Category: First Person

  • Walking Dogs In The Rain

    Walking Dogs In The Rain

    People who write love songs about walking in the rain don’t live in Ohio. In December. I do. I’m just going to say, cold rain is not my idea of romantic. Or comfortable. Miserable. It does come to mind when I think of the word ‘miserable’. I bring this up, because I was thinking about…

  • Tiny Steps Towards Reducing Stress

    Tiny Steps Towards Reducing Stress

    Some days are worse than others. That’s just how it works. You can wake up today feeling refreshed and inspired to put your best foot forward. You can do all of your recommended exercises, eat all the “right” foods, think all the “right” thoughts, and still have pain flare-ups throughout your day. We can never…

  • Kids Who Go To School In Pain

    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…

  • Being Organized Is Even More Important When You’ve Got No Energy To Spare

    Being Organized Is Even More Important When You’ve Got No Energy To Spare

    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…

  • Want To Hear The Science?

    Want To Hear The Science?

    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…

  • Representation Matters

    Representation Matters

    When we recognize ourselves in others we admire it allows us to imagine ourselves in a better future.

  • Don’t Tell Me Everything Happens “For A Reason”

    Don’t Tell Me Everything Happens “For A Reason”

    Platitudes can hurt people in pain just as much as illness.

  • Pain, Ambiguous Loss, & Acceptance

    Pain, Ambiguous Loss, & Acceptance

    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…

  • You Can Curse

    You Can Curse

    How do you cope when things feel their worst? You can cry. Or laugh. Or curse.

  • A Life Changing Event

    A Life Changing Event

    When do I get my old life back? The answer is, you don’t. That’s why they call it a ‘life changing event.’

  • Are You Faking It?

    Are You Faking It?

    Faking being sick? I’m faking being well. And not that successfully.

  • Incomplete Acts, Everyday Anxiety, and Getting Things Done

    Incomplete Acts, Everyday Anxiety, and Getting Things Done

    Four strategies to organize work and decrease anxiety.

  • Thanks. I’d Rather Skip The Pain

    Thanks. I’d Rather Skip The Pain

    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…

  • Taking Back Your Life

    Taking Back Your Life

    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.…

  • Getting Kids In Pain To School

    Getting Kids In Pain To School

    Concrete tips on moving a teen in pain out of bed and towards functioning.

  • Control Your Focus

    Control Your Focus

    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…

  • New Edition Released of Parenting a Child in Chronic Pain

    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.

  • A Lung Transplant Puts College In Perspective

    A Lung Transplant Puts College In Perspective

    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…

  • It’s not theory: Real voices from real people

    It’s not theory: Real voices from real people

    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…

  • Max Kramer models migraine spreading depression

    Max Kramer models migraine spreading depression

    Max Kramer worked with Oberlin Professor Emeritus Richard Salter and Dr. Nancy Darling to develop a computational model of the spreading neurological depression characteristic of the brain during a migraine. Compuational modeling is a way of using mathematical and logical modeling to simulate behavior in the real world. Max used Numerus software, developed at Oberlin…

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