It felt hopeless. Another back injury. The fourth one. I’ve stopped asking myself “Why me” several years ago, but I was still depressed that it happened to me one more time.
I tried to do some training, but it just increased the pain in the neck and head. That furious pain. Even worse than migraine. It made me want to grab the ax to chop off the head to get rid of the pain. No pain killers helped. All the rehab training I knew from my earlier injuries didn’t work this time.
I lost the motivation for training. I lost the motivation to have fun. I just lost the motivation for life. I didn’t want to die. I just didn’t want to live this life full of pain anymore. My spark of life was gone.
It is World Suicide Prevention Day today (September 10th), and I want to raise awareness about how many people who live with physical pain can’t see another option other than suicide.
When the doctors don’t believe in you. When your family can’t help you. When there is no one there who can understand you. When the darkness takes over your mind. I know what it’s like. I know that feeling.
That is why I am so passionate about helping other people to deal with their pain. Because I know that it is possible to live a more valuable life. I know that with more knowledge, you can start taking control of your pain. I know that you can get understanding, love, and the knowledge that you are not alone with a community. I know that life can be absolutely fantastic.
What would you do if you with a magic wand? What do you wish most in your life?
I tell you what I would wish for. A pain-free life! That is my biggest wish. A new flat, a nice car, travel around the world, all of those are nice things to have and explore, but being free from pain would make all of those things so much more valuable.
I don’t have a magic wand. But I do know how to re-program my brain to manage my pain better and get a more even pain level, which gives me the possibility of having a more valuable everyday life. And that is the second-best thing right next after a magic wand! ✨
Here is what one of my clients say:
“Since December 2018 I have lived with constant back pain. Before that, I had back pain once in a while. I have pushed my body very hard for several years, too much hard training, too little recovery time, and too much stress. One day my back said: STOP! And I had to get an ambulance to get to the hospital. “Lumbago!” the doctor said and prescribed me some painkillers and sent me home.
In March 2021, MRI showed a dehydrated disc/herniated disc. After 2 years with the physiotherapist, and fighting with doctors to get to the back pain clinic at the hospital, I have finally started to see the light in the tunnel!
I lost my identity, the happy, alert, and fit girl was gone in a second. With the fear of increasing the pain, I locked myself into a tiny space of my own.
During this time I’ve had amazing people surrounding me, my boyfriend, friends, and colleagues. But sometimes there is a need for some other kind of help. That was the time when I realized I had to do things differently and contacted Cattis Olsson.
I have now been in her program for two months and I can already tell a difference. The pain is still there, but my attitude towards it has changed radically. I am not finished with this journey, I now know it takes time. But what I want to say is; if you live with long-term pain and are ready to work for a change, then Cattis is the right person to help you with that!”
Isn’t that just an amazing story?! I am so thankful and glad I can help her to live a more valuable life! Would you also want this get this feeling and a more valuable life?
Do you want to get more well-trained? Like really easy? Would you let someone else go to the gym for you? I guess you don’t; you know you have to do the work yourself.
So do you do work out for your brain? 🧠 Maybe you even think that it’s not for you?! 😱
Let me tell you a story about my client, who was a promising elite athlete. Her trainer wasn’t interested in listening to her talking about her mental health issues. He just wanted her to do the training in his way, with a restricted food diet, to lose weight so that she could be even more fit (she was well-trained and fit). She struggled with all of this, couldn’t find the motivation, and her self-esteem was getting lower and lower each time the trainer told her she wasn’t good enough, fit enough, that she had to stop feeling so much.
When she started as my client, she thought that she wasn’t worthy of winning or being in a bigger team. She thought she was too fat (she was not!). She thought she couldn’t get any better due to her mental health issues.
Of course, this was what she thought. The trainer had told her this over and over again, and when you hear things often, you start to believe in that, even though it isn’t true.
Her trainer didn’t like me because he thought I should only focus on her performance, and make sure she reached her goals and making her stop eat coffee bread (which she didn’t do very often).
