My Life In Pain (TL;DR version)

Who am I? Where do I come from, what have I been through, and why did I start this blog? I tried writing it out and it’s a damn novel. So I’m going to see how bullet points work out to get through it all.

Scan of Janet jay's spine,
I wish I hadn’t work a Victoria’s Secret bra the day this scan was taken…

High School

  • First started getting dizzy at 14: nobody could figure out why
  • Hurt my neck playing soccer and hurt my neck wakeboarding, but walked away from each
  • Fall of sophomore year, began having horrible tension headaches that turned into debilitating migraines 
  • Mom took me to her chiropractor, who over-adjusted me and sent my whole back into spasm
  • I’ve been in constant pain since that day
  • Started going to doctor after doctor
  • Nobody had any idea what was wrong
  • Began hearing (and hating)“You’re too young to be in this much pain”
  • Kept going to doctors
  • Got depressed
  • Did PT that made pain worse
  • Did therapy that made depression worse
  • Continued grasping at straws; tried one “alternative” or “complementary” treatment after another.
  • Biofeeback helped, a little.
  • Went to special doctors, special hospitals (Johns Hopkins, Scottish Rite Hospital for Children), still no diagnosis
  • “You’re too young to be on pain meds
  • Did (water-based) PT that helped
  • Tried to plan a life in pain 


  • Went to college at Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh
  • The head of Pain Medicine at UPMC had no idea what was wrong either

After College

  • Moved to Knoxville, Tennessee in the middle of the opioid panic
  • Learned to jump through hoops like a damn pro
  • Moved to Austin, Texas
  • Kept jumping through hoops
  • Got worse
  • Continued worse
  • Stayed worse

Finally, an answer and options

And here we are! I’ve now spent the majority of my life in pain and have spent 20 years learning to talk the doctor talk and walk the medical walk. Stay tuned to this space for all the doctor tips and tricks I’ve spent most of my life discovering, and some of the feels and fears I’ve uncovered as well.

my life in pain: tl;dr version,


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