years. I haven’t been around much lately to write for you or post comments — I, too, went through a big burn-out a few years ago — but I have always appreciated working with you so very much. You have inspired so many people to become advocates, even in the face of their pain and discomfort. You have inspired people to become better, even in the face of their negative lives and limitations. And you have inspired people to become heroes, even in the face of their bed-bound situations when hero may have been the last thought on their minds. So you are to be commended for being a hero yourself, to so many pain patients and caregivers who found inspiration and a resting place here at NPR every single day! I wish you now a resting place for you — a big comfy chair and a hot brandy! Take care, my friend.

(Krissy)
Kristine Anderson

Terri James

Dearest Ed,
Thank you so much for all of the wonderful information you have sent our way. Thank you for bringing a lonely group of people together, at least now we know we’re not alone. You’ll never know how much this has helped me. Every one of you will be missed dearly, but not forgotten. May God bless you dearly Ed for doing what you’ve done for so long. It’s time for you to rest now and know that you’ve done good, very good.
Take care. 💖
Most Sincerely,
Ms. Terri James

Holly

Thank you National Pain Report (especially Ed) for all the great articles! I was an avid follower and I am sorry to see you go. As the saying goes “Nothing stays the Same” God Bless all the those who contributed to the awesome website. God bless all the pain sufferers who have been [edit] on!

Denise Bault

Thank you!