I can’t work like that. I can’t focus on only one thing. I work more holistic, see the whole perspective. That is how you can get a real, valuable, and sustainable change.
When I started to work with her, I didn’t only focus on her performance in her sports, I also focused on digging deeper down into the cause of her mental health issues. When we started to work with that cause, and when she started to understand her feelings and emotions, she realized that her feelings and emotions weren’t there to hurt her. When she could be ok with the feelings and emotions and managed to put them aside at the races, we could focus on her performance and set new goals.
She started to make great performances in her races. She started to believe in herself again. She wasn’t ashamed of her mental health issues anymore. She could stand up for herself against the trainer. She could manage her mental health and being an elite athlete!
What do you want to achieve?
That is why I was glad to see Simone Biles during the Olympics, talking about her mental health issues (not glad for her mental health issues, of course), and despite all the buzz around her, she managed to focus and get that bronze medal!
So, I am a mental and pain coach. You can’t work with just one thing if the other isn’t with you. I have worked with many elite athletes, but I have also worked with a lot of other people. People like you and me, who want to achieve their dreams, who want to control their pain, who want to manage their stress. Because it is all attached to each other and when you start working with them altogether, real change is happening! I work with the body and mind; it all sticks together.
Why wouldn’t you want to achieve your dreams? Why wouldn’t you want to live a more valuable life? Why wouldn’t you be worthy of that? Have you been told that you shouldn’t dream that big because it’s not for you? OMG! I can’t tell you how often I get to hear that! 🙈
How can anyone else tell you what you can’t do?
If I would have listened to everyone who told me what I couldn’t do, or that my dreams were up in the blue and not realistic, I would probably not even have lived today! And I definitely wouldn’t have been helping others achieve their Olympic goals, business dreams, or managing their physical pain. 🥇💰⚡️🙌
So why would you settle with less than what’s in your dreams? I can’t do the job for you, but if you want a change, a real change, I can help you to achieve that.
If you’re willing to step things up in life, I’m here for you! If you’re willing to get the heck out of that comfort zone and say f*** o** to mediocrity, I’m the coach you’ve been looking for.
But what if…
Don’t come up with all the excuses. It’s only the fears trying to save you. The brain does that, it talks a lot of BS, and it constantly lies to you! But I can teach you how to pass by those fears and lies. You’re going to recognize all the fears that have stopped you from achieving so many things in life. And when you learn to manage it, you will ask yourself why you didn’t do this much earlier in life. Are you ready for your next step in life? Are you done with the brain’s BS once and for all? Are you ready to take control over your life instead of everyone/everything else is controlling you?
How long are you going to wait to fulfill your dreams? How long are you going to wait to take control over and manage the pain or the stress? Don’t wait another week, month, year(s)… Do it now!
One year ago, the Swedish newspaper, Svenska Dagbladet, wrote a series of articles about pain. I had the honor to be interviewed and got a double-sided article about how I have managed to raise myself up and move forward after four different back injuries.
Today I am celebrating 30 years since my first back injury!!! 🎉💃🥂
How can I celebrate an injury that has given me 30 years with constant pain?!
It’s all about mindset, attitude, and the insight that it is my own choice how I handle it. Why wouldn’t I celebrate everything that injury has given me?
All these people I have met and will meet in the future. All the knowledge about the body and the brain made me niche my coaching to help other people manage their pain and share the tools, science, and knowledge I have gathered throughout the years and still keep on gathering through collaboration and curiosity to always learn more. The things that very few within the healthcare system have shared with me through all these years. The journey with my own personal development started as a 16-year-old girl, where my life went from an elite athlete to a young girl with constant pain within a few seconds. When I early in life got the opportunity to reflect on what is important and valuable for real life.
I would never want to have that parachute jump 30 years ago undone.
Parachuting is still by far the most magnificent experience and the greatest feeling of freedom I have ever felt! 🪂
Before you start to argue about how dangerous it is to go skydiving, it is more dangerous to sit in a car than to skydive! I have also been in a car accident, and I had a whiplash injury since that accident, but I still continue to go by car, and no one ever questions that…
I have been through more tough injuries and experiences during my years so far than many people get to go through during a lifetime.
