November is Caregiver Awareness Month in the US! To honor this, For Grace Director John Garrett is sharing his considerable carer insight and perspectives throughout the month on the Pain Matters Facebook page. John is the primary caregiver to his partner, Cynthia, who has been challenged by pain and fatigue conditions for 35 years. As such, he has a deep appreciation for what it takes to care for someone in pain along with much wisdom about how to love and sustain through the toughest of times.
Our November story features Dr. Shannon Stocker who has seen the Women In Pain experience from both sides of healthcare. As a medical student, Shannon witnessed doctors deriding women with ongoing pain complaints as "train wrecks." Then as a CRPS sufferer who went years without a diagnosis, she was told by a neurologist her pain was "psychogenic." With the help of a devoted husband, Shannon fights on telling other women in pain to "never give up."
On Sunday we learned with heavy heart that Founding Board Member Dick Freed passed away from natural causes. Dick contributed to every facet of For Grace - and was indefatigable with ideas and actions to help women in pain. He was Cynthia's meticulous editor, forever laboring over every word and theme. At For Grace we heard from Dick almost daily and it wasn't unusual for John and Cynthia to share a three-to-four hour workday with him. We are forever indebted to Dick for his never-ending care and love. Mostly, we just miss him. As Dick ended every conversation, "Bless us all."
For Grace's Change Agent Pain Summit: Part One was a great success, far exceeding our expectations. People in pain and their caregivers were heard loud and clear - and their barriers to care and solutions will be embedded in our efforts to implement the NIH's National Pain Strategy in California. Catch the magic of the day by watching our webcast archive on For Grace's website, viewing photos with detailed captions on Flickr and enjoying our wonderful day's highlight reel on YouTube.