Accepting pain- our new normal

* SEPT 11 * Date Set for 8th Annual Women in Pain Conference!

What is pain and how do we continually accept our new normal?
What an amazing day with over 100 sisters in pain put on by the talented and beautiful Cynthia and John from Http://
Held at the LEED certified building of the California Endowment Center in downtown Los Angeles, the conference was full of information and resources, tears and laughter.
If you've never been to a LEED certified building you are in for a treat!
The topic this year was "Accepting pain, our new normal". There were folks with every type of chronic pain producing ailment. Mine is MS but I also suffer from fibromyalgia and arthritis. The daily pain becomes bearable only because there is no other option. Or at least the other option, being dead, is not preferred.
Here I am on a panel of women in chronic pain. My main goal was to not fall off the chair with my wobbly MS. To watch the conference and panel click here.
Pain and suffering in women of all ages led way to Tears and laughter filling the room. Hearts were ripped open to their barest and shared with the world. In order the lighten up the. Mod and ourselves during the day, we played games!
The conference leaders created games for us to play and discussed the importance of playing in life. Here were just a few distractions to keep us engaged. We played with chopsticks and made googly eyes for starters...
But the real message was about pain and how we all take a Heroes Journey to learn to accept our new normals. The heroes journey, as presented by Jennifer Hughes, shared with us all the importance of the heroes cycle, of the need to overcome a weakness I order to survive as a hero.
Based on and Taken from Joseph Campbell's 'the hero with a thousand faces" sourced by
"A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man.[3]"
So what does this look like? There are several images of the heroes journey. Here is one from Wikipedia that sums it up nicely.
It is this heroes journey that we all must take in order to accept our new normals every day. As Jennifer Hughes said in her talk, Do you Dare? Do you dare to take this journey and accept your new normal?
I have dared and I have succeeded! Here we go....time for some acceptance. Let's do this!


Andrea B said...


I think what you're doing on this blog is amazing. I wanted to reach out because I'm part of a group of students at Harvard Business School who are launching a medical accessories company. Our aim is to infuse dignity into the patient experience by designing medical products that are both functional AND design-focused for patients with chronic illnesses or disabilities. To that effect, we've published an opinion piece on OpEd space here:

You can see our website at for an introduction to our first product, a bag for carrying self-catheterization supplies. We believe this bag can help many self-catheterizing MS patients better carry their cath supplies in a safe, easy, and discreet way.

We are so inspired by your blog and your work, and would be honored if you would be willing to share information about our product and company with your readers. Even if you're not comfortable with that, we'd appreciate an opportunity to connect with you and get your advice on how to spread the word about our product and mission. Please let me know if you would be willing to chat. I'm reachable at

Thank you!

Caroline Craven said...

This is great! Thank you and let's connect!