Meet Chronic Pain Expert: Karen Lee Richards
I’m pleased to be joining the ChronicPainConnection team. Although I’ll be writing on a number of chronic pain topics, my primary focus will be fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome (aka myalgic encephalopathy). I’ve been working as a patient advocate and writing about these illnesses since 1997. However, my interest in FM and ME/CFS is much more than just a professional one. I’ve also lived with primary FM and secondary ME/CFS since 1989. (If you’d like to know more about me and my background, please check out my profile.)
You’ve heard of the “3Rs”. Well, I believe in the “3Es”: education, encouragement and empowerment. These are my goals here at the ChronicPainConnection.
Education: It is essential to learn everything you can about your illness so you’re able to work with your healthcare professionals to find the best treatment plan for you. Every week I’ll be writing new articles to provide you with the most accurate, up-to-date information available about FM and ME/CFS.
Encouragement: We all need encouragement from time to time –– especially when trying to live with a chronic illness. Since it was another FM patient who first recognized my symptoms and helped me find the right doctor, I know the importance of helping one another. As time goes on, you’ll learn more about me through my SharePosts and the message board. And I want to know about you –– what your concerns are and which topics you’re most interested in hearing more about. Together we can learn new and better ways to manage our illnesses and cope with the day-to-day problems we face.
Empowerment: I’m sure you’re familiar with the expression, “Knowledge is power.” The more you know about your illness, the more empowered you will be. Why is empowerment important? Because you need to be able to take charge of your own healthcare. I’ll do my best to give you the tools you need to manage your healthcare plan so you can stand up for yourself and insist upon receiving the quality of healthcare you deserve.
I hope you’ll join me often here at ChronicPainConnection.com so we can work through the 3Es together.