Any Questions?

This week on my forum Medical Musings with Friends , I posted a segment called “Any Questions?”

I wanted to invite my forum members to ask me anything about my life, my disease, my writing etc. It was an open book kind of segment.

The recurring question, or theme to the questions, was; “how do you manage to write when you are in extreme pain?”

For me writing and pain are so intertwined so my answer may not have been expected.

I’m currently in an extreme pain cycle (which is a civilized way of putting it).

My bone disease is progressing and my entire skeleton seems to be under attack.

Put plainly, I hurt!

Pain Is So Personal

Pain is such a highly personal thing and while we can all relate to varying levels of high pain, we all have very individual reactions to it.


Some people with high level chronic pain withdraw altogether. Some cry, some laugh, some are silent, some sleep, some can’t sleep, some eat, some can’t eat.

Writing Takes The Pain Out Of My Body

Others, like me, tend to talk or write about it. Partly I talk about it because it names it. Writing takes the pain out of my body and puts it into words. It helps me acknowledge it and make changes to my day, my week and even the month ahead in order to manage it….or to at least think I’m managing it.

It is so cathartic and as I write, even though my pain remains, I feel a sense of calm and peace.

I also write about my pain to encourage others to feel free to talk about their experiences. After all, “a problem shared is a problem halved” right?

As I ponder today about how I’m going to try and move through the next hour, day and week ahead, one thing is certain….my pain can’t be easily removed.


Pain Can’t Have All Of Me

Another recurring question was; “How do you cope with the stress and anxiety of pain and disease?”

Pain is my constant companion but I am determined to remain joyful. Joy can be in the moment or it can be looking ahead to anticipated joy.

A good dose of happy day dreaming never hurt anyone. It certainly helps take the focus off my pain onto happier things.

Pain takes so much from us, no matter your level of pain, no matter your disease.

I know, believe me I know, it’s not as simple as putting a smile on your face and thinking happy thoughts. It’s definitely not easy.

Living with pain is like walking through a battlefield. You try and move forward, cowering and wondering where the enemy is and where the next attack will be coming from.

Like soldiers though we learn to fight another day. Chronic pain keeps us constantly wounded, all to varying degrees but no one wants to be defeated. We want to find ways to reclaim our lives. We need to find ways to conquer our enemy.

Everyone’s battle is different but every battle story is so inspiring and encouraging. Muse upon your own story and look at what you have achieved despite your pain, with your pain, through your pain.

You’ll be amazed to see just how strong you really are!

If you love something, such as writing or a hobby, try doing it when you are in a high level of pain. See if the activity does begin to lower your pain and the anxiety it can bring. You’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain by giving it a go.

Any Other Questions?

The other questions posed to me were mostly related to my writing. One of my forum members asked me; “how do you come up with writing ideas and do you plan your blog posts? “

I tend to have blog titles pop into my head. Once I settle on a title I just set time aside to write. I don’t stew over it or structurally plan my blog posts. It’s literally writing from the heart, as if talking to friends, or jotting entries in a journal.

I find this approach allows me more freedom. Once I’ve got it all down, I re read and edit and then pretty much publish immediately. In general a blog post takes me two hours from start to finish.

I was also asked; ” Did you write before you were diagnosed with a chronic disease?”

I have always written. I loved English and English literature at school and then I studied Freelance Journalism and Non Fiction Writing. I wrote a book in 1989 about the history and restoration of a historic church building in our local community. I was the administrator for the restoration project, so it was told from my perspective, and I interviewed many community members who had memories of the building from 1916. It was such an amazing project.

In my Management/Leadership career, writing communications, speeches, training etc, was crucial in all of my roles so my passion for it continued and was able to flourish.

A fun question asked was; “Sam, if you could be a child again with a million possibilities for a career, country to live etc what would it be??? It has to be different to your actual life story so far!

My answer was easy……I would stay in the UK, rather than immigrating to Australia, and run a boutique Bed and Breakfast in the English countryside. (Yes, I do watch far too many episodes of “Escape to the Country”).

There were a few more questions but I’ll end with this one; “What’s one tip you would share with the rest of us with chronic disease?”

I love this question.

I have a bit of a catch phrase for this…

Chronic Illness is a part of our lives, not all of our lives”

I also wrote a blog post on this topic a little while ago…A Case Of Chronic Illness Overload

If you have any questions you’d like to ask me, I’d love to answer them. Please pop them in the comments section and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.

Take care

Sam xx

If you’re looking for genuine support, care, understanding and friendship, you are so welcome to join my closed Facebook support forum, Medical Musings with Friends . It’s a safe place to connect with others living with chronic and complex diseases, who truly understand the daily challenges. A warm welcome awaits.

I’m also a Contributor at “The Mighty”. You can check out my published articles at My Author Page

I also write @ Blogs by Christian Women

I’m a member of the Chronic Illness Bloggers Network the Grace Girls Facebook Group and the Salt and Light Linkup Group

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Best In Show Nominee 2021 in the Categories: Blog; Community;
Patient Leader Hero; Facebook; Instagram; Podcast

Australian Aspire Awards 2020 Nominee – Awarded Medal of Recognition for Individual Best Achievement Community Advocacy.
Thank you to Arthritis Queensland for the nomination!

Healthcare Collaborator Nominee 2020
Best in Show: Community Nominee 2020
Best in Show: Blog Nominee 2020

4 thoughts on “Any Questions?

  1. I agree with Rick, some great Qs and As here. Two hours to do a post from start to finish is really interesting. I often wonder what it’s like for other people. It can take me absolutely eons if I try to force it, when I’m really not feeling it and my brain isn’t working. I keep hacking away and making it a complete mess, wasting hours and hours. Eventually I have to call it a day and I come back to it when my brain starts to work… and I scrap the whole lot and start afresh, where it takes me a lot less time to do the whole thing! Do you find similar, like you have to wait for when you can function enough to do it smoothly? I’ve always been more of a pen and paper girl, but finding writing now too painful with my hands for longer than a minute or two means a lot is on the computer, and I do find it difficult doing it all that way. xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Caz,
      Your question is great and was also asked by another member from my forum, in terms of do I need to wait if my brain isn’t working and what do I use to write?

      I can’t sit at a computer to write and I find it exhausting using a laptop even on a table rolled over my armchair. I can’t rest anything on my lap either. I’m very limited from a technology perspective.
      So, I had to find a way to use technology to my advantage. For me it’s my phone. I literally do everything on my phone from blogging, podcasting, administrating my forum, creating graphics, relaxing with games, video conferences, phone conferences….I have even written my upcoming book on my phone using Google Docs.

      Using my phone means I can be sitting in my armchair or lying on my bed and I can still write/work no matter how much pain I’m in. The more pain I’m in the more I’ll write because I need to focus on something other than what I’m going through. Writing and working online does that for me.

      It’s 2.30am here at the moment and my pain was so bad I’ve needed to get up and make a cup of tea….my first pain management therapy tool! The second tool in my kit to managing this (aside from extra meds) is to write. So seeing your comment and sitting here replying to you, is helping to calm me and therefore remove some of the intensity of my pain.

      My biggest tip is don’t underestimate how much you can do on your phone.

      If I really am in a place where I just can’t even force myself to write but I have a blog idea, my brain won’t function and fatigue has me taken hostage, I’ll write the title/short concept for the blog in Notes in my phone. This way I’ll relax knowing I haven’t lost the concept.

      I hope you are ok post your hospital stay. I’ve been thinking of you. Lots of love xx

      Liked by 1 person

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