Pink Sunglasses

Day 2 at Shirley Ryan

This place is my dream come true. It is exactly what I was looking for, and can see a little difference already. I don’t think I’m going to leave a fixed person, but I think I will leave with the tools I need, and the help I need with getting back to ‘normal’ life.

My first session today was Feldenkrais. If you’ve never heard of this, you are not alone. No one in the class had ever heard about it, but I must say it was relaxing, and nice to move around a little. It was mostly relaxing and little movements just to get muscles working that I forgot existed 😂😬.

A lot of what this Hospital focuses on is the psychological connection to pain, and let me tell you, I have never felt more heard or understood in all my years of Doctors and Hospitals. Our Feldenkrais teacher was a fellow Chronic Pain sufferer and the first thing she said was that she beilived us. That we wouldn’t be there if we didn’t have pain, and that she truly beilived this program would help. Well, after months of feeling like no one has beilived anything I’ve said, that made me a little teary 😢. It feels really good to be where I think I can actually get some help, and some answers, and some better tools to deal with all of it.

I saw my Pain Doctor yesterday and he prescribed me something to help sleep, as I’m lucky if I get a few hours lately, and my Fitbit reported 6 hours last night, so that’s already a huge improvement!

In one of the Psychology sessions we were taught about the connection from sleep, stress, everything that affects chronic pain, and puts you back into the cycle of pain. It was interesting to learn! For example, if you have pain, you will probably have trouble sleeping. When you don’t sleep, your pain gets worse. Then you don’t sleep. Never ending. I felt a little bit better today with a few hours of sleep, and all of the relaxation, PT, and OT sessions today :).

I’m exhausted, but so happy that I got into this program so quickly!! I think my Doctor pulled some strings for me, because I got added into the class at the very last minute Friday, and it sounds like a lot of people wait a while to get in. Did I say that I love him already? 😂


The song is the one, the only Miranda Lambert. #inmypinksunglasses #positiveplastic


First day at Shirley Ryan Ability Lab!

I felt like I went back to school today and It was really awesome. 😀 I got a fancy book bag and went to classes about mindfulness, Bio-feedback, PT, OT, Pain Psychology, and saw the doc. I really like this approach they take at the Shirley Ryan Ability Lab. Basically I am assigned one hour increments , and I see a different doctor or practitioner for each hour. Some are 1:1, some are group activities. I am pretty sure we start therapy in the heated pool tomorrow, so I am all here for this ! It was a long day, but I think I will sleep well tonight 💤 😴

It’s going to be a busy few weeks, but I think it’s going to be very worth it!!


Follow your Arrow

I know I’m lucky. I know I’m rare. I have been told this more times then I can count. I am grateful every day, but it’s hard to think of yourself as lucky when your quality of life has become non-exsistant. I am very optimistic about this program I am about to start, but really nervous at the same time. It’s going to be like a full time job. I have commuted to Chicago for the last 5 years for my job, but I was also feeling much better then. I’m going to need to commute downtown 5 days a week, spend 8 hours a day there, but if this is going to be the answer to my pain, I will do anything.

I have talked to a few people who have been through the Pain Management program at Shirley Ryan, and have heard so many good things. It’ll be exactly what I have been looking for, a Dr. House approach if you will. Anyone who did not watch House will not get it, but my issue is I have SO MANY problems from my accident in 2010 and the surgeries that have followed. All of the Doctors are only looking at one piece of the puzzle. Vascular is looking at vascular issues, but not how they tie into my neuro issues or my newly diagnosed Cardio issues. Neurology is looking at my new issues, but not all of the previous damage that has been done.

This program will be all sorts of health care professionals from Physicians with a specialty in physical medicine & rehabilitation and pain management

Pain Psychologists

Occupational Therapists

Physical Therapists

Relaxation Therapists

Vocational Rehabilitation specialists

Nurses experienced in pain management

An interdisciplinary approach to pain relief can dramatically improve quality of life. – Medical Director James Atchison

I am coming to the conclusion that is why I am having such a hard time. I have Chronic Pain issues, Acute Pain issues, and nobody knows how to treat all these crazy issues on a seemingly healthy 33 year old. I will also get to spend my 34th birthday at this lovely facility 😂 June 14th if you’d like to send gifts 🎁!

My new Doctor that I saw Friday told me that I look a lot better in person then I do in my medical chart. I love him already 😂. He had already done his homework when he came in the room, and had spoken with my Neuro doctors at Northwestern, my previous Pain Management Doctor, and already knew the basics of the story. I hate explaining it all, so that made it a little easier.

Before I saw the Pain Management Doctor I had a Psych Evaluation. All those questions about pain, and how I cope, and what my goals are. It seems they have the same goals as me, so I am really excited 😊.

It’s really a good feeling to know there is some hope at the end of this seemingly never ending dark tunnel. I will start this Tuesday, and the program lasts 4 weeks.

I will keep you all updated on my progress! 😬💕


The song here is “Follow your Arrow” by Kacey Musgraves. Just a reminder that you don’t need to always do what everyone else does. Everyone will judge you no matter what. You can’t beat them, but that doesn’t mean you should join them 😊. You only get so many trips around the sun, so make lots of noise, kiss lots of boys, or kiss lots of girls if that’s something you are into. Oh the wisdom of country music 🙂

Just follow your arrow wherever it points…