Am I bitter? Not at all!
I’m thankful! 🙏
Thankful to have the ability to see the small moments of happiness, thankful that I today can share my knowledge with others, thankful that I have chosen life!
I have three choices:
1. I can choose to finish my life and never ever feel the pain anymore. But I would also miss out on everything fantastic that life also offers me. Believe me, the thoughts have been there several times. But my curiosity about life has always been bigger!
2. I can choose to stay on the sofa, being bitter, angry, and sad. It would only increase my pain to be still and wouldn’t contribute to anything constructive or positive.
3. I can choose to focus on what I can do and enjoy life!
I have always chosen number 3!
Of course, I have bad days when I lay on the sofa, crying, I am a human being, not a robot! But I have always understood that it is my own choice to stay there or not, and I have always raised myself up, brushed off the sadness, and moved forward.
It has been a lot of tough years, financially, to be an entrepreneur, yet, I can’t even imagine going back as an employee. For me, the security to manage my own time, sleep, rest, training, and recovery is so much more worth than a paycheck every month.
I have never felt so good in my back as I am at the moment because I have the possibility to adapt my schedule to keep the pain at an even and good level. That is so much worth it for me. But of course, it is really tough to hardly have money to pay the bills or buy food, but I am also aware that I will earn more money as an entrepreneur than as an employee; I have my goals set and working my way up there.
Why do I write about these injuries and the pain?
The work to continue my ebook to Swedish has started, “The invisible pain – my faithful companion” will come out in Swedish this fall with the title “Den osynliga smärtan – min trogna följeslagare”.
This is a part of me, and I don’t talk about it to get anyone to feel sorry for me because it is not! I talk about it because 1 in 4 people lives with pain! It can be a cruciate ligament injury, arthritis, headache, long-term covid, endometriosis, back injury, herniated disc, fibromyalgia, CRPS, etc. But a lot of people get none or very little help to manage the pain.
Doctors focusing on medication and medical treatment, physiotherapists, naprapats, and similar focusing on physical treatments in the musculoskeletal system and training, and these treatments are of course vital. But very few of the people who daily meet patients with pain ever talk about one of the most important parts of pain management: the brain! The pain starts and stops in the brain, not in the foot, the knee, the back, the uterus, or wherever you feel the pain. That is where I come in; with my knowledge and experience, I complement doctors, physiotherapists, naprapats, etc.
Knowledge reduces fear, reduced fear increases the motivation to movement, increased movement decreases the pain!
This is my passion, my why, and my motivation to keep on working in my own company – to keep on helping other people to take back control over their pain again to start living a valuable and happy life again. ❤️
First of all; Hi! It’s been a while since I updated here, it doesn’t mean nothing is happening in my life and business, rather the opposite… But it’s all good stuff and I’m so excited to tell you all the news. Soon… Next week there will be coming up some new fresh things on my web page, so make sure you’ll sign up for my newsletter to not miss out on anything!Sign up here.
The big chase
Today I’m so thrilled to tell you that I have finally found it! I guess you think: “What is she talking about?”
It is a running backpack that doesn’t increase my lower back and neck pain! I have been reading a lot of threads on the topic “running backpacks” in different social media running groups, chasing the perfect backpack. Why do I need a backpack whilst running? Because I have always needed water, no matter how long or short run, and this has been even more necessary since I started with my new pain medication, Saroten, which gives an extra dry mouth (which is a sign that the medication is actually working). So, I need to bring water during my runs, and everywhere I go. There is always a water bottle close to me.
As an extra attachment, I have breasts!
I tell you, I have tried a lot of different running backpacks, running belts, vests, and waist belts, from many of the brands in the field. Spent a lot of money on this during the years and have never been satisfied. The problem with most backpacks/vests is that the weight is pressing on the shoulders. With a whiplash injury that is not very convenient, my neck and head pain has always increased from the backpacks, not from the runs themselves. And that is just frustrating!
