Hurting Like Hell, Living with Gusto

My Battle with Chronic Pain


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About the Book

“Tuesday morning, I spent an hour with a neurologist trying to figure out why I kept tripping over my feet. He pushed and pulled on my legs, whacked me with a reflex hammer and shone a light so deep into my eyes I thought it might illuminate the wall behind my head. That afternoon, I drove home and ordered a new backpacking tent.” Pain is an unforgiving equalizer—forget social status, race or gender. For people suffering from chronic pain, “real life” can get lost among endless appointments, diagnoses, prescriptions and medical bills. Living a life beyond mere survival becomes as big a battle as fighting the pain itself. Drawing on her experiences as both a patient and a health-care professional, the author candidly describes her sudden transition from a healthy, active lifestyle to years of learning to live with debilitating pain.

About the Author(s)

Victoria Stopp’s writing has appeared in various newspapers and magazines and on several websites. Her essays have been published in multiple anthologies and she was a 2017 recipient of a Wildacres residency. She lives in Pensacola, Florida.

Bibliographic Details

Victoria Stopp
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 171
Bibliographic Info: bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2017
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6990-8
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3090-8
Imprint: McFarland
Series: McFarland Health Topics

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
Preface 1
Introduction 7

1. Who I Was 11
2. Becoming Chronic 16
3. Pills and More Pills 21
4. Normal Pain Before Chronic Pain 27
5. Insight and an MRI 32
6. Pain Management 38
7. Side Effects 48
8. Pain and Social Media 54
9. First Neck, Then Low Back 58
10. EMDR 62
11. Traveling, Backpacking and Defiance 67
12. Dystonia and More Specialists 73
13. Disability and a New Tattoo 77
14. The Power of Exercise 81
15. From Patient to Caregiver 88
16. The Expense of Chronic Pain 96
17. Hope, a New Puppy and a Long Hike 100
18. Memories and Mind Control 109
19. The Military Question 115
20. Stronger 123
21. A Bad Fall 130
22. Discovering Yoga 150
23. What I Would Have Done 154

Epilogue 157
Suggested Reading and Resources 159
Index 161

Book Reviews & Awards

• Gold Medalist—Florida Authors and Publishers Association (FAPA) President’s Awards

• “From navigating appointments to reconnecting with her love of running and backpacking, Stopp shares living with chronic neck and back pain after being injured at work; essential for anyone experiencing pain”—Library Journal

• “A hopeful message to chronic-pain sufferers to ‘take their power back.’”—Out Magazine

• “This book confirmed for me that I am not alone in my suffering, that it is possible to do the things I love to do, and be proactive in finding answers that make my quality of life better. I love that she has not lost her sense of humor and it shows in her writing style.”—Fundinmental

Ebook Availability

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