The pain was becoming bolder. Not content with my hands and wrists, it invaded my elbows, annexed my back, and sent raids down my legs. It was conniving and multifaceted: dull aches, stabbing and throbbing sensations, and widespread tenderness. I fought back with medication, then physical therapy, chiropractic adjustments, stretching, elimination diets, and massage. But the pain grew stronger, while I grew weaker, anxious, and afraid. I was 20 years old (a junior in college) when the pain began, and there was no explanatory pathology. I saw several physicians, whose localized diagnoses (tendinitis, twisted pelvis) could not explain the pain’s origin or why it was spreading. The relentless siege was wearing me down. I despaired for my future.
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Boehnke KF. Pain Management: Assembling a Tool Kit, Building a Life. JAMA. 2018;320(21):2201–2202. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.17722
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