Note: I wrote this years ago, when my son’s migraines first when chronic. Much has changed in our lives. Sending him to school with his pain remains one of the hardest things my husband and I – and certainly our son – has ever had to do. But every single day he went – maybe […]
I write a lot about organizing, because I have too much to do and very few spoons to spare. I also know that if I don’t write things down, they spin around in my head and keep me from sleeping. If we try to keep everything in our head without an organizational system, we keep […]
Pain Rehab: Building Strength To Push Back Pain People living with pain are most successful at taking back their lives when they take an active role in their recovery. (That’s one of the reasons that 1step2life focuses on emotions, activities, and functioning.) For most of us, there is no ‘magic jelly bean’ that will suddenly […]
I was excited beyond words to be asked to present the 1step2life app to the team at the Cleveland Clinic Pediatric Pain Rehabilitation program on Monday. These folks are my heroes. For all the pain and trauma that my son’s migraine disease has introduced into his life, we’ve been incredibly lucky to live close to […]
Why do I hurt all the time? Healthy pain is like a good guardian. It keeps you from hurting yourself and teaches you to stay safe. This type of pain is called ‘acute pain’. Unfortunately, sometimes the acute pain system becomes too sensitive and overprotective. When that happens, you perceive pain as if you were injured, […]
When we recognize ourselves in others we admire it allows us to imagine ourselves in a better future.
Platitudes can hurt people in pain just as much as illness.
Pain leads to depression. Depression leads to pain. The amygdala mediates it all.
Acceptance means holding both a painful now and a hopeful future in our minds· Death can be a harsh shock, as someone is ripped from us and is no longer present in our lives. It has a finality to it – that’s part of the shock and much of the pain. But it is real […]
Feeling pain is an essential function of the brain and nervous system. Healthy pain keeps you safe when you touch something hot. It tells you to stop when you’ve exercised and your heart and lungs aren’t providing your muscles with enough oxygen. It reminds you to move when you’ve been sitting too long. Chronic pain, […]
A mother’s despair This app began as a search for a tool. My son was in horrible pain – in bed, in the dark, barely holding on to school. When I looked at him, my first thought was always the same – How much pain is he in? Then I’d wonder if he’d taken his […]
The Daily Check In can help you prioritize what is important to you and build a healthier balance in your life.
Everyone’s pain is different and everyone is in a different place in their journey.
Focusing all your attention on one manageable area of sensation can drown out the sensation of pain.
How do you cope when things feel their worst? You can cry. Or laugh. Or curse.
Hydration is every doctor’s go to recommendation for anyone living with chronic pain. But it helps. Your cells can’t function properly without sufficient water. Not drinking enough causes pain all by itself that can’t be distinguished from pain due to illness. Plus – as I always tell my son – if you drink enough water, […]
When do I get my old life back?
The answer is, you don’t. That’s why they call it a ‘life changing event.’
Acute pain is protective. With chronic pain, the pain itself becomes the disease.
Faking being sick? I’m faking being well. And not that successfully.
Pain, stress, and emotional distress are in the mind, but express themselves in physical tension. You can feel it in that tight neck, those stiff shoulders, and in that clenched jaw and hands. Notice that your back teeth hurt just a little? Feel that twinge between your shoulders? Back ache just a bit? The relationship is […]
Four strategies to organize work and decrease anxiety.
It feels good to be recognized for being strong. Because overcoming obstacles is hard. Especially when many of those obstacles are not something that most people even see as an obstacle – like making it from your bed to the couch. Overcoming obstacles can reveal strength in us we never knew we had, shape us […]
1step2life started with my son’s experience with severe chronic migraine disease. It made no sense to log pain when the pain is always there. What he needed was something that helped him celebrate his victories – making it to school, getting the mail, turning down the pepperoni pizza and sticking to his low tyramine diet. […]
We’ve been feeling like that pilot attacking the Death Star in Star Wars.
Families need to work together towards a shared goal: helping children grew into healthy happy adolescents and adolescents make successful transitions to adulthood.
Concrete tips on moving a teen in pain out of bed and towards functioning.
I’ll be honest. I spend my life crazy stressed. I have a job that my husband describes as ‘flexible – you can work any 60 hours a week you like’. And then I have two more jobs – I am Editor in Chief of the Journal of Adolescence and I’m also starting this company. And […]
Doctor! Doctor! It hurts when I do this!
Well . . . don’t do this.
It’s so hard as a parent when you are desperately hoping your child will just make it to school and squeak through to graduation. And so hard to listen to even your dearest friends fret about things that you’d give your eye teeth to be worrying about. It’s just hard.