And since most running backpacks/vests are designed without a good waist belt or just a waist belt with no function of carrying the weight on the hips, also the lower back gets increased pain by that type of ordinary backpack.
As an extra attachment, I have breasts! No shit, Sherlock! I am a woman! And a lot of backpacks are not designed for women, at least not if you are bigger than an A-cup… Sometimes it’s not even possible to move the height of the chest strap. Having a chest strap over the breasts isn’t just uncomfy, it is also affecting lung function since you get a band that stops you from raising the thorax as much as needed.
It was love at the first run
About a year ago I tried this backpack, Coxa Carry R5, in a store. But I was still skeptical, I mean, I had spent so much money on different backpacks for years, and it was not in my budget to buy a new one at the time when I tried it. But this spring I decided to buy it. Worst case scenario would have been to sell it to someone else if it didn’t fit me. That never happened!
On our first run together, I had intervals with both strength and running intervals, so it was a tough training with lots of movements in different directions, so it was really a tough maiden trip.
And the most important thing; I didn’t get any increased pain at all!
I almost didn’t felt it was there! It was so light, almost no weight at all on the shoulders and no pressure over my breasts, with the most weight carrying on my hips, it felt amazing. And the most important thing; I didn’t get any increased pain at all! I instantly fell in love with it during my first run!
So what is the difference between the Coxa Carry carrying system and other backpack carrying systems? A lot!
Product: Coxa Carry R5 Photo: Coxa Carry
Coxa Carry has a waist belt where the shoulder straps are also attached by a four-point buckle. The shoulder straps are comfortably placed in the middle of the chest, and as I mentioned earlier, it doesn’t give any pressure or inconvenience over the breasts. And it doesn’t affect the arm and upper body mobility at all.
For now, I have only tested the running backpack, but I will for a sure test more backpacks from their product line as well. Actually, I fell so much in love with them, so I asked if I could be an ambassador for them, and they said yes! That means, if you are interested in trying any of their products,you will get a 15% discount on your purchase!At the end of this blog post, you will find the web page and the magic promotional code.
My mission is to help many other people with long-term pain get a more valuable and happier life, not just surviving. Whether you can run a marathon or walk around the house with crutches, you probably need a backpack in some situations. It was many years ago since I stopped walking around with a handbag. It’s just so wrong to wear a bag with all the weight on one side, even for a non-pain person.
It was many years ago since I stopped walking around with a handbag. It’s just so wrong to wear a bag with all the weight on one side, even for a non-pain person.
So, nowadays, I have a backpack when I go for a run, to business meetings, public speeches, shopping, and everywhere I go in my everyday life. So I want to give you the possibility to save some money and don’t buy all the backpacks that aren’t suitable for a person with back and neck pain, and even if you don’t have pain these products are really great for any type of sports or everyday life. That is why I recommend Coxa Carry backpacks.
I would never recommend a brand or a product that isn’t of high quality and relevance for my business, my clients, and followers, I am actually quite picky about what and who I choose to collaborate with, that’s why I never wanted to be an ambassador for any other backpack brands because until now I haven’t been satisfied with any of them.
I am so thankful for this collaboration with Coxa Carry, and I hope you will get satisfied with your backpack as well. Let me know when you have tried one!
Do you know which is the most powerful tool in the world?
Is it the computer, Tesla cars, space rockets, weapons, some of you might even say the nuclear bomb. All of these are powerful tools in different aspects. But none of them is THE most powerful tool.
Let me introduce you to THE MOST POWERFUL TOOL IN THE WORLD!
THE HUMAN BRAIN!!!
What?! But all the powerful things I wrote about in the beginning of this email? And what about all the powerful tools you came up with? Of course, they are very powerful tools. But think again. Did those tools just invented themselves? No, they didn’t. It was the human who invented all of this stuff. It wasn’t any other animal and it didn’t just pop up by itself from the soil. The human brain is incredible and it is thanks to the plasticity* we have been able to develop the human race, without the incredible human brain we still would have lived in caves and hunting at the savannah.
