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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Call to action on S.483 and the National Pain Strategy


Following is my letter to President Obama, my state senators and representatives. Please join me in asking your legislators to pass laws that will provide chronic pain patients the care we need and change how pain is perceived, judged and treated in America.  Let them know you want them to support legislation that coherently and collaboratively addresses all aspects of pain. Let's bring research funding, proven integrative care, and access to medications to the table. Let them know how you want them to respond when legislation passes to them. Send them the letter from PAINS to President Obama, as I have.  You can find contact information for your legislators on my website at: http://www.celestecooper.com/sample-advocacy-letter.html


 
“Those who have learned by experience what physical pain and bodily anguish mean, belong together all the world over; 
they are united by a secret bond.” 

- Albert Schweitzer 



Dear____

As an RN, chronic pain patient, advocate, writer, and published author of self-help books for coping with chronic pain, I ask that you please read the letter sent to President Obama from the Pain Action Alliance to Implement a National Strategy asking him to make the finances and tools available to implement the National Pain Strategy. Chronic pain patients and those suffering from opioid addiction deserve compassionate, effective treatment. I have lived with chronic pain since childhood, having suffered life-long chronic migraine. Now in my “golden years” I suffer from more than one chronic pain condition, two for which we know little about and one that is extensive and inoperable. To withhold the medication that allows me to do the things I write about or to look at me differently because an opioid is the only medication that helps me is inhumane. To make decisions based on media sensationalism instead of reliable evidence is not democratic, nor is it the values this land is supposed to stand for. It is equally deplorable that addicts are kicked out of treatment before they are ready. Mental health care in the United States is not outcome based; it is driven by ability to pay. These things must change, but they will not unless we have your support.

[US Senators]
Please enact legislation such as S.483 introduced by Senator Orrin Hatch, and other legislation that will move the National Pain Strategy forward. 

[US Legislator]
Please support H.R. 471 (S. 483) legislation  introduced by Rep. Tom Marino, and other legislation that will move the National Pain Strategy forward.

Please read:

Letter to President Obama from the Pain Action Alliance to Implement a National Strategy

Thank You

~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ 


Also see:

Others in support of the NPS: 

            CPTAF also sent a letter to the Senate HELP Committee 
  • Dr. Sean Mackey, Stanford University Pain Research, and Dr. Lynn Webster, Past President of the American Academy of Pain Medicine, author and producer (see interview, here). 
  • Other organizations, and individuals, many outlined at the end of the PAINS letter, those who are on the steering committee at PAINS, and those aligned with the CPTAF (also listed at the end of their letter to the US Senate HELP committee noted above).



~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~

"Adversity is only an obstacle if we fail to see opportunity."  
Celeste Cooper, RN
Author—Patient—Health Central Chronic Pain Pro Advocate

Celeste’s Website: http://CelesteCooper.com

Learn more about what you can do to help your body function to its potential in the books you can find here on Celeste's  blog. Subscribe to posts by using the information in the upper right hand corner or use the share buttons to share with others.


All answers and blogs are based on the author's opinions and writing and are not meant to replace medical advice.  

Saturday, April 16, 2016

A Spring Metaphor - Sculpting Our Thoughts on Pain


Though we have an idea of what to expect, spring unfolds differently. This year, we saw new records, and new challenges. In some places, spring came early and gave us a countryside bursting with color and new life, while other places are experiencing a late winter. This change and unpredictability is a metaphor for those of us who live with pain and chronic illness.

Our thought seedlings give life to our spirit and allow us to see challenges as motivators. But, some storms rock the earth beneath our feet. As a migraineur, spring storms throw me to the floor and knock the wind out of me. However, when I stand up again with my partner, challenge -- I will lead; I will rumba in a new direction and thank the spring storm for its nourishment to the earth and for providing me promise of new life. 

I find great strength, comfort, and diversion through poetry and photography, and I am thankful that I have found ways to fill up my thought spaces by writing for others who share this journey with me. The following photo and poem are excerpts from Spring Devotions in the Broken Body, Wounded Spirit: Balancing the See-Saw of Chronic Pain series.

               Day 4 – Learning to Rumba to Rumbles


To Rumba with the Universe

by Celeste Cooper

Twinkles of light rumba across the morning dew,
While butterflies dance in the wind.

