Recent posts on Still Pain

I’ve been blogging about my recent diagnostic circus over at Still Pain (my health-focused blog).

It’s been a busy many months, in and out of hospital to get a diagnosis of spondyloarthritis after 30 years of symptoms, a bad allergic reaction to sulfasalazine, starting a light dose of chemotherapy with methotrexate, and so. many. tests!

The new diagnosis of spondyloarthropathy includes the sciatica and costochondritis I had as a kid, and moves the fibromyalgia to be a secondary symptom, because I developed it in my 20s as a result of the childhood of abuse and the chronic pain since before I was a teen.

c1c14-917596_609182152570974_951920713_nDespite, or perhaps, because of this, I’ve been a crafting machine – I finished many crochet projects in 2015 and am well on my way to powering through 2016.

A slow 20 minutes a day really gets results, it’s how I finished the cross-stitch pillow in time for Easter, taking part in the SustainablyCreative 20 minutes a day challenge.

Around all of this, I’m trying to get as many photographic jobs done as I can, and recently upgraded one of my lenses, to better take craft and food photos.

But that’s the limit of my energy at the moment.

I’d love it if you popped on over to StillPain, and if you find anything interesting, do leave me a comment there!


Main blogs – StillPain and LearnedWords

IV port in handIf you are interested in following along with health musings, medical research and my journey to untangle my complex health problems, I’m blogging over at

Endometriosis, adenomyosis, PTSD, fibromyalgia, costochondritis, spondyloarthritis, stress and pain management, as well as a constellation of other health and lifestyle related topics will be featured, along with my photography in black and white. has tips for language teachers and learners, and for writers. It’s more work focused, and less personal than my health blog. You’ll find lesson plans for my EFL classes, puzzles and handouts, as well as reviews of the software I use and related books.

I’d love to see you there!

When pain lasts – keep searching for the cause

Origami cranes for health

Origami cranes for health, after the earthquake at a shrine in Fukushima.

I’ve had somewhat of a long history with a variety of chronic pain conditions.

Migraines, sciatica, costochondritis from my early teens still plague me today, although some are more easily managed than others with physical therapy – movement and stretching help sciatic pain enormously, and the chest pain some of the time. Migraines seem to be cyclical, with a bit of stress influence.

Fibromyalgia joined the mix in my early 20s, probably after a bout of undiagnosed glandular fever, throwing in muscle and joint pain and fatigue. Of course, this is an umbrella diagnosis – no one know the real causes, and treatment varies wildly between patients. Recent theories have proposed that fibro pain really is in sufferer’s heads – malfunctioning pain receptors in the brain. I struggle with remaining productive with my fibromyalgia using hacks when I can, but know that the other pain conditions are worsening this condition.

The worst ongoing pain and doctor ignorance, has been thanks to me producing far too much estrogen. Painful, heavy and long periods hounded me throughout my teens and tweens, with doctors and specialists constantly assuring me either that it was normal, or that I was fully imagining the pain.

It wasn’t normal. Not in the slightest.

Because the doctors had ignored it for so long, endometriosis had covered the inside of my abdomen, making it too dangerous to remove surgically, until the blood supply had been reduced  with Zoladex.

Even after three operations for the worst endometriosis the surgeons had seen, I was told the pain was just in my head. They later found my womb was riddled with adenomyosis – endo that had grown through and in the muscle wall. Even after 5 surgeries, and now 3 chemically induced menopauses, my belly tortures me with cramps, aches, IBS symptoms, bloating, bursting cysts, and inflammation. The endo has now grown into my bowel, throwing up the risk of a bowel re-section (no thanks!)

A surgeon recently gave me hope, suggesting a oopherectomy might get rid of the incessant problems, but the gyn has refused. Am now seeking a third opinion. Anything to get rid of this overriding pain.

Morals of the story

Have you ever had doctors say that you imagined your pain, only to find out they were wrong some time later, and you really were sick? 

Tell me about it in the comments below!

If this post resonated with you, please share it!

Dealing with anger

Japanese dragon painting

What are your favourite ways of dealing with anger?

I’ve had a rough and tough year for me, for a number of reasons, and have noticed just how much anger is contributing to my higher pain levels.

It has become a nasty cycle, and one that doesn’t seem to have an end in sight for the next many months.

So, I’m on the hunt for ways to deal with the festering anger.

Books, therapies, activities?

Any suggestions are most welcome!

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