We are constantly striving for development. And the curiosity to see what we are capable of is what makes us able to take the steps out of our comfort zones.
You know what the best part is?
It’s free, you don’t have to go to a special store to buy one. And everyone has one! You, me, everyone! And you want to know more what’s great about that?
You have the ability to improve your knowledge, your mindset, your situation and your pain management! This month in my Become the CEO of long term pain-program we are talking about the brain. How to strengthen your mental resilience with mental training and how the brain affects the pain and how the pain affects the brain. You want to know what one of my members in the program told me in the group coaching yesterday?
“Now I can understand why I’m reacting in certain ways and why you have given me certain tasks earlier. It’s so much easier to manage the pain when I know how the brain is acting on pain signals etc.”
Knowledge reduces fear, fear increases stress and pain. The more knowledge you get, the better can you manage the fear, the pain and your life in general.
She also said: “I thought I could manage this pain journey on my own, I’m used to manage everything on my own. But I realized I needed your help. It feels good to have someone who ask the questions and lights up the road ahead of me.”
Oh boy, did I cry?! YES!!! 🥲
Because I know I have helped another person to manage her pain journey in a better way and already after a couple of months she is making huge progress. The pain is still there, but it is in a good level and the most important thing is how she adapt to the situation when she gets setbacks so the setbacks doesn’t last for a longer time. She still needs physiotherapy and medication. What I provide is a complement to medical and physical treatments, we need all the different professions to get full effect. I provide the most powerful tool you will need in your pain management, the knowledge about how to work with your brain and your mindset to get a sustainable and persistent change.
So, when are you going to make the decision that you want to take control of your life back again? Are you ready to start the journey towards a life with good pain levels and you get the joy of life back again? When are you going to start live not just survive again?
You can start this journey right now! Why wait? The days never comes back. What is more important than your own health and wellbeing? Why wait for another year of just surviving, unhappiness, stress, pain, loneliness in your situation, lack of energy, lack of understanding from people around you, lack of motivation of doing anything because everything just increases your pain?
Join the program right now to improve your pain journey and your life! Yes, it is a huge bonus you will get when you start working with your personal development, you improve your whole life, not just the pain management!
This is a question I get quite often when I talk about how to be the CEO of long term pain. Many thinks that controlling the pain means pain killers. It is not. Read my last blog post, Science holds my back, to get more information about why pain killers doesn’t help for long term pain.
But it is possible to control the pain. Is it easy? Well, you probably have to do some changes in your life to get there, and changes doesn’t always come easy. But is it worth it?! OH YES!!!
A healthy human wants a thousand things, a sick human only wants one thing. Confusius
So what can you do to control your pain? First of all you have to work with acceptance. And acceptance doesn’t come just like that. You have probably hated your part of the body that is hurting all the time. Frankly, I thought that acceptance is the same thing as giving up. When I realized it is not and I start working with my acceptance I finally could stop that ongoing war inside my body and I could make my pain to my faithful companion instead of my hated enemy. Acceptance is about not valuate your feelings and accept that it is what it is today, it doesn’t mean it have to be like this tomorrow, or next week, next month, next year… You will actually save a lot of energy and negative feelings when you start working with acceptance. This is also one of the hardest part to work with, that is why I have it as the first module in my program, Become the CEO of long term pain. Because it takes time and you’re going to realize that acceptance is within most areas of life, especially the life with long term pain.
Do you have a lot of pain today? Does the pain increase by your job, hobbies, cleaning the house, cooking dinner etc.? If your answer is yes on any of these questions, I will ask you further questions. Is it worth the increased pain to do the things you want to do? If the answer is yes, perfect, you have made a choice and that means you will accept the increased pain as well. If the answer is no, what can you do about it? Can you change something of what you do to decrease the pain instead? Do you have to do it like you always have been doing things?
