(Image: Myself and Dr Tim Hucker at Pain Specialists Australia. My pain team were always keen to listen and they love My Health Story)

Certainly didn’t see this one coming! It’s another bittersweet moment in my life story. 

Noticed that I didn’t say bittersweet moment ‘of this experience’ or ‘of this journey?’ That’s because I’m finally able to acknowledge my chronic health issue as a part of my life.

As it turns out, all the posts on this website are not about a chronic pain experience or an accident that is somehow external or not part of me; they are, in fact, all about my life. 

Life is made up of events and experiences – good and bad- which are not separate from us – in actual fact, they form us.

Maybe it takes a few good things to happen (and some serious treatment) for a person to arrive at a happy place and find peace with their monster to see that even the bad stuff goes into making you, you.

I think I’ve made many positives of my unfortunate life event. The recent discovery about Inflammasome and commitment to recommendations made by Dr Vittone has provided me with peace – and a sharper mind.

The establishment of our new life and my PainTrain My Health Summary growing up into My Health Story are all power for me.

Peace and power. 

And now, I’m an author of What Injured Workers With Complex Claims Look For in Online Communities: Netnographic Analysis a paper now published in one of the world’s best medical journals, the Journal of Medical Internet Research (JMIR).  

This extraordinary achievement would never have happened if it weren’t for Michelle Manning Hutson contacting me (actually, she so gently reached Theo first to make sure I could manage the request). 

This gives me some peace and provides some calm to the hurt I’ve experienced. There’s one thing trying to manage an invisible chronic illness but quite another battling the workers’ compensation system simultaneously. 

This paper acknowledges the complexity of being an injured worker and being forced to seek support via other avenues. It discusses some of those avenues of which this website is one and speaks of empowerment and self-management of people with complex cases. 

I can stand up now and say, ‘this is my life’; the pain and feeling of displacement, the constant pang for loved ones I now live too far from, all the hardship Theo and I endured and all our sacrifices included. 

I’m managing to do and make and build, step by step, achievement by achievement. And my advocacy is appreciated and impacting.

How lovely to be escaping the full-time state of inflammation and excruciating pain and the watching of my life going by.