Photography and stories to illustrate the day-to-day struggles of real people living with chronic pain.
The goal is to make visible the experiences and challenges that are oftentimes hidden, ignored or misunderstood.
U.S. Pain Foundation is excited to announce the launch of the 2015 INvisible Project this January!
We would like to acknowledge and thank our upcoming participants - Anthony Ameen, Casey Cashman, Emily Lemiska, Guy LoPresti, JP Summers, Lynne Popadak, Melanie Dickens, Michele Rice, Nick Duggan and Robert Foley - for being a part of this profound campaign.
To My Fellow Pain Warriors and Friends:
With upcoming events and the unveiling of the 2015 INvisible Project, US Pain is looking forward to the spring season. In fact, with St. Patrick's Day arriving shortly, you may even say we are feeling a little lucky.
Now as chronic pain patients ourselves, you may be wondering why we feel lucky. Lucky is a word that describes good fortune and success, and despite our pain, we feel very fortunate to live lives of conviction and to have the opportunity to work to better the pain community.
Our lives are full of luck, we just have to look for it. Days of minimal pain bring us joy, spending time with loved ones bring us happiness, and fighting our battle gives us courage for the future. We feel so lucky to be part of such a strong, inspiring, and unique community of pain warriors. It is often the simplest things we feel luckiest for, so look around once in a while and find the luck in your life.
Thank you for being part of our luck and for being a part of our mission - to improve the lives of those living with pain by validating chronic medical conditions and educating others. You are all pain warriors, and U.S. Pain is here to help.
Wishing you all a low-pain and high-spirits day,
Founder & President, U.S. Pain Foundation
A Q&A with Paul Gileno
President and Founder of U.S. Pain Foundation Paul Gileno recently took part in an interview session with Dr. Lynn Webster which covered current issues surrounding chronic pain.
Lynn Wester M.D., FACPM, FASAM is Vice Preident of Scientific Affairs at PRA Healthsciences and Immediate Past President of AAPM. He is board certified in anesthesiology and pain medicine and also is certified in addiction medicine.
Q: Has there been a change in the major concerns of people in pain over the past several years? If so, what are those changes?
Paul Gileno: Sadly, YES! What I have seen as Founder and President of US Pain, and as an experienced person with pain - and what we hear from people with pain - is that people are concerned about being denied treatments and being denied access to needed help to relieve pain. For a long time, people with pain have had a stigma around them that we are lazy and drug seekers. People have been embarrassed to take their medicine. As we worked to break that stigma and help people realize pain is real and it's ok to need help, abuse of pain medicine was on the rise from non- pain patients which has led to the multiple barriers people with pain face today to gain access to needed medicine to help lower their pain.
Q: What is the purpose of the US Pain Foundation? Are you satisfied with your accomplishments?
PG: US Pain Foundation is created by people with pain for people with pain. Everyone who is involved with US pain has pain or is a caregiver of a person with pain. Our purpose is to first and foremost connect, empower and educate people with pain. We want people with pain to realize they are not alone, and that they can, and will, have fulfilling and hopeful lives despite having pain. We tell people all the time: you have pain, and pain does not have you. We work to reduce the suffering pain brings with it, the isolation, depression, stress and the stigma. We also work to advocate for people with pain making sure we have a voice in both state and National issues, making sure our needs are fought for.I am extremely satisfied with our accomplishments to this point but, sadly, they are a drop in the bucket compared to what is needed, and we cannot do it alone. Together, we can, and we will, make huge a change.
Q: What one thing would you like to see that seems out of reach for you and the US Pain Foundation?
PG: This is a tough question but, if I had to boil it down to one thing, it would be that people with pain are not looked upon as second class citizens starting with our families, friends, HCP's, legislatures, and the public, and that people with pain are empowered to learn they deserve the best treatment possible, and that pain is not a four letter word.
Q: How can professional medical association help the mission of the US Pain Foundation?