For me I have realized that being an entrepreneur is a very important step in my own pain management. Why? First of all, my passion is truly to help people to manage their own pain in a better way and get a more valuable and profitable life. So that is one of my biggest motivators! But also, when I am in charge of my own time I can schedule physical activity and recovery time every day. I can lay down on the sofa and take a nap when the extreme tiredness sets in. I can sleep a bit longer, as long as I don’t have an appointment of course, because I know that my sleep quality isn’t that good. For me working from 8-5 in an office with lots of noice, impressions, stress and maybe not even somewhere I can lay down during the day isn’t good for me. It ends up with I’m coming home and have no energy to do anything. Maybe not even cook a proper dinner and that will make my pain increase because our bodies needs decent food to take care of itself. Of course there might be employers who can give you these opportunities, but I will tell you, my pain levels overall has really decreased during the last three years as an online entrepreneur. So the worst thing that can happen to me is that I have to go back to an employment. I know it might sound crazy, but honestly, if you could decrease your pain levels would it be worth it to have a lower income for a while? For me the answer is definitely yes!
To understand what triggers your pain it is a good idea to write a pain journal. By reflecting and writing down what you have done during a day gives you the possibility to see a pattern when the pain increases and when it decreases. It is a really great and simple way to get control over your pain. It gives you knowledge about what your body reacts to, you are probably aware of the bigger things you do that increases your pain, but in this way you will also get knowledge about the small details during a day that can increase the pain. It makes it easier to schedule your week so when you know you are going to do something that most likely will increase your pain you can also schedule recovery time after that, in this way it is easier to get a better balance.
And the last thing I want to give you in the way of controlling your pain is, be persistent. It doesn’t happen over a night, if you don’t get results within a week, don’t give up. Remember how long you have lived with the pain!
As one of my clients in my pain program told me last week, “I am so glad you changed your 8 weeks course into a longer membership, because I realize that it will take some time to work with mindset, acceptance and all the other tools you share. And what if I didn’t have a flare up during the 8 weeks I wouldn’t have known how to really work with all these tools when it happened.” You can’t imagine how thankful I was to hear this. Because I know exactly what what she means.
Long term pain isn’t a quick fix. But it is possible to control the pain, but it’s only you who can do the work. I can provide you with tools, inspiration, knowledge, coaching and accountability, but I can’t do the job for you, but I can assure you I will be there to help you in your pain journey! Do you want to hear more about if I am the right coach for you and how my digital programs can help you? Book a free of charge Discovery Call, it gives us both a possibility to get to know each other and see if we are a perfect match for working together.
YES!!! This is what I have known for most part of my life. Pain killers doesn’t help when you live with chronic pain! Although, I can’t tell you how many years the doctors prescribed me Tramadol, but I guess for the last 20 years at least (I know some people use it as a drug, but you know what? I’ve used it for so many years that I don’t feel any effect of it).
It wasn’t until I got to the pain rehabilitation clinic the doctor told me that it doesn’t work for chronic pain. My straight answer was: “I know!”
This is exactly the reason why I have started up my digital program for women who lives with long term pain, “Become the CEO of long term pain“, because the health care system isn’t there yet! The doctors still gives you pain killers that doesn’t help. Or maybe a surgery, which is not always an option and it’s definitely not a quick fix! The physiotherapists gives you rehab training programs and physical treatment. And that is really good! You need that as well! But no one talks about how to work with the brain. Our most powerful tool!
This is what I always have used and worked with. My mental training. My mindset. And this is actually what I have helped clients with for more than 20 years. But I haven’t talked that much about it in public earlier, I just did my job, what I knew was working. Because my mission, when I became a massage therapist and a mental coach, was to help other people manage their pain. I had met so many professions that didn’t understand me and they had little knowledge about the side effects of living with long term pain, so I wanted to be that person that people with pain could rely on, who understood the whole picture. And I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard from my clients that I am the best massage therapist they’ve met and I am the first one who could explain pain and how they could manage the pain in their everyday life.
Through my collaboration with pain physiology professors at Karolinska Institute in Stockholm I have a great connection with the science and when they confirm that my program is really important and they confirm that what I am talking about is exactly what they have found is the most effective way of managing long term pain, that really makes me even more convinced that my knowledge is important and I would be egoistic if I didn’t share all my knowledge with others!
