PAIN INFO

A collection of stories from our readers.

Read more: Reader Stories

My story starts on the 6th of July 2008, just over 7 years ago. I went to a house where my daughter was staying and upon leaving I missed the stairs in the dark. I inverted my right ankle and heard a loud crack. I attempted to stay upright and stepped on my left foot and then back onto my right foot at which time I realised I was in extreme pain and that my ankle lacked any support at all. I allowed myself to fall the last two steps and lay face down in the driveway until an ambulance arrived. I was taken to Wollongong hospital, x-rayed, told it was a sprain, that I should walk on it, and sent home without pain killers despite being unable to walk from the hospital even with crutches. They wheeled me to my husband's car in a wheelchair.…

Read more: Tanya

I may look good but I don't (always) feel good!

I have a number of chronic pain conditions but none of them are visible so even if the pain is extreme no-one knows unless I say something. I think this is the hardest part of pain.

As my pain can't be seen even family and friends forget that I am struggling and expect me to be the same person. There is not the understanding or allowance made for why I might be cranky or teary even though I have tried to explain how I feel and what is happening.…

Read more: I look good but...

Susanne

My story is simple and one of four parts.

Osteoarthritis diagnosed in 2009. The osteoarthritis was diagnosed after age and a series of falls happened while I was living and working in England. Although saying this my knees had been damaged since I was a teenager.

Migraines which developed as a teenager and stayed away for many years and then returned with a vengeance in my 30's. The migraines can cripple me at times but I try to manage them as best as possible but combined with many other things life can be interesting at times.…

Read more: Susanne

Dennis speaks of his love and journey with Anne, his wife who lives with chronic pain ...

I would like to tell you about the most important person in my life, my wife.

I am over 6 foot and the biggest surprise in my life at the birth of our first born our son, to watch my tiny wife give birth to our 9 lb son was amazing, to watch her go through that and only seconds later laying there with our son laying on her chest, the look of contentment on her face was amazing, and 18 months’ latter to watch again as she gave birth to our Daughter who weighed in at 9lb 9 ozs was just as amazing.…

Read more: A husband's perspective ...

I have Fibromyalgia, an invisible and complex chronic pain syndrome. It has had me bedridden 4 out of the last 6 years and been the bane of my life for much, much longer. The pain management team at Randwick POW and in particular Dr Bhar has helped me "re-discover" some sense of a normal life. I was living and working in California when the Fibromyalgia slammed me down. Bedridden for months I finally made my way back home to Sydney, just in time for my husbands back surgery. My 25 year career which spanned Asia Pacific in Information Systems, Technology and Product Management was over. My business is now being a energy envelope manager, full time carer for my family and trying to reinvent my professional career via a mobile apps.…

Read more: Susan

Megan

For the past 2 years I've been living with chronic pain, brain fog and fatigue. Although fatigue doesn't really begin to describe it; it’s more like having an elephant sitting on you making it hard to move your body and having your brain be complete mush.

To begin with I didn't have any idea of how to deal with it; I spent my days collapsed on the couch unable to do anything. After searching for the right GP and doing tonnes of research I almost have a complete support team including my family, my GP, an acupuncturist; exercise physio,and a team of pelvic pain specialists. With the support of this team I have begun to slowly learn how to manage my symptoms so that I can live a life that is simple, sustainable and meaningful.…

Read more: Megan

I grew up in country Victoria on my parents’ dairy farm, a very full on sporty kid into football, water skiing, running and of course motor bikes. I was mad keen on racing and riding with my friends. At the age of 16 we moved to another farm in Southern NSW and here I stepped up my racing. I also started a diesel mechanic apprenticeship in 1994 when I was 17. After racing for a few years in 1998 I decided motor bikes were too dangerous and took up water ski racing. As I had water skied all my life I was a natural and did very well in my first few years of racing.…

Read more: Matty

Leonie

I experienced significant psychological and physical trauma at the tender age of 18 months at the hands of a trusted family member. At age 4, I fell from a balcony onto a cement slab and broke my sacro-ilium which is still un-mended now at age 42. Numerous other events, physical and psychological occurred throughout my life time, which contributed to a personal belief that I was useless, hopeless, life was too hard and ultimately I became chronically depressed and suicidal. I firmly believed for years that I was just a hypochondriac and my mother, bless her, simply couldn't understand how I could possibly have ANOTHER headache!…

Read more: Leonie

Laura

I am interested in sharing my pain story with others to raise awareness about the fact that chronic pain is something that can happen to anyone, including young and educated people. It is not necessarily a disease of the poor or the mentally ill. Pain does not discriminate and a person in pain does not look like anything in particular.

Three and a half years ago, at the beginning of my career, I started to experience strange pain in my right hand. About a year later, this pain spread suddenly to my entire arm, then to my other arm, and never went away.…

Read more: Laura

Kathie

I’ve lived in constant pain since 1996. My accident happened during a performance in NZ (I was dancing the Can Can!) and as professional dancers do, I continued my performance even after I had injured myself – adrenalin is a wonderful thing! I spent the first six months struggling to walk, couldn’t drive and definitely couldn’t dance which, as this was my life, was pretty traumatic. I worked with some amazing doctors –…

Read more: Kathie

Karen

I have been an active, energetic, “together”, happy and organised person most of my 55 years. The health problems I have had in past years have not affected my life too much. Lower back, leg, ankle and knee pain were manageable with sensible behaviour, using a Swiss Ball as a chair at work, bandaging when necessary and exercise. I have psoriasis and allergies and used to have asthma, hay fever, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.…

Read more: Karen

I'm 30yrs old and a mother of a 4year old boy. I have endometriosis, pcos and adenomyosis and live daily with my chronic pain condition.

