Tomorrow many across the nation will participate in September Pain Awareness Month. As a chronic pain sufferer and Fibromyalgia patient, not only the month of September but every day is an opportunity for me to spread awareness and increase efforts to make the “hidden”epidemic of pain visible. I work daily to be one voice.
Every September, I make a special effort to share my video and my voice in support of this cause as well as continue my fight to secure a first-ever Presidential Proclamation naming every September National Pain Awareness Month. I may not have ability to contribute as much as I’d like given my health, but I never miss an opportunity, when I am able, to make a difference.
While September is considered a critical month to promote education and awareness, I never cease and will continue in my efforts to raise pain awareness. As such, I thought it would be fitting to share an awesome newsletter I received the other day from Paul Gileno, Founder and President of U.S. Pain Foundation filled with great information and posed a very interesting question, of which I couldn’t help but share the newsletter and pose the same question to you: “September is Pain Awareness Month: What Does that Mean?” Please take a moment to read over the information below and let me know your thoughts.
In the words of Mr. Gileno, I ask that you join me in the fight to increase awareness and “Let’s make the 2014 September Pain Awareness Month the strongest one to date.” Join me, starting tomorrow to make it one of the strongest pain advocacy awareness months ever that will change lives. Thank you!
Be blessed! -JD
Pain Awareness Month Edition September 2014
To my fellow Pain Warriors and Friends: September is nearly here meaning another National Pain Awareness Month will soon be underway. This is such an important month for anyone living with pain. For thirty days, public attention will be drawn to the hardships, struggles and trials of those suffering. Our Ambassadors and other organizations strive to work more closely together to promote pain education and awareness. We work together to unite the pain community while additionally raising awareness about how pain affects us all. Pain Awareness Month essentially creates hope and compassion for those with pain, reminding them they are heard, validated and never alone.
Yet what happens on the first of October? While those invested in the epidemic of pain continue their missions to advocate, educate and empower, others sometimes lose interest in the cause. A new issue takes center media spotlight, which ends the action piece that many of us were looking to follow the progress of September from happening.
This is where YOU – the pain warrior, care champion, supportive ally – play a role. It is up to you to continue voicing your stories, sharing your worries and breaking down barriers. September gives us the boost we need to bring our concerns to the forefront. But we have to take that next step. We have to push for the funding, the research, the education and the legislative changes we wish to see. It might seem like a tedious task, but every September I feel more optimistic that our collective voice is making an impact. That we are somehow getting closer to that moment when the topic of pain care is at the forefront of health care, and pain is not looked upon with a stigma but as a real disease.
I am thankful to the coalition of organizations who created Pain Awareness Month fourteen years ago. They had a vision to eradicate the under-treatment of pain and shed light on 100 million Americans living with chronic pain. Together, we are making headway but there is still such room for growth. That is why we need to keep pushing the envelope.
We must come together as a community and work for the common good of people with pain.
To all those out there who feel isolated and alone, remember there are many who understand your plights and are working to create your better tomorrow. It is our goal for everyone to have access to proper pain care, to have the ability to see the doctors they need, to receive appropriate treatments, and most importantly to walk this journey with you.
This month, and every other month, U.S. Pain is dedicated to lessening the suffering of pain and to help guide you to a hopeful and fulfilling life. We are in the process of revamping our current website. The updated site will hold more information, tools and resources to educate, empower and advocate for the pain community. Our goal is for it to go ‘live’ this fall. We are also working on a U.S. Pain app as well as a whole host of events, seminars and educational days for the upcoming fall and winter of 2015. It is important to us to expand our programs, and to do this, we continue to work with many community partners to have these programs for you.
Let’s make the 2014 September Pain Awareness Month the strongest one to date. Together, let’s shift perceptions, start that positive dialogue we want to see and finally obtain the answers we need for better medical advancements the field of pain care.
You are all pain warriors, and each of you inspires me. Thank you for being a part of this journey. Day by day, we are making small steps toward victory.
Wishing you all a low-pain and high-spirits day,
Founder & President, U.S. Pain Foundation