I want to break the stigma about long term pain! I am sick and tired of hearing that we are lazy, or that people don’t believe that we have that much pain because we are happy and can do a lot of stuff. I don’t want any pity. That’s not it. I just want understanding and to skip the shame! Let’s talk about it! Many people never talks about it and that’s fine, we don’t have to shout out about it to everyone we meet, but there is a huge number of people who suffer in silence, and the mental health problems that comes with the pain no one talks about.
And you, if you have lived with pain for more than three months, then it’s defined as long term pain. No matter what causes the pain or your age. It is not only older ladies with a cane who lives with pain.
Ok, so do you want to hear more about what I do and how I can help you? I suggest you book a free discovery call with me! Do it now! Because, before the health care system will take care of this, you will have suffered for a long, long time.
It took me 28 years of constant pain before I came to a pain rehabilitation clinic!!! Don’t wait that long! I’m right here to help you to live a better life, with more energy and less pain. I already knew what the science just confirmed and I can’t wait to share that knowledge with you!
And if you know someone who lives with pain, can you please share this to them? Give them hope and I will give them the tools!
Do you listen to your body? Or is your head filled up with all the noice and to do-lists so you don’t think you have time to listen to your body? You maybe hear or feel something is wrong, but you ignore it? Because you don’t have time for that right now… If not now, then when?
10 years ago I didn’t listen to my body. I worked as a spa-manager at a hotell in a ski resort. I also had my own company with massage treatments once a week. After a couple of months I’ve got a dermoid cyst in my ovary. I needed antibiotics to get rid of the infection before I went through the surgery. Five days after the surgery I got diarrhea, of course I thought I had an infection from the surgery.
I was wrong.
It was a parasite, cryptosporidium, in the drinking water in Östersund. Nearly 30.000 people got sick. My immune system wasn’t so strong due to antibiotics and surgery, so my body was the perfect home for those parasites. I had problem with diarrhea for a month, I could only drink fluid replacement and soup, one spoon every 10 minutes. It was horrible! We had to boil our water or buy water at the store.
I tried to work, because you can’t be away from work for too long when you work within tourism. It is a really crappy industry in that way, particularly when you have a manager position. After a month I got better and went to work full time again. It was Christmas time and the working hours was crazy. Many of my employees got the flu, and so did I. My immune system couldn’t handle it at all. Another month of sickness went by before I got well again.
I remember I was so tired, but I still tried to do my job as a spa manager and taking care of my own customers. Suddenly my back was hurting in a way it had never done before. None of my pain killers helped me. I also couldn’t control my right leg. I walked like Quasimodo (The Hunchback of Notre Dame). This was a pain I had never felt before. I tried to do anything I know that used to work for me, but nothing helped. At one point I couldn’t take it anymore. I went to the hospital and got three morphine injections. It helped for a while, but I still had sever pain. The diagnosis was three herniated discs.
I hadn’t listen to my body. At all!
I had tried to please all the people around me, my boss, my employees, customers, friends etc. instead of taking care of my self. The price I got to pay was extremely high, with rehab for a year and a half and a total mental, physical and economical collapse. I had to put my own company on hold and the spa manager job was gone. I felt very lonely in this situation, most of my friends are very active outdoors and suddenly, when I couldn’t do any of the outdoor activities my social life was also pretty much on hold.
10 years later
So 10 years have passed by and a lots of things happened during these years. Good and bad. This last year have been upside down for the whole world due to the pandemic. During the last couple of months I have been working really hard. First I released my ebook “The invisible pain – my faithful companion” in December, then I launched my membership “Become the CEO of long term pain“. Also working with my massage clients and some extra hours in a store. Just to survive financially. But the last couple of weeks my body started to scream to me.
Really loud! I listened.
I felt extremely tired all the time, irritated and hopelessness.