Tumbleweeds glide across the earth's open fields,
Blown away in time to explore a new path.

Fear cleansed by rain exchanged for the joy of freshness,
The sky opens, the sun bumps against clouds.

Renewal of spirit, the earth in cadence with my wits,
All in rhythm, as if, I rumba with the universe.


Thought Seedlings

Do you rumba? Do you like the name I gave the photo? What would you name it?  

Take a stab at changing up my poem to make it yours. My poems are not perfect, I share them so my readers know they can also express feelings and touch a sense of self. 

"Imperfection is relatable." 
Lauren Conrad

Tell me what you think in your comments, because I love to hear how it speaks from your heart to mine. In healing, Celeste

~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~

Learn more about what’s between the covers of Spring Devotions book edition here. http://www.celestecooper.com/spring-devotions.

Thank you to our readers for your kind thoughts and uplifting reviews of Spring Devotions in the Broken Body, Wounded Spirit: Balancing the See-Saw of Chronic Pain Series. Too all our new readers, welcome.


~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~

"Adversity is only an obstacle if we fail to see opportunity."  
Celeste Cooper, RN
Author—Patient—Health Central Chronic Pain Pro Advocate

Celeste’s Website: http://CelesteCooper.com

Learn more about what you can do to help your body function to its potential in the books you can find here on Celeste's  blog. Subscribe to posts by using the information in the upper right hand corner or use the share buttons to share with others.

All answers and blogs are based on the author's opinions and writing and are not meant to replace medical advice.  





Monday, April 4, 2016

ACR Responds to Inquiry on Fibromyalgia Criteria





As many of you know, I wrote a letter to the American College of Rheumatology (ACR). You can find my letter at Criteria for Fibromyalgia on My Radar AGAIN!

Following is the reply from the senior director of quality at the ACR and my response to her is after that.


Reply from ACR Senior Director:

Ms. Cooper,

Thanks for your inquiry.  My apologies for the delay in getting back to you this week; I am away and trying to catch up on email responses.

As you and Jocelyn have correctly noted, the ACR did provide preliminary endorsement of the Wolfe et al criteria in 2010.  This endorsement was published and cannot be “undone,”  so readers can and will continue to see that endorsement online and in print.  However, since that endorsement was made, the ACR has decided to no longer endorse diagnostic criteria for any disease, for reasons Jocelyn explained.  So readers won’t see a new or updated endorsement from the ACR online or in print.

For every criteria the ACR endorses, science continues to progress after the endorsed publication, and different things are published over time.  This means readers can always find more recent information than something published 6 years ago – and that is the case here.  An evaluation of the newer publications and whether they are better than the older ones should be done by readers and experts in the field, but at this time, the ACR does not plan to do it, given the ACR’s decision to no longer review diagnostic criteria for ACR endorsement.

I hope this helps clarify things.

Best regards,


My response:

Thank you so much for answering in such a timely manner. I am eager to share with my colleagues and fellow patients. 

I am sure those at the ACR understand my concerns that many rheumatologists (and general practitioners) are unaware of the ACR position on the fibromyalgia diagnostic criteria. Many articles come across my desk that suggest clinicians embrace the Preliminary Proposed Criteria, even though the ACR has not endorsed it.

In light of newer research, as you say, the criteria are a dinosaur. Yet, because of the strong emphasis on somatic complaints without probable cause, fibromyalgia is now becoming a catchall diagnosis again. I have had more than one patient tell me their physician now says fibromyalgia is a psychosomatic illness. I am certain you would agree that this is a travesty for the some five million Americans with this painful and disorienting syndrome. My some 5,000+ contacts report they do have another pain disorder, such as CRPS, EDS, Migraine, spinal disease, chronic pelvic pain, or other rheumatic conditions. I am sure the ACR is aware of the autonomic effects that have been studied by many different groups of researchers with consistent results, in particular heart rate variability. I appreciate that the ACR does recognize that FM often co-occurs with other rheumatic disorders, thumbs up! I would take it a step further and say it co-occurs with other pain conditions, as stated in the Alternative Criteria led by Dr. Robert Bennett.

