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What More Do I Need to Learn about Pain?
Just One More Thing....

By Gwenn Herman

I had just given a talk about chronic pain to a large group of people at a local church. I explained about my accident and founding Pain Connection. I told them how much better I had been doing since taking control of how I deal with pain. Afterwards, I met with a representative of a pharmaceutical company to request funding. The next day I dropped off the final copy of the newsletter and went home tired. It was too much work even though extremely rewarding. I felt how low my body energy was and decided to take it easy and rest but I just wanted to do one more thing. Throw empty bottles into the recycling bin. I went into the garage and stepped down the stairs onto a mat. Somehow my left foot buckled and I started to fall with the bottles flying out of my hands. I fell onto my left shoulder then I heard the bones in my right ankle crack which dislocated the bone. Screaming and crying out in pain I heard myself cry, "Oh my G-d, I can't believe this has happened again. What more do I have to learn about pain? Haven't I had enough? I was doing so well! Not again." I looked at my ankle and saw how deformed it looked. I knew it had to be popped back quickly into place before any further damage would develop. I crawled to the door to see if I could get up. I couldn't so I dragged myself up the stairs into the house to call my husband. How I hated making that call. Feeling helpless again and disrupting the calm we were having for a while. A rush of memories engulfed me with intense feelings of being overtaken by pain again and the situation. As bad as it felt, it still was no match for the disc pain I endured for so long in my neck.

What I did do differently this time was to start the healing process immediately by telling my body to start healing. I breathed into it and with my hand moved the energy down my leg and out. I sent it golden healing light and energy. Of course it was all mixed in with me crying out in pain, feeling sorry for myself and trying to heal myself at the same time.

As I laid on the cool metal table in the doctor's office, I stared at circles on the ceiling staying focused on them and meditated myself out of my body. I also was breathing heavy to combat the pain. Everyone was afraid that I would hyperventilate, but I was controlling my pain. My orthopedist and his staff did a remarkable job in putting the bone back into place and casting it. The quickness of it all hopefully has saved me surgery.

Three weeks later with a laptop in my lap and missing leading the support group for the first time since 1999, I still try to make sense of this accident. I believe it happened due to my chronic pain. My neck was hurting, I was extremely tired and I felt foggy and when that happens my sense of gravity is off. It didn't matter that after I threw out the bottles I intended to rest and do nothing for the afternoon. It was for that one more thing that did me in. And that's part of understanding the relapse/recovery/ healing process with chronic pain. You need to pace yourself constantly because your body cannot do what it used to. I sit here in my family room watching everyone around me running around doing one activity after another which is called normal living. For chronic pain sufferers, depending on the day and pain level, we have to decide how to spend the limited energy that we have. That is part of our new normalcy that we continually need to learn and relearn.

So was it so important to throw out those bottles? Would my world have ended if I hadn't? No! So what have I learned from this pain? That I am only human and still struggling with this way of life that I have been living for 8 years. I thought I was doing well, I just have to go slower and listen to my body more and NOT my thoughts.

Pain Connection's Wish List

  • Premises for our center that will be handicapped accessible.
  • Fundraisers and Volunteers to develop events.
  • Journalist willing to help with publishing our newsletter.

Support Group Dates

Montgomery County Support Group Dates

February 5
March 4
April 1
May 6
June 2

Location: Davis Library 6400 Democracy Blvd, Bethesda, MD
Time: 11:00-12:30 PM.
Prince George's County Support Group Dates

February 11
March 10
April 14
May 12
June 9

Location: Greenbelt Library 11 Crescent Road, Greenbelt, MD
Time: 10:15- 11:45 AM Parking and entrance at the back

Washington, DC Support Group

Due to requests from Washington, DC members, a location is being sought to start a support group there. A space is being located that is handicapped accessible and has parking.

Designated Founders of Pain Connection for Contributions of $100 and over....

  • Robin Sandenburgh
  • Ellen Weiss & Jon Greenberg
  • Sharon & Alan Waxman
  • Sheldon Needle
  • Judith & Richard Goodstein
  • Geeta & Arvind Gupta
  • Malcolm Herman
  • Martha & JD Leonard
  • Joseph Ruby & Debra Brody
  • Geoffrey & MaryLou Manifold


REMEMBRANCE A donation was made by the Manifold Family in honor of Mary Louise's mother, Manuela McGowan, to support people who suffer from chronic pain due to cancer.

Board Members

Tamar Solnik, one of the original founding members since August, 1999, resigned her position as Treasurer. Her involvement helped us found our agency and develop it into a needed program. We appreciate her work and wish her well in her new endeavours.

Thank you to our Westfield Wonders Volunteers: Daniel Herman, Kendall Bourke, Floyd Perlman, Ellen Weiss and Geoff Manifold.

Thank you Sterling Fennell and the students of Ivymount School for preparing our monthly flyers for mailing.

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