Updated: Jun 8, 2019
"When pain is to be borne, a little courage helps more than much knowledge, a little human sympathy more than much courage, and the least tincture of the love of God more than all."
What this site is about.
Knowledge is power, they say. Liberating, too. To the extent that’s true (and it sure can be) I hope this effort is educational. I’d like to see more empowerment and liberation for people who struggle with pain and suffering. And addiction - but that’s a different (not unrelated) topic.
My expertise consists of theoretical and practical knowledge of pain, and its management. (You can read about my credentials in a blog called "How I wound up here" on this page if you’re interested.) Anyhow, from that vantage point I'll be sharing quite a bit of scientific and clinical information and experience here in these posts.
But as Mr. Lewis points out, a little courage helps more than much knowledge. First off I'd like to salute those whose expertise lies in the area of courageously facing chronic pain and all the terrible trials involved with that. Some of their stories are presented here, in hopes that their real struggles and triumphs (and even their defeats) instill faith and hope - even courage in you. Inspiration trumps education when it comes to the real challenges of life.
“Yes, disability is terribly difficult and chronic pain can eat away at your peace of mind.” - Joni Eareckson Tada
In their stories and insights, (and in mine) I hope you find human sympathy as well. One major dictionary lists as its first definition of sympathy "feelings of pity and sorrow for someone else's misfortune." While this probably does represent the current common use of the word, its actual etymology is "feeling with." That dictionary (and others) go on to present a secondary definition that better captures the real meaning of the word: "understanding between people; common feeling."
Support groups for cancer, bereavement, addiction, and pain exist for a lot of reasons, but one of the more important ones is because we need to know we're not alone in our experience. We're taught as physicians (and other health professionals) the tremendous importance of letting our patients be heard, and their story and experience validated. In 15 years of doing this I have yet to find a person who didn't want to be heard and understood. And I can't count how many have experienced tremendous healing psychologically, and in some cases even physically just from being believed and regarded.
“When your heart is being wrung out like a sponge, when you feel like Morton’s salt is being poured into your wounded soul, you don’t want a thin, pale, emotional Jesus who relates only to lambs and birds and babies... You want mighty. You want the strong arm and unshakable grip of God who will not let you go — no matter what... I need a battlefield Jesus at my side down here in the dangerous, often messy trenches of daily life. I need Jesus the rescuer, ready to wade through pain, death, and hell itself to find me, grasp my hand, and bring me safely through.” - Joni Eareckson Tada
In our clinic we believe fully in the biopsychosocial-spiritual model of life, and medicine, and the management of chronic pain. We are unapologetically Christian in our faith and ministry (and on this site) while respecting that many of you are not. That respect though doesn't keep us from praying, and trying to live out lives and professional roles that model the Love of God. We wouldn't be true to Him or ourselves, nor to you if we failed in that regard.
As we say to many people who are ready for something more than what they've found in their journeys with pain, addressing only the physical shell won't fix chronic pain. Pain after all is just a messenger telling us that something is wrong and needs attention. We are human - made with minds, hearts, souls and spirits that need healing too. (And among all these dimensions of our lives, the only one we believe isn't permanent in its present iteration is that shell.) So we invite you to consider with us looking for Someone capable of healing all of these aspects that suffer. Someone that can bring us beyond pain.
-Heath McAnally, MD, MSPH
21 Aug 2018
Content on beyondpain.us is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.