By Suzanne Stewart.
Do you know that according to the Institute of Medicine, there are approximately 100 million chronic pain patients in the U.S.A.? Also, 20% of children in America have chronic pain. “Chronic pain” is described as pain that has continued for longer than 3 months. Those of us who live with pain know how much it impacts our lives and the lives of our families/friends. It affects every aspect of our lives including the ability to work, sleep and go out and have social interactions and activities. Did you know also that chronic pain costs our nation an estimated 560 to 630 billion dollars annually in medical expenses, lost wages and productivity?
Well, my friends, as an Ambassador for Michigan, of the U.S. Pain Foundation, I’m here as a chronic pain patient myself to tell you that you can make a difference. As Margaret Mead, a famous anthropologist, once said, “Never Doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has”. The U.S. pain foundation which started out as one person’s dream, has turned into a mission. One which is to inform, empower and advocate on behalf of the over 90,000 members throughout the country and all those who live with chronic pain. The U.S. Pain foundation also provides education on pain management skills and constructive ways to cope with pain and find fulfillment in life.
We can find fulfillment in life and we can be “taken by the hand” of a beautiful non profit organization, such as this. They help us find that fulfillment, by providing chronic pain patients with increased awareness about the effects of chronic pain. This in turn, helps result in increase access to quality pain care and empowerment for those living in pain. So, please take our hand and join together, starting this September 1st, 2017. This is the beginning of “PAIN AWARENESS MONTH”. Instead of running through those Facebook, Twitter and Instagram messages from other pain warriors who are participating in “Pain Awareness Month”; why don’t you take our hand and join us?
Throughout the month there are a number of things that you can become involved with. We have many awareness events and projects that you can be a part of, right from the comfort of your own home. If you can not get out, then join in the awareness of chronic pain online. Post Memes, stories and even your story to help make others aware of our chronic situations. Take the negative out and add some positivity and then you will get “HOPE”. You can “Beautify in Blue”; by getting permission and then putting up ribbons and signs around your community. Another choice, if you live near something special and beautiful, such as: Mackinaw Bridge in MI, Niagara Falls in NY, or any landmark; you can get permission and ask the city to “Light Up the Landmarks” for Pain Awareness Month. Turn the lights blue on those landmarks and shout to the rooftops that “We are a part of the 100 million chronic pain patients in the USA and we want to be seen and heard”! There are also many other things that are very easy to do. Please feel free to ask me about the awareness events and fundraisers for the U.S. Pain Foundation during Pain Awareness month and/or any other time throughout the year. You can do something as easy, like I mentioned above; like posting about your pain and Pain Awareness month on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and more. The list and the possibilities are endless when you just try to make HOPE a verb and DO something about it.
Pain Awareness month will start on September 1st, 2017. It continues throughout the entire month of September each year. It doesn’t stop for us, after the month of September has ended. We continue to support and empower you throughout the months and years. Consider being a part of something bigger and better. Think about joining a wonderful “family” of pain warriors who all help each other and help others as well. My hero, Helen Keller, once said “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much”. So starting with this September, let’s all join forces and let the rest of America and the world know who we are and what chronic pain is all about. We need you and who doesn’t like to be needed? (For information about PAM please contact me at: @PeopleInPainUnite or @RASEforCRPS on Twitter or my email at: RASEforCRPS@yahoo.com. You may also contact the U.S. Pain Foundation at: www.uspainfoundation.org)
Suzanne has lived with a Systemic CRPS & several other chronic pain illnesses since a MVA in 2002. Prior to being disabled from chronic pain, she was an Interpreter for the Deaf at a hospital & worked with Deaf children. Since 2005, Suzanne’s been a patient Health advocate, support group leader & Mentor. She continues doing these things today, but also does public speaking, awareness events and she’s a Writer/blogger & an Ambassador for the U.S. Pain Foundation.
For entertainment she creates advocacy videos & uplifting ASL cover song videos on You tube and she writes in her own blog Tears Of Truth. You can follow her here: TearsofTruth.com ).