You know they mean well. You know they care. In fact, they’re trying to be sympathetic and make a connection. But when you tell them you have severe chronic migraines and they say ‘oh yeah, my sister-in-law gets migraines too’, and then ask if you if you’ve tried Excedrin Migraine . . . . No, […]
Many people living with chronic pain are sensitive to the environment. On the down side, there’s the pain. Allodynia is a condition where modest stimuli – like brushing your hair – triggers pain. It’s common in people who have migraine, regional pain syndrome, fibromyalgia, other conditions. I remember my son cringing from the sound of […]
The developers have been working hard to take our dream and turn it into an app that you can download from the AppStore or GooglePlay. We are getting so close! We are currently working through our fourth version of the app, making sure the user interface is as clear and easy to use as we […]
A few years ago, I wrote a piece in my Psychology Today blog for college students about how to talk to their professors about accommodations. Most professors (not all) honestly want to help. But the letters we get from the offices of disability service are usually vague and don’t tell us what students really need. […]
Just a shout out to a good blog on the use of distraction in chronic pain published in Psychology Today.
Migraine Action has produced a fantastic resource for people with migraines and those who care for them. https://view.publitas.com/migraine-action/predict-the-storm-guide-for-those-supporting-cyp/page/1
This is an ad for a study I’ve been working on with a student (Max Kramer) for the last year. My son took part in the first phase. Max is recruiting an additional 10 participants. It’s pretty easy and participants do get paid. It will contribute to developing a machine learning algorithm to help better […]
I just wrote a new blog for Psychology Today on COVID-19 and kids. As the parent of someone who is chronically ill, I not only worry that he’ll be sick with the flu or COVID-19 or a cold. I worry that getting any of those viruses will kick off another long spike in pain. Keeping […]
When your child is in pain, it’s easy to focus in on the three things that worry us: pain, pills, and homework. I know for myself, just seeing my son’s face triggers that mental checklist.
As a developmental psychologist who has studied parenting on four continents, I can tell you a lot about raising teenagers. But nothing prepared me for watching my son shaking under the covers flinching from the light, and unable to speak from pain.
While we love the look of our original logo, many of our users have found that it has TOO MUCH WHITE! and that’s just hard on the eyes if you have migraines or photophobia.
Today was a bad pain today. It was noon and already he’d taken all his rescue meds. He’d used all the tricks – double water, salt. He’d already done three hours of biofeedback. And there the pain was – a big looming suffocating force drilling into his brain.
Many people living with chronic pain have a condition called photophobia – their brain interprets light as a painful stimulus. That can make looking at screens a painful experience and makes designing an app extra challenging!
Creating videos that teach complex topics like how neurons fire is a challenge for content creators. That’s one project that Oberlin College intern Carlos Armstrong faced when working with Nancy Darling on 1step2life – and app designed to help teens living with chronic pain get out of bed and take back their lives.
We joined Oberlin’s Chalk Walk to raise migraine awareness on national Shades of Migraine day. Follow our KnowledgeBase as it grows too!
1step2life is very fortunate to have Alex Metz interning with us this summer. We have spent hours each day developing content for the Knowledge Base. Alex has spent much of his time researching and writing about the neuroscience of pain. Alex is a senior at Oberlin College majoring in Creative Writing and Philosophy. He intends […]
Art and Text: Carlos Armstrong Warning: this post includes photographs of surgical incisions some people may find upsetting. To me, chronic pain is more than just a subject to research. It is something constantly present in my own life. On the lower end of my pain scale, I have been living with debilitating chronic migraines […]
Writing, developing an app, and laying out a strategic plan for both a knowledge base and business require a lot of thought. And a lot of tea! Blue Rooster Bakehouse is one of my favorite Oberlin spots – especially on rainy summer afternoons.
So excited to meet with Stream9, our app design team! Many decisions to be made. We will be asking for feedback on potential designs from those on our mailing list. Follow us on Twitter! We want to hear from you. @1step2life1
We are very fortunate to have three student interns working with us this summer – Carlos Armstrong, Mary Madison Baker, and Alexander Metz. During the month of June, they have been building the Knowledge Base section of our website. Writing clearly and well about topics like the neurological underpinning of pain can be challenging. We […]
1step2life’s core mission is to build an app that helps kids living with chronic pain get out of bed and into the world. There are many things that make this project special to me. One, in particular, is how many of the Oberlin students involved GOT involved because they suffer from pain themselves. When we […]