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I have studied parenting on five continents for close to four decades. I’m also a mom — the mom of two sons, one of them who is very sick. I know what it is to beat yourself up about not being a perfect parent. But too many parents beat themselves because they are trying to meet two entirely different, incompatible, and […]
I am so honored to be interviewed for the Living With An Invisible Injury podcast. Listen here:
The fact that the 1step2life app grew completely out of our experience as a family is so deeply ingrained into the fiber of my being that I forget to tell people about it. Hence this post. I was asked for information about 1step2life by the editors of MyChronicBrain – an online magazine and newsletter for […]
It’s really sort of amazing how complicated the working of the jaw is and how little we even think about chewing and swallowing until something goes wrong. I became interested in the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and its related dysfunctions a couple of years ago when my mother took a really bad fall. She got a […]
Understanding pain helps people understand why they feel the way they do. It can be part of a multi-disciplinary approach to treating chronic pain. Here, I talk about the bio-psycho-social model of pain, focusing on different parts of the pain process and how they can be modified. I gave this talk on May 17, 2021 […]
The previous post, Ganglia, Facial Nerves, & the SPG, described ganglion structure and function and the relationship of the SPG (sphenopalatine ganglion) and how it’s related to other facial nerves. The SPG is is a focal point for two cranial nerves, covering from the temples forward, down through the jaw, and back to the ears. […]
Neurons are made up of cell bodies and finger-like dendrites. A ganglion is a clustered bundle of nerve cell bodies and associated dendrites assembled together to accomplish a discrete function. For example, the sphenopalatine ganglion (SPG) is located deep between the eyes. Among its many functions are regulating blood flow in the turbinates and facial […]
When we think of nerves going up to and down from the brain, everyone knows about the spinal column. But there are also twelve pairs of nerve bundles that exit the bottom of the skull directly that have nothing to do with the spinal column. These are called cranial nerves. Cranial nerves are involved with […]
Pain is invisible. That means any time, any place, someone can just kick you in the stomach by telling you that your pain is ‘all in your head’. That’s why it is so important for the people we love to believe us when we describe what we feel and it’s why we so value medical […]
In July 2020, the International Society for the Study of Pain redefined pain. It doesn’t sound like a big deal. We all know what pain is, right? Not something that would take a bunch of scientists several years consulting with many different stakeholders. But it is. Here is what they wrote: Pain is: “an unpleasant […]
One of the hardest things about invisible illnesses is that they’re – um – invisible. No one can see them. Only the person who has them knows they exist. The most common chronic pain conditions in children and teens – headache, migraine, gastrointestinal problems, skeletal issues – are trivialized. That’s pretty awful. Anyone, anytime, can […]
When my child’s in pain, my first instinct is to try to fix it. That’s my job right? But it’s not always what they need. Sometimes they need to vent and blow off steam. This is hard for us. It’s worse for them. If we jump in too fast we’re not giving them permission to […]
What is tyramine? Basics Tyrosine is one of the ‘big twenty” amino acids used to build proteins in animals, plants, bacteria and effectively all living organisms. Tyramine is a natural break-down product of the amino acid tyrosine. There are 3 main ways high tyramine foods get into our diet. Some foods, like soy beans, snow peas, […]
Tyramine is a naturally occurring amino acid present in many common foods. Cheese, sausage, lentils, snow peas, and soy. Deli meats, sauerkraut, nuts, wine, and beer. Yogurt and Cheetos. All have high levels of tyramine. Because tyramine occurs when proteins age, virtually ALL leftovers are high in tyramine. For example, I might cook fresh chicken […]
Hydration is important for everyone. Folks with chronic pain get really tired of being asked if they’re drinking enough water. I know my son does. But how much you should drink is a more complicated question than it first appears. And important enough to think about before rolling your eyes when asked – one more […]
Many types of pain – including migraines, amplified regional pain syndrome, and fibromyalgia – are caused by a failure of the nervous system. A negative spiral Acute pain protects us from tissue damage – we pull back from flames because we feel pain. Unfortunately, this healthy system can backfire. Many chronic pain conditions are caused […]
Biofeedback is a set of techniques that allow you to exert conscious control over what are normally involuntary biological functions. For example, consciously slowing your breathing and heart rate are common forms of biofeedback. With more practice, you can learn to increase circulation in your hands and warm them up. You can become more conscious […]
I walked into my son’s room this morning – it was immediately obvious it was one of ‘those’ days. Light sensitivity. Migraine spike. Fog. You know the gig. So I asked my usual self-care questions: Did you take your rescues? Water? Salt? Magnesium oil? Daily meds? “Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.” No eye roll (thank […]
Friday, after an appointment with my psychiatrist at Emory, it occurred to me that this month marks 13 years of therapy and treatment. I would almost describe those 13 years as an “After” period, denoting a new phase in my life, because it has been so transformative. Before I finally reached out for help, I […]
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 […]
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.
When do I get my old life back?
The answer is, you don’t. That’s why they call it a ‘life changing event.’
Faking being sick? I’m faking being well. And not that successfully.
Families need to work together towards a shared goal: helping children grew into healthy happy adolescents and adolescents make successful transitions to adulthood.
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 […]
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
We joined Oberlin’s Chalk Walk to raise migraine awareness on national Shades of Migraine day. Follow our KnowledgeBase as it grows too!
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 […]