September 2014: Chronic Pain Awareness Activities
September is Pain Awareness Month and a number of chronic pain organizations are sponsoring events and activities to help spread the word about chronic pain and the toll it takes on the lives of those who suffer with it.
There was a time – not too long ago – when people living with chronic pain were pretty much on their own. Unless they could travel to conferences, there was little chance of meeting others, learning more about their condition or sharing common experiences. But today, thanks to the Internet, we are able to connect with others who have chronic pain all around the world. We can attend conferences and workshops, make new friends who understand what we're going through and support and encourage one another – all from the comfort of our homes.
Another plus modern technology gives us is the ability for each of us to make a difference. Even if chronic pain has left you severely disabled, with social media, you can spread pain awareness by simply forwarding a Tweet or sharing a Facebook post.
Here are a few of the Pain Awareness activities and events being offered this month:
7th Annual Women in Pain Conference – Sponsored by For Grace.
Theme: “Accepting Pain: Our New Normal”
The September 12, 2014 conference, being held in Los Angeles, will also be available via live Webcast beginning at 9 a.m. PDT. You can also follow the conference on Twitter @WIPConference, using #wipconf to say hello and submit questions for the speakers.
From the For Grace press release:
The conference will bring together hundreds of women in pain and their caregivers along with leaders in pain management and advocacy to explore chronic pain and how accepting one’s “new normal” will improve well-being. It will feature presentations from distinguished pain psychologists, pain advocacy leaders and wellness practitioners who will focus on helping women in pain and their caregivers explore how accepting their “new normal” as a person with chronic pain can positively affect their pain control and overall wellness.
"Women taking on the everyday trauma of chronic pain are heroes,” says Cynthia Toussaint, founder and spokesperson of For Grace, herself a 32-year sufferer of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome and Fibromyalgia. “Make no mistake; it’s a tough journey full of pitfalls and missteps. But so much of the battle is won, or not, depending on how we perceive our chronic pain experience. It certainly can be one of transformative triumph and growth.”
For more information, see: 7th Annual Women in Pain Conference
Invisible Illness Awareness Week – Sponsored by Rest Ministries
Theme: “Just One”
Each year, Rest Ministries designates one week in September as Invisible Illness Awareness Week and sponsors multiple activities aimed at spreading awareness of the challenges of living with a chronic illness. This year that week is September 8-14, 2014.
From the Invisible Illness Week website:
We are all just one… but if you live with an invisible illness you are one of over 100 million who are ill. You are someone. You matter. We hope to help those with chronic illness know that even though you may feel alone in your pain and limited in what you can give, together we can make a difference.
Take a few minutes to browse the website. We would love for you to be involved, but we also understand that chronic illness gets in the way of many of our plans. So, this year, we hope you feel the grace to do JUST ONE thing… Write a blog post for your own website, fill out our 30 Things Meme and post it on Facebook, or share facts and other info from our Facebook page.
You can also sign up to receive a free book – Chronic Illness Tips: 263 Ways to Do More Than “Just Get By” – and enter for chances to win free prizes throughout the week.
For more information, see: Invisible Illness Awareness Week
American Chronic Pain Association
In 2001, the American Chronic Pain Association let a coalition of groups to establish September as Pain Awareness Month. Their Pain Awareness Month website offers numerous resources that can help you better communicate chronic pain awareness issues with healthcare providers, government leaders and local media.
For more information, see: September Is Pain Awareness Month
I would like to encourage each of you to do at least one thing this month to help spread awareness about chronic pain in general or your particular pain condition in particular. Talk to someone about living with chronic pain, share a Tweet, Facebook post or Pinterest pin about pain. You CAN make a difference!