PG: I think working together for the same goal in pain care is important. A professional medical association can help US Pain with our mission in many ways. One way is to stand with us when we work on advocacy issues, and help buttress our concerns. Another way is to become more involved in education and empowerment of people with pain. A third way is to make sure people with pain know that the medical community is on our side and they are listening to our concerns. A fourth way is being open and honest, and giving us the best help and options to reduce our pain.
Q: What question would you like to be asked by the media?
PG: This is simple. The media never seems to want the positive stories of people living with pain, showing how they can have fulfilling and hopeful lives. I would like the question to be: "Can you share with us positive stories of people with pain so we can show that people with pain are much more the pain meds, but they are people who are productive in society, inspiring to others with pain."
To visit Dr. Webster's blog and provide feedback to this and other articles
Take Control of Your Pa
Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center
National Harbor, Maryland
March 19, 2015
Take Control Of Your Pain is a patient-education seminar where pain warriors and caregivers can learn various empowerment tools to take control of their personal pain and medical journey. Working in collaboration with the American Academy of Pain Medicine, the events will unfold as follows:
2-3 PM Integrative Pain Management
Dr. Trip Buckenmaler III, MD
3-4 PM Safer Use of Opoids
Dr. Lynn Webster, MD
4-4:30 PM Break (light refreshments) with Meditation
Gwenn Herman, LCSW-C, DCSW
4:30-5:30 PM Migraine Headache
Dr. Zahid Bajwa, MD
5:30-6 PM Motivational Patient Story of Inspiration
Take Control Of Your Pain
event that you won't want to miss! Pre-registration is highly recommended to secure a place within the room.
Top Ten Reasons U.S. Pain Feels Lucky
1. To be an organization that fights for patient rights and educates, empowers, and advocates on behalf of the each of us, as pain survivors.
2. Growing access to local and online support groups and individuals that we can relate to.
3. Access to specialists and the continued research and quest for understanding and eventual help and cures for the illnesses we suffer from.
4. The ability to live a fulfilling, meaningful life despite our illnesses; to no longer be defined by our illness through the help of caregivers, pain care providers, and patient-based organizations.
5. Research, education, and shared information that can provide patients with an integrative approach to pain management.
6. The age of research and the growth of knowledge about chronic pain disorders over the past decade provides the hope for the future.
7. The continued growth of our organization means that patients want knowledge and help and continued access to information.
8. Living in the age of technology...the internet provides patients with scholarly articles about their illnesses so they can understand all aspects of their illness and do everything they can to help themselves.
9. Acceptance and use of alternative therapies including medical marijuana, meditation, cognitive behavioral therapy, biofeedback, etc. along with prescription medications.
10. US Pain feels privileged to join in your individual fight and hopefully make a difference in your lives. We love our PAIN WARRIORS!
Pain Care Providers Day
The first day of Spring,
March 20, 2015, will also mark the first ever Pain Care Providers Day. In collaboration with Dr. James P. Murphy of Kentucky, we are excited to announce our appreciation and love for our pain care providers. This day is our opportunity to take some extra time to show our gratitude for those physicians and caregivers that have gone above and beyond to help us, as individuals and the pain community, throughout our pain journey. As Dr. Murphy states, "Pain Care Providers Day is a prime opportunity for us to secure proclamations honoring our caregivers from all walks of life who labor, often under duress, to alleviate suffering in our communities." Proclamations have already been secured in Louisville, Kentucky and Thompson, Connecticut, while we await word on others. Please take some time on March 20th to thank your pain care providers, whomever they are and show them the love and gratitude they deserve!
Don't forget that U.S. Pain joined forces with AmazonSmile. This is simplest, easiest and most automatic way for you to support U.S. Pain Foundation every time you shop!
Simply visit http://smile.amazon.com/ and choose U.S. Pain Foundation as the organization you wish to support. Then each time you make a purchase through AmazonSmile, Amazon will give to U.S. Pain in a form of a donation. It is that easy and there is NO COST to you!