The Flares of Our Lives – Soapy Drama for Pain Awareness Month
What better way to add a little comedy to our lives for Pain Awareness Month with some soapy drama? (Not that there is anything funny about pain, but I have found that a little humor can go a long way. It amused me this month to take traditional soap opera titles and rewrite them to showcase a world where we live – the 20% of our population that lives with chronic pain.) To be honest, I’m not capable of writing much this month! I’m doing this because I’ve missed A Chronic Voice’s September writing prompts all summer and figured I’d better get on it!
Soap operas are fun, but I know we’d all love to skip over the drama of pain in our lives. That said, I don’t think I’d mind watching shows that focus on the reality of life with pain. At least it would get the word out!
And now I present:
As The Pain Turns
This family of health bloggers are the predominant forces in CISP, Chronic State and they have quite a history, thanks to their fearless town founder, Sheryl C and her friends.
As The Pain Turns empowers its viewers by focusing on the real life dramas of people living with chronic illness. This soapy drama showcases patient stories and teaches its viewers about learning how to cope with and thrive with illness, while providing information for newly diagnosed patients and advice for pain patients.
The pain might keep turning, but this show also underscores a good point: pain is not visible most of the time. One of my favorite episodes is based on learning how to watch for non-verbal signs of pain such as the following:
Tune in to As the Pain Turns between 2am and 4am every day of the week!
Personal note: Empowering
We share our stories to empower and inspire others.
Pain patients give up everything to fight pain.— Carrie Kellenberger – My Several Worlds (@globetrotteri) September 5, 2021
If my #ChronicPain story reaches one person, I’ve succeeded in my mission with https://t.co/1PROUlQMkx to help other patients around the world. #PainAwarenessMonth #PainCounts #PAM2021 #NEISvoid #RealPainStories pic.twitter.com/9etbLen2HF
The Sick and the Sleepless
The chronic illness community is ruled by the Sleepless Zzzs family from Sick City. But behind the glitz and glamor of lives spent mostly in bed chasing ever elusive sleep and waiting for their bodies to stop attacking them, the Sleepless Zzzs and friends encounter many hardships in life, including chronic pain, brain fog, fatigue, and more. Nevertheless, they do not accept defeat!
This drama focuses on stories of the financial burden that many pain patients experience due to medical bills, depression, painsomnia, loneliness and isolation, debilitating joint and muscle pain, abdominal pain, vomiting and nausea; extreme fatigue, hair loss and rashes, headaches, migraine, and dizziness. The Sick and the Sleepless never stop fighting to ensure that their viewers are informed and have better coping tools for bad days.
The Sick and the Sleepless remind us that we are never alone! There is always someone out there who gets it. Want to know how you can help a friend in pain? The Sleepless Zzzs have you covered with Episode 919 on How to Help a Friend Who Lives with Chronic Pain.
Personal note: Defeating
Short and sweet: There is no such thing as defeat with chronic illness in my mind. There is only acceptance.
All My Flares
Set in the upscale town of Intractable, Pain., All My Flares revolves around the intertwined relationships and hard working health advocates and bloggers in town. All My Flares has a history of controversial yet socially relevant storylines that deal with topics like how the opioid epidemic is hurting pain patients, while addressing some of the most pressing issues about chronic pain healthcare in the world today.
This show puts great emphasis on the shame and judgement that pain patients live with. The episode with one of the main characters, Melina, leaving the pharmacy after being berated once again for trying to fill her pain prescription left me feeling angry and emotional. Why? Because I’ve been there!
On the flip side of things, All My Flares also highlights the stories of pain patients who feel shame about their own place in life and their own sense of worthiness. And, of course, there is a lot of stigma about chronic pain. The cast of All My Flares works hard to dispel this stigma and the myths and misconceptions that abound in the world of Ableds.
Personal note: Shaming
Nearly 20% of chronic pain patients feel the need to hide their pain for fear of being shamed, judged, accused of faking their pain, or simply not being believed. You are not alone with your journey with pain. If you’re reading this and living with chronic pain, remember that there are many other pain patients around the world – 20% in fact – that understand what you are going through. While chronic pain affects every aspect of our lives, from sleep to daily living, work, mental well-being, relationships and more, there is strength in telling your story!
The fictional town of Chronic Fatigue provides the backdrop for this continuing tale about pain patients that form the backbone of this community. These residents are concentrating on ensuring that their stories are heard, while also showing the world that it is hard to get their messages out when they’re coping with chronic fatigue, brain fog, sensory overload, chronic pain, and more.
If you’re currently concentrating on waiting for that flare to end so you can continue with your life, this show will remind you that you’re more likely to encounter flare-ups of painful symptoms during times of physical and mental stress, overexertion, medication changes, sleepless nights, hormonal changes, and, of course, when the weather changes!
Presenting life and love amid the great challenge of living a life in pain, Guiding Pain reminds us that we must keep going despite the challenges we encounter each day.
Personal note: Concentrating
This month I’m concentrating on getting through this flare, which is something that many pain patients can relate to. It started on August 5th and I have not been able to shake it! The days are endless when you are living with intractable pain. It affects every aspect of your life.
Chronic pain has been linked to numerous physical and mental conditions and contributes to high health care costs and lost productivity. A limited number of studies estimate that the prevalence of chronic pain ranges from 11% to 40%.https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/67/wr/mm6736a2.htm
The Flares of Our Lives
Set in the fictional town of Flaring, this long-running saga follows the numerous flares, suffering, AND triumphs of chronic pain residents of this town. You can expect stories about accessibility, family drama – especially with family members who think you’re faking it or talk about your illness too much; health investigations, mental illness, and frequent trips to the ER. In this drama, viewers learn about the lives of chronic pain patients, who are often overlooked and under-treated in healthcare systems around the world.
Here’s one major aspect of The Flares of Our Lives that they want viewers to know. You cannot tell by gazing at someone that they are in pain most of the time. Additionally, scientists and medical experts still don’t really understand how pain works. If they could fully grasp how pain works, they might be able to help us better.
“Pain is complex and defies our ability to establish a clear definition,” said Kathryn Weiner, director of the American Academy of Pain Management. “Pain is far more than neural transmission and sensory transduction. Pain is a complex mixture of emotions, culture, experience, spirit and sensation.“Kathryn Weiner, director of the American Academy of Pain Management
It’s true that pain has a voice, even though many pain patients admit that they don’t have words to describe their pain. There are many words to describe chronic pain and this show makes it clear that the drama that accompanies pain is always powerful, emotional, and REAL.
Personal note: Gazing
On a personal note, I’m trying not to gaze into the future too much. I also find it hard not to look back at the past when I was living better days with less illness and pain. Do you have this problem too? When you live with chronic pain, it’s best to stay in the present and take things one moment at a time. This is simply because the nature of pain can change so quickly.
So that’s that! See you next month. I hope you enjoyed a different take on our chronic illness prompts this month. I know I did!