Remember me posting about Lissanthea Taylor and PainChats? I had signed up so now receive my regular email updates.

I don’t often make recommendations, but I think you should sign up too!

Lissanthea poses some pretty great questions which stimulate fabulous thoughts and some gobsmacking realisations – one of which I’m about to share.

Unlike the majority of flat, uninteresting, monotonous information I read (and have read over the last almost 11 years in regard to chronic pain) PainChats cuts through the surface and reaches me. I feel like a person and that I’m having a conversation (so I guess they got the name right!).

PainChats offers:

  • a conversation with a professional who really wants to hear my pain experience
  • empathy
  • understanding
  • excellent support and information

and so I can:

  • connect and talk
  • become more mindful of things I need to be mindful of
  • learn new things about myself

that help me:

  • gain awareness
  • see value
  • distract me from pain
  • gain another pain management tick

I’m not qualified to say this, but I really believe it takes someone pretty experienced to distract you from pain when you’re talking about it! But that’s what happened with PainChats and when I was replying to Lissanthea.

I was encouraged and able to re measure my measures and see something that was staring me in the face!

The PainChats email went like this:

I love this time between Christmas and New Year to relax a little, and to think about the past year. It‘s a time that I use to think about what I want to achieve in the year ahead.

Having low back pain is something that really affects your ability to plan. It also seems to steal your dreams away from you.

I have a challenge for you. Can you think of a goal that can fit into your life right now, even with pain, that brings you joy?

Of course the prompt in my brain was to respond with;

there’s no achievable goal during the silly season that is met, managed and provides joy!!!!

But I thought about it.

I responded. And while responding through a keyboard and because I felt I could confide and speak openly with someone who I felt was genuinely interested, a most amazing realisation came to me.

I’m responding as I have something that I feel has recently become a goal that fits in with my life.

I never saw it coming.

Sounds corny but it’s this online skincare brand that Theo and I have taken on to consult. Very grateful to a dear friend who told me about it and explained that she thought I might be able to manage it.

We tested the product (R + F) and experienced how amazing it was. As it’s turned out it’s something that takes me away from the usual chronic pain thinking. It’s my face and skin I’m thinking about – not my pelvis and brain. I found a distraction with a visual result.

I don’t expect this to wear off because it’s a sensory thing – art and design can’t give me that…

The biggest surprise though, was my joy for something that works with such little effort. I was surprised that what the brand states it will do, it not only does, but it does so quickly. I think I expected the product to compare with my trial and error search for treatments and it would be the regular routine of sloooooow that I’ve been in for over a decade.

My measure, all this time was being affected and I didn’t realise how much so.

And realising this now, it’s like a kind of switch has gone off and the ‘measures’ in my brain have gone from:

  • no
  • slow
  • wait
  • maybe, and
  • probably not


  • yes
  • fast
  • quick
  • action, and
  • results

I’m bewildered that I can pick up a tube, squeeze out product, manage the application (in fact application is well within my limitations) and then feel. see. results. And. SO. FAST!

This has made me really happy.

And I’m trying to explain it to others but I’m sure they’re thinking ‘she’s definitely gone nuts now’.

This PainChats conversation has made me realise I haven’t used that sequence of words in nearly 11 years!

There’s been nothing to ‘feel’ other than pain. There’s been nothing to ‘see’ other than tired, swollen, red, and scars. And time is experienced as slow, tedious, boring and often grueling.

Looking in the mirror and seeing something pleasant, let alone something that is getting better has been off the cards for almost half a donkey year (not sure why the donkey came into it – perhaps he’s a fine representation of joy!).

These small things are so big for me.

Repeat: I don’t often make recommendations, but I think you should sign up to PainChats too. You may just have joy staring you in the face and need a little guidance to help you see it.

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