long term pain

Is it really possible to control the pain?

Woman holding black Sony Ps 4 game controller
Wouldn’t it be convenient if we could control the pain with a game controller?!

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.

Everyday life

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!

Pain journal

Woman in cerise blouse writing journal by hand

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.

Talk soon,
Cattis

Science holds my back!

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!

https://www.cattisolsson.com/f/discovery-call

Don’t wait. Don’t think that this isn’t for you! Of course it’s for you! You are worthy to have a life with less pain, more energy and happiness!

Talk soon,
Cattis ❤️

When the body talks, Listen!

Woman sit in the forest, leaning against a cliff, enjoying the sounds of the nature.

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.

Have you tried to sit in the nature and listen to the natures sound
and what your body really tries to say to you?
Photo: Lumeah Photography

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!

Are you listening to your body now?

Take care of you!
With love, Cattis

Can you see it?

One woman in pink blouse dancing in a luxurious environment, one older woman on a bench reading a book with the cane leaning on her knee

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!

See you soon,
Cattis

Why You?

Have you ever asked yourself the question “Why me?” when something bad happens to you? 
I know I have. But not for many years now. I realized it’s not a constructive question to ask because it will most certainly not give any answers.
For some years me and my friends also talked about “This year will be the best year!” and then something even worse happened that year, so I’ve quit with that saying too… 

To feel pity about yourself won’t get you anywhere, of course, to have a mental breakdown once in a while is something I think we all need sometimes. Actually, I had one earlier this week. It made me put my computer away, watched some sad, “cryable” movies on Netflix, eating chocolate and cried for a couple of hours. It gave me so much relief and energy to continue with my work later on.

But to get caught up being a victim of feelings and circumstances for too long is not going to make anything better. 

Life isn’t fair. I am totally aware of that. But it is your choice if you will stay as a victim or if you’re going to take the responsibility for your own life and your own pain journey.  

But how?

It is not easy to do it by yourself, you will have days when you feel hopeless, sad, depressed, bitter, angry and so on. And you know what?! That is ok! It proves you’re a human and not a robot. Don’t hide your feelings in a dark space in your body, they will explode at some time and the longer you’ll hide them away, the bigger explosion when they come up to the surface. But when you get stucked in the sadness, the bitterness and the angriness for a longer time, then it’s a warning bell ringing. Because that isn’t constructive at all. And it is not easy to get out of there alone.

That is why I’m now opening the doors to my 8 weeks digital program “Become the CEO of long term pain“. Because I know that a community with other people who are in the same situation is so powerful and important. You can’t demand that your family and friends can understand your pain and your feelings. Sometimes it is very lonely to live with long term pain, although you have friends and family around you, but you are alone in your situation. You don’t have to be, not anymore!

This is what you’ll get in this digital program:

Webinar with the theme of the week every Monday
– Acceptance
– Sleep
– Recovery
– Communication
– Physical activity
– Self treatment
– Mental resilience
– Ergonomy

You will also get:
– Life hacks
– Community with other people in the same situation
– Live group coaching every Thursday

In addition to this you will also get workbooks, relaxation and meditation sound files, checklists and lots of life hacks for managing your everyday life.

The doors for registration will be closed at Monday February 8th 23.00 PM CET. So hurry up!
Grab your seat already today!

Read more and register here!

Anything is possible – you maybe just have to do it in another way. I will help you find your way to become the best CEO of your pain which means you can be the CEO of your life, your business, job career and sports career.

With love,
Cattis

2020 The craziest year

Woman in cerise tied front blouse with a glass of champagne in one hand and raises the other hand in a happy hello

I know for sure that I am not alone of thinking this about 2020. It has really been a crazy year in many ways.

In late December 2019 it felt like a new beginning with a new decade. I set up high goals, my biggest one was to have lectures and public speeches at big international arenas.

I got booked for public speeches in Sweden, and of course that was good enough to start with during spring. I aimed to go international during the autumn.

In January I signed a contract as a health management consultant with Oxy Group AB. It felt so good, we had meetings during the fall and I was so honored to be part of this amazing start up with other consultants who also work within health management. The team is really wonderful and there is so much knowledge we can combine together to provide the best services for business who really wants health and leadership changes for real.

I had a goal to become a writer for a magazine and in February I signed a contract as an expert writer within human sustainability for Motivation.se, a Swedish leadership site. A huge milestone for me who always dreamed of writing professionally.

2020 – the year when anything could happen!

That was exactly how it felt. Anything could happen! But I was convinced that it was mostly good things that would happen. It felt like the world was ready to work more within healthy leadership and organizations and I was ready to get out in the world with my knowledge.

Then March happened…

During two days in late March all of my pre booked speeches got cancelled. Since I have worked mostly online the past three years I tried to convince them to have it online instead. But they were not ready for that at the time. It was chaos and panic and no one knew what was about to happen (I guess all of us are glad we didn’t knew what was expecting us this year…).
I saw the income for the whole spring running out of my hands. I tried to launch a membership that I worked with earlier and it was good at the moment, we met online every morning in the beginning to just check in how everybody was feeling during the craziest time. But it wasn’t really a good launch and I realized it wasn’t what I was going to do. But at least it was a solution at the time.

