My Comeback

"I believe darkness reminds us where light can be."

- Christina Perri, "I Believe"

 

Christina Perri is an American singer and songwriter from Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

Perri is a 4x-platinum recording artist known for songs like, "Jar of Hearts" and "A Thousand Years."

 

One month after my fourth surgery for DIE, I was completely comatose. I could not function in any capacity. My marriage had seemingly taken a fast-track to divorce. Though I felt as though the surgery was successful, the acute pain from recovery was hellish. The pain of losing my partner and my Dad, almost simultaneously - two of my most favorite people in this world made it indisputably... painful to breathe. The world may have continued on but mine had effectively stopped. 

 

Until one late February morning in 2013, when I finally faced the fact that I wasn't living...I was existing.

Until one late February morning in 2013, when I finally faced the fact that I wasn't living...I was existing.

 

 

My family graciously afforded me the opportunity to attend the country's leading, private, in-patient, chronic pain recovery program in New England. I checked in on my Dad's birthday- the irony was not lost on me. 

 

NCIB published a study on interdisciplinary pain centers, much like the program I attended. The following explains the basic premise behind pain centers. 

 

"A number of elements are common to most interdisciplinary programs. First, most programs involve medication management to simplify medication schedules and reduce use of opioids. A second element is graded physical exercise, in which patients receive instructions on physical exercise to help them overcome anxiety about physical activity. A third primary component of an interdisciplinary program is cognitive-behavioral training. Patients are given techniques to change thinking patterns that adversely affect their response to pain. Treatment also focuses on teaching behavioral skills, such as relaxation or biofeedback, to self-regulate psychophysiological arousal as well as pain. A fourth focus of the programs is on decreasing the impact of pain on functional life roles. This may include tools and techniques for adaptive living, ergonomics and energy conservation, pacing, and vocational counseling.(1)

 

Upon "graduating" I had a new lease on life. My pain wasn't gone- I'd still have to shelf my Olympic figure skating dreams, but my pain was managed. More importantly, I felt confident in my ability to manage my pain...even in the absence of the pain medication I chose to eliminate. However, I knew that 30-days just wasn't enough for me to feel confident in being able to choose my newfound skills over my ineffective old patterns when faced with any kind of adversity- especially as it pertained to going back to the difficulty I had left behind.

 

Much like newly sober addicts are taught to "change people, places and things" to create a larger cushion of success, I knew that if I walked back into the life I left behind, I'd quickly fall into a state of depression, anxiety and self-pity - I'd fall even further into a deep, dark hole that I would be unable to climb out of...again. 

 

With the support of my family, I decided to move up to New England so that I could attend the chronic pain recovery out-patient program, continue working with doctors I had met and participate in the weekly Chronic Pain Anonymous group held on campus. 

 

I started with the end in mind. What did I really want for this next chapter of my life? What mistakes did I make and what lessons did I learn from those mistakes? Once I was clear on the direction I wanted to go in, I made a plan and broke it down into small, palatable steps. Perhaps most importantly, I kept the list of reasons as to why I was committed to what I was doing.  

 

I spent months implementing the coping and pain management skills I learned- discovering what worked in my life and what didn't work - continually making small adjustments based on variables like, practicality and effectiveness. I got back into shape, I rebuilt the relationships that had fallen apart, I went back to work, I established a new group of friends, began dating, and found love again. 

 

 

Chronic pain may have won many battles but I was never going to allow it to win the war. 

After a few years of trial and error, I felt confident that I had a successful formula. I was so grateful to my family for affording me the opportunities I had, but I couldn't help but think about other chronic pain sufferers who, for one reason or another, wouldn't have the same chance I did. I began to dissect my successful formula and was able to identify a few essential pieces...which, by the way, was backed by research. 

 

Chronic pain may have won many battles but I was never going to allow it to win the war. 

 

Cited Articles: 

(1) Clark TS. Interdisciplinary treatment for chronic pain: is it worth the money? Proceedings (Baylor University Medical Center). 2000;13(3):240-243

"We are experts in addressing the underlying issues that often perpetuate and worsen pain.

You and your physician are experts in identifying and treating the symptoms and disease itself.

Together, we will help you get back to you." 

- Kairos Chronic Pain Coaching

It's An Honor To Be a Member of The Following Organizations:

U.S. Pain Foundation
Integrative Wellness Academy (Wellness and Life Coaching School)
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Christina H Chororos, a decade-long deep infiltrating endometriosis (DIE) sufferer, founded Kairos Chronic Pain Coaching in the fall of 2018 and is a chronic pain and illness educator, speaker, and writer.

 

Christina graduated with honors from Lynchburg University with a Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Education in 2002. Additionally, she obtained an Integrative Wellness Life Coaching Certification from the Integrative Wellness Academy in the fall of 2017, and a Graduate Certificate in Pain Management from the University of Connecticut (UCONN) in the spring of 2020.

 

Christina writes for iPain Living Magazine, a quarterly magazine published by the International Pain Foundation. 

For more information please visit kairoschronicpain.com

Kairos Chronic Pain Coaching Offices 

567 Park Avenue I Suite 203 I Scotch Plains I NJ I 07076  

Phone: 1-833-936-1240

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Last Updated: August 2020