About Soula Mantalvanos

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So far Soula Mantalvanos has created 381 blog entries.

Workers And Families To Have Their Say On Safety

By |2020-10-31T14:34:32+11:00October 31st, 2020|system, Work / System, Workcover|

Any effort to help injured workers and rectify the workers' compensation system is going to meet me with a very stern look of doubt on my face. It's also going to take a great deal of change for me to believe that any Governing body is keen to take action and that they will be able to follow through. It's going to take a great deal of change and support and sadly it won't make up for the trauma and loss suffered in the past. Is it possible that a Government group can swing all the bad it's done (and doing) and transform into a truly supportive system? Can Victorian workers and employers feel confident that if in the case of a work accident, a system that supports injured workers and employers will exist? And where possible will this system be able to find a way to return workers to some form of work? To me, it seems that to land another man on the moon is going to be far more possible.

Just Another Freaky Boat Ride

By |2020-10-31T11:56:45+11:00October 31st, 2020|Learn, Professional Resources|

In what's becoming a life trek in the aim of defining my ongoing pain issue, there's a pattern I'm beginning to see. Most often when I read educational material and it feels like it's beginning to gell with my experience, I feel a suction begins to the words. I'm drawn into the paragraphs of the researcher/s and excitement kicks in. 'I'm going to find the definition, this person is speaking my language!' It gets wilder and wilder – think Willy Wonka's crazy boat ride (below, but hold on to your pelvis!) and the findings and resources amount to great support material. I begin to believe – 'this is IT!' But Like Willy Wonka's crazy boat ride, somewhere along the way it gets freaky, the definition starts to go off my track and as I keep reading I'm feeling that I'm coming unstuck.

Forwards, Backwards or Somewhere In Between

By |2020-10-26T15:19:42+11:00October 26th, 2020|Blog|

I've gotten up on my feet only to find myself back down again a few thousand times in the past 13 years. I use my personal chronic health issue to try and understand the management of COVID-19. As mentioned in a few COVID-19 related blogs, there are similarities with chronic illness in the way the virus attacks a human. Qualities like its invisibility, the way it can affect life, the way it has affected livelihoods and the ongoing power over humans are all mountains I've had to get over. And over... and over. And will have to continue to get over.

Artists Living With a Disability Go Bush

By |2020-10-24T10:48:34+11:00October 24th, 2020|Blog|

Support for artists is rare. Understanding and value for the arts, in general, is rare and if you are an artist with a disability... well, you fall off the media platform altogether. So, what's especially great about Nas Campanella's story about this artists' residency is that it relays the important message of creativity as a form of catharsis and management for invisible chronic health issues. And the artists get to explain. 

Curious about my Pain Specialist?

By |2020-10-02T15:50:57+10:00October 2nd, 2020|Learn, Professional Resources|

When I started this website, my hope was to connect people living with pain with healthcare practitioners. At the time (2011), there was no online information or help for Pudendal Neuralgia and other such pelvic pain. I thought if I could provide the information in one place, it would help everyone connect and solve dreaded pain issues or at least speed up the diagnosis and treatment process. I didn't hope it would take nine years. Nine years...!!! But we have arrived and the point is that anyone can access this information session.

Victorian Workers’ Compensation System – Independent Review

By |2020-09-26T12:21:03+10:00September 26th, 2020|work, Work / System, Workcover|

Would have been great if all injured workers labelled as 'complex cases' were notified of this survey participation call. Thank you to my twitter sister, Everyday AUSSIE @GalGeelong for letting me know. [...]

Don’t Go There Soula

By |2020-09-21T15:05:52+10:00September 21st, 2020|About, Blog, Living|

I'm closing the door on the 'reasoning rooms' and I'm not going to investigate what might have caused a sudden flare. 'Soula, let's not go there. Don't enter that routine. Don't walk towards the dead end. Don't waste your time... again!' 'You've wasted years, Soula. Over a decade in fact thinking in rooms that provided no answers. They are mostly empty – blank walls, no windows, no air to breath!'

My Lyrica Closure

By |2020-09-12T15:50:18+10:00September 12th, 2020|Blog, Learn, Professional Resources|

Life's pace is vastly slower if you are living with chronic pain. Anticipated outcomes from things like new treatments, explanations about causes of pain, pain research, realisations about personal ideas relating to my own experience all take months, years and even over a decade to arrive. Yesterday was the day I finally received some closure about the wicked Lyrica. There's been a build-up of medication reporting this past year but none of it hit the spot like The Project's report. I love the reporting on this show – it's one of the few programs that brings me to the TV. While watching last night, I got that bullseye feeling: I'm not crazy! How often does a person living with pain come to this blissful realisation? Not often enough I can tell you.

Life’s Changed

By |2020-09-06T11:10:45+10:00September 6th, 2020|Blog|

Not knowing what's ahead is a familiar nightmare for people living with chronic illness and injured workers and their families. This lived experience has been misunderstood. This lack of empathy could not have been understood without the personal experience of something like COVID-19 – something impacting the world. Even Governments may just get a glimpse of looking down at their feet and feeling the ground below them is trembling. Being unable to make plans and left dangling, waiting to hear about a way forward – whether you can resume work or even have a job (or business) is excruciating. Add a long-term health issue to that equation and the world begins to fall in on you. You can't help but ask, 'will I get through this?'

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