So I went on sick leave. I realized that this is not going to end up well if I don’t stop now. My mastermind group gave me restrictions to only work 1 hour a day. The first week I didn’t even open up my computer. I went out in the woods, to my favorite cliff where I could look out over the sea. Sat there, boiled my coffee on my gas stove and wrote my thoughts in a notebook. The writing has always been a good therapy for me. It makes it easier to straighten out the thoughts in my head.
I had a few massage clients last Friday, I wanted to see how my body reacted to do that kind of work again. My body gave me an instant reply. On Saturday I got a really annoying cough. No fever, no soar throat or anything else. “Only” a really hard cough. I tested negative for covid-19, so it’s probably a cold.
Ok body, I hear you!
I still need more recharging time. I need to be honest to myself about what is really working for me, what kind of jobs I want to and can do and what kind of jobs I need to cut down.
Due to my long term pain I live with a constant exhaustion, my body is always in stress due to the pain. It constantly tries to heal itself, although the acute injuries are healed a long time ago, but the pain is still there and the brain can’t separate these two types of pain from each other. That is why I need more recovery time than a “normal” person. That is one of the reasons I want and need to have my own business, so I can control my everyday life with enough recovery time and physical activity everyday.
So I turned down the offer to continue as a Chairman of the board of my tenant owners association and I turned down a couple of other offers as well. Things that mostly take energy and time and not gives me that much energy (or money) back. It is not always easy to say no, but it is important. For your own health and wealth.
When you say no to one thing, you open up to say yes to other things.
Make sure you always goes back and listen to your body and your own valued direction. What is right for someone else doesn’t have to be right for you, it takes courage to know and go to action for the things that is right for you. But you know what? You are going to grow a lot when you do that!
When you look at these pictures, can you see something special?
Can you tell the difference between these two women? Besides the age. Yes, that’s right, you see a happy and powerful woman, dancing in a luxurious environment (that’s me). And yes, you see a peaceful lady, reading a book at a bench in a park, with her cane leaning on her knee. But there is something else. Still doesn’t see it?
Can you really not see that I am in pain?
No, of course you can’t see it. The invisible pain, you can’t see it just by looking at a person. This constant pain that I am always having, every single day for 30 years, 24/7. I can’t tell you how many times I wished I had a “snap-on-plaster” to a leg, just to make people around me aware that I might need a seat on the bus or just not run in to me. I don’t want people to feel sorry for me, but I want people to be careful and respectful, because if someone push into my back can be devastating for me.
I made the pain to my faithful companion, but it took me many years before I was able to do that, to stop that inside war in my body where I had the pain as my hateful enemy.
I talked to a lot of physiotherapists and naprapats that I know, because I want to collaborate with them. I have a lot of knowledge about living with long term pain, they have lots of patients. But they tell me they don’t have that kind of patients. What?! Are you sure? You know that you have long term pain when you had the pain for at least three months, and it doesn’t even have to be pain 24/7. I think many people think of people with chronic pain as an older lady with a cane and having trouble to walk. I guess you could look at the picture above and some of you might say that the older woman has pain. Maybe she doesn’t have pain, she maybe has a problem with the balance and need the cane for balance.
I think actually no one of them thought of me as a person who lives with long term pain until I started to talk about it in public. Most of us who lives with long term pain doesn’t mention it very often. When someone asks me how I’m doing, I’m not telling them that I have pain, unless I have a really bad day having trouble to walk. The pain is a part of us but we don’t want to be defined by the pain. I don’t know anyone who likes to talk about their pain, it is something that most people don’t want to be associated with. And for women it is even harder to get the right diagnose and to be taken seriously. I hope it’s getting better, but as everything else regarding women’s health we’re not there yet.
About 20% of the population lives with long term pain, not everyone is diagnosed with this and therefore not counted in the statistics so I think there is quite a large number of hidden statistics that we don’t see.
No one wants to live with pain and the impact it has on our physical and mental health, but we shouldn’t have to be ashamed and neglected by doctors, physiotherapists, families, friends and employers! I am tired of hearing people talk about us as whining old ladies!
I want to break the stigma about long term pain. Stop the shaming and let’s talk about it! Join me in my free live webinar about how to be the CEO of long term pain. Register here!