The clinic

Suddenly I got an invitation from a naprapat to start as a massage therapist at his clinic, Hel Friskvård, in Saltsjöbaden. I said yes! I came to an empty calendar but I started to contact previous patients and people started to come to me for massage. This really saved me. And I am so thankful that I have my education as a massage therapist and been working with that for about 22 years. Actually, I decided in December 2019 that I would stop working with massage since it’s really tough for my back injuries and I knew that I wanted to work more online and with speeches. But I’m not the one who can’t change from one minute to another if the situation demands it. That is what a strong mental resilience is about, the ability to adapt to the situation and finding solutions instead of problems.

Most of the people who lives in the surroundings of Saltsjöbaden work at their home office since March/April and as we all know, home offices aren’t the best for ergonomics, so a lot of people actually needs my help with sore neck and shoulders.

The interview

I was contacted by a journalist from one of Swedens biggest newspapers, Svenska Dagbladet. She wanted to do an interview with me about my life with long term pain. A double sided article was published a Sunday in late July.

After that article I got several emails and phone calls from people who also lives with long term pain. I got coaching clients from that article. Clients who I helped handling the pain with strategies, mindset and pep talks.
Can you imagine my happiness when one client contacted me to tell me that he was almost pain free and that without surgery. Thanks to my coaching and naprapat treatments he got control of his pain. I cried of thankfulness when I got that message from him!

Thankful that my own journey with 30 years and 4 different back injuries – 30 years of constant pain, could help someone else to shorten their pain journey.

Tjejmarathon – Run for Panzi

In the early spring I also set up a goal to run Tjejmarathon, 15 km on an extreme trail running course. The race was in October so I had plenty of time for training.

Except.

I did what I tell my coaching clients not to do. I didn’t write this goal up. So in confusion that covid-19 caused I forgot about my goal. That is actually what happens when you think you can have it all in your head, when something more acute/interesting/funnier/important etc. happens, the brain will not prioritize to think of that goal. Sometimes it’s worthy to try my clients way of doing things to remind myself of the importance of every step in the mental training to reach the goals!

Anyhow, I totally forgot about this goal until five weeks before the race. I had been training, but not specifically to run that kind of race. But I set up a training plan and held it strictly during those five weeks.

You know what?! I finished the race! I did it! I ran 15 km on an extreme trail running course. I did walk at some times, some of the uphills is quite steep so it’s actually better to walk up than to run and waste too much energy.
My goal was to finish. I didn’t have a time or place goal. I was only really, really happy to be able to make it.

The absolutely best part with Tjejmarathon is that is a charity race where most part of race fee goes to The Panzi Hospital, where Dr Denis Mukwege help girls and women who are victims of sexual violence.

The international dream

I couldn’t let go of the thought to work more internationally. I needed the challenge to use my English more and I also knew that it is a bigger audience if I work in English than only in Swedish.

In October I had a meeting with business developer Kristina Sundbaum. I have a lot of ideas in my head, but it’s not always that easy to get a straight up plan for myself. I guess it’s quite common as an entrepreneur to have this popcorn brain.

After that meeting I got a document from her with a plan what to do and when and questions for me to answer to getting forward.

This was exactly what I needed. Suddenly all the steps fell in place and I decided to write my first ebook. And I wrote it in English. My vision about taking my knowledge international was within reach.

In December I launched my ebook with a digital book release live streamed to Youtube. So the goal of having an international public and a big stage was accomplished, just in another way that I first planned. I had my friend and business colleague Ann-Sofie Forsmark (also founder of Oxy Group and Tjejmarathon) as moderator and I couldn’t have asked for a better book release.
And I am so thankful and happy for all the positive reviews I’ve got about the book.

2021 just around the corner

With only one day left of this year it feels good that there is a new year coming up. A year where we can get vaccin for the covid-19 and hopefully we can start to have a social life again to see family and friends. To just give someone a hug. Although I love to work online, but no screen can replace a physical hug from someone you care about.

But I am pretty sure that we will never go back totally to how life was before the pandemic. Lot’s of people have discovered that it is quite nice to work from home, at least a couple of days a week. Other people have discovered how much they really miss to be at their office every day.

We also learned that online courses, webinars, meetings etc. is really cool! I mean, we can actually learn things and get to know people from all of the world without travelling there. I’ve been in this digital world for a few years and I have several online friends who I still haven’t met IRL, but they have become some of my closest friends and really helped me during this challenging time. So yes, there is absolutely possible to build a strong and deep friendship through the screen.

It turned out that anything actually could happen in 2020. But I ‘m pretty sure no one had a pandemic in their year goals or business plan for this year.

I have huge plans and goals for 2021! Do you want to follow me on the upcoming journey? Make sure you have signed up for my newsletter!

Hey 2021 I’m ready for you – are you ready for me?!

With love,
Cattis

Woman in cerise tied front blouse with a glass of champagne in one hand and raises the other hand in a happy hello

Happy New Year!