I would say I have had endo and pcos since puberty. I had severe period pains during high school, it would flood out onto my school dress every month and I would sneak to the toilets to wash my dress. I would have many over the counter pain killers daily and I thought this was all normal.…

Read more: Jenna

Hi my name is holly I'm 28 now and ever since I can remember pain has been something as integral to who I am as my name or date of birth. I remember thinking I was different as a little girl because all the other little girls had beautiful long hair and even at the age of 6 I still had but a tuft of baby style fluff. I remember wondering if it hurt to eat and go to the toilet for everyone else, but I never complained and I thought blood in the toilet was "normal".…

Read more: Holly

Dave

My story starts 25 years ago, with a trip to the hospital and a stay. My diagnosis was Acute Pancreatitis, a disease with one of its main symptoms and result of an acute attack is really severe pain. I would experience these attacks about once every 2 years until about 8 years ago. 8 years ago I started to get the horrible pain in my abdomen again, and although not as severe as during an acute pancreatitis attack, it was starting to effect my every day life.…

Read more: Dave

Helen

Where to start, where to end, What to reveal and what to hide?

My name is Helen and my pain story is one that is tangled up with the disease Ulcerative Colitis, some autonomic nervous system dysfunction and some very intense life events.

I was 21 when I was first diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis, it was painful, bloody and messy to say the least. I am now 43 and trying to find my way back to a life that does not leave me in hospital every few months.…

Read more: Helen

In days gone by women like me would most likely have been locked away in a psychiatric facility being told " Your pain is in your head!". We can't find anything wrong with you.

Fortunately a few health care professionals took the time to listen and support me in my quest to find answers to my chronic retractable pelvic pain sustained after pelvic surgery in 2004.

This pain is not just any pain as we know it. I couldn't believe such horrendous pain could exist.…

Read more: Catherine

Anne

Some 5 years ago I had a career working in Child Protection. This coupled with family and social commitments I had very little time to “just be”. I am a wife, a mother, mother-in-law, grandmother, a great grandmother, daughter (my 90 year old mother is currently in a nursing home), sister, friend and the list goes on. I was involved in many community activities and had lots of hobbies which kept me fairly active.…

Read more: Anne

Nicola

Everyone experiences pain. From the minor headaches, broken bones, moving up the scale to post operative, child birth and severe burns. But imagine pain that never goes away.

Chronic.  Constant.  Never ending.

After breaking my neck nearly three years ago I now have neuropathy, nerve damage that radiates pain from my neck into my arms and hands.…

Read more: Nicola

I have lived with chronic pain for nearly 10 years. I have gone through tough times - needing high medications and attending pain clinics. I suffer with chronic back pain and neuropathic pain also depression and anxiety. I have lost lots but gained knowledge as well. I try and keep going every day.

I had a workplace accident in 2006 - a low back pain injury.…

Read more: Ruth

Jo

I saw a story about bullying - about how teenagers are so depressed and I thought how awful it was and how hard it is to change society’s mind. Where do you start when in life even as adults we are bullied by society and how I was so sick of being bullied by a system.

Having the strength to stand up to the bullies?…

Read more: Jo

Amy

My story of chronic pain began when I was 20 years old. A new full time job was very demanding on my body and I was studying at University. As the year progressed, I realised the pain made it hard for me to walk. I wanted the strongest painkillers to numb the pain, yet the pain did not subside. Physiotherapy, hot and cold packs didn’t work either. I knew there was something wrong. It was then I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA).…

Read more: Amy

Jenn

I fell down some marble stairs in my apartment in Caracas, Venezuela in 1977. My husband and I were living there for a year or so teaching English. I remember the pain vividly however I managed to eventually stand up and move. Over the period of a few days I seemed to recover quite well however I did have a heavy feeling in my lower back and legs. I ignored it as I was only 23 and didn’t want a silly thing like a fall stop me from enjoying my life.…

Read more: Jenn

I have lived with pain in my lower back and hip for years after an injury. I hurt myself cleaning a spa bath and had five months off work. The pain never went away but I went back to work anyway. For several years I went back and forth to doctors and complained about the pain. It seemed like i was soon labelled as a hypochondriac.

Well i took pain killers and kept on working and would come home from my cleaning job and just crawl into bed. The pain in my hip would have travelled down my leg and across my foot making walking hell. Making it worse was the extra weight i was carrying.…

Read more: Debra

Ann

I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia about 13 years ago, but I believe I have had it for nearly twenty years. Back then GP’s did not know or understand what fibromyalgia was and I did the rounds of GP’s, specialists, physios, chiros and massage therapists who constantly mentioned how tight my muscles were, but told me there was nothing wrong. I wasn’t really in pain… but of course I was.

I was finally diagnosed when a physio gave me a copy of a page out of a book about fibromyalgia.…

Read more: Ann

Sophie

I was first diagnosed with chronic neuropathic pain and a permanent injury early 2009. The pain is from a car accident that happened in January 2007. The main area of pain was in my right hip, from the seatbelt. From the get go, the doctors thought I may have fractured my pelvis. After a bone scan that came back clear of any fractures, I was still in pain, and kept presenting to my GP with pain in my right hip.…

Read more: Sophie

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Care and compassion count.

Lets disrupt the stigma. Together anything is possible.