I truly appreciate that the American College of Rheumatology has decided not to take a position on diagnostic criteria at this time. I appreciate that we need a biomarker such as the FM/a test, or loss of heart rate variability. But in the meantime, I have concerns that patients will not receive the appropriate treatments because their complaints will be dismissed as just, more fibromyalgia. And when other conditions have been ruled out, clinicians should understand that there are objective tests to investigate the common complaints of fibromyalgia. Those include surface EMG for muscle spasticity and muscle tension or thermal changes in the periphery. Ultrasound to locate and treat myofascial trigger points which cause peripheral pain in many chronic pain disorders , a sleep study to evaluate sleep competency, a neurocognitive exam to evaluate cognitive disturbances, and a nocturnal EKG, which can be done with a sleep study to evaluate heart rate variability. These are all things that may be contributing factors to fibromyalgia and can be addressed and treated appropriately.

Once again, thank you for your time and consideration.

Respectfully, Celeste

~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~

"Adversity is only an obstacle if we fail to see opportunity."  
Celeste Cooper, RN
Author—Patient—Health Central Chronic Pain Pro Advocate

Celeste’s Website: http://CelesteCooper.com

Learn more about what you can do to help your body function to its potential in the books you can find here on Celeste's  blog. Subscribe to posts by using the information in the upper right hand corner or use the share buttons to share with others.

All answers and blogs are based on the author's opinions and writing and are not meant to replace medical advice.  

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Criteria for Fibromyalgia on My Radar AGAIN!



Today, I am posting my letter to “Senior Specialist, Public Relations, American College of Rheumatology”. She and I have corresponded in the past on this issue, and I was assured that the ACR was not endorsing any diagnostic criteria now or in the future. Read on and you will see why I felt a need to contact her once again.




Good morning Joyce.

I am writing you because in December of 2014, you sent me a letter stating that the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) was not going to endorse any fibromyalgia diagnostic criteria. Today while researching for a freelance article, I stumbled upon the website for ACR-endorsed Criteria for Rheumatic Diseases (1) demonstrating that the ACR has endorsed the Preliminary Criteria, 2010, Wolfe F, et al. (2)

I am concerned, especially when there are other criteria better befitting the patient, i.e. the Alternative Criteria by Dr. Robert Bennett, et al. (3)  Medscape (4) and Network Rheumatology(5), and many others agree. However, there are clinicians that have been led to believe Dr. Wolfe, et al. criteria are approved, including the CDC (6). Dr. Wolfe also has a checklist on his website, ACR FM 2010 diagnostic criteria questionnaire modified for direct patient administration (7), which is misleading. And, in a Google search I find many articles stating, “How to Use the New ACR Diagnostic Criteria”.

If the criteria are not endorsed, then why was it published in a peer-reviewed journal with such a title, Preliminary Proposed, and why is it on the ACR website, Endorsed Criteria for Rheumatic Diseases? This is extremely important, because clinicians who use these criteria believe it is approved by the ACR, and people are being misdiagnosed. We are back to square one! It’s all in your head, because of these criteria. The ACR needs to take a stance on this. There is sufficient evidence to suggest there is an autonomic effect, loss of heart-rate variability, and an upset in the sympathetic nervous system response in fibromyalgia. There is much more, but suffice it to say, the ACR can search Pub Med.

I appreciate your response to my concerns and appreciate our previous correspondence. As a freelance writer for online health organizations, an author, and advocate, it is important I share accurate information. I am sure you understand.

Thank you in advance for your kind consideration. Celeste Cooper, http://CelesteCooper.com

Resources:

(3) Bennett R, et al. Arthritis Care & Research (2014) DOI: 10.1002/acr.22301.
(6) CDC – Fibromyalgia
(7) Frederick Wolfe - ACR FM2010 diagnostic criteria questionnaire modified for direct patient administration.


Following is the letter I received from you in December, 2014:

…the ACR has chosen not to endorse newly developed or validated diagnostic criteria now or in the future.


Other Reading:



Sunday, March 27, 2016

Chronic Pain: NPS and the CDC Guidelines Trending on Social Media




Chronic pain topics trending on social media have increased with the release of the National Pain Strategy (NPS) and the CDC Guidelines for Prescribing Opioids. Having submitted comments on both drafts, I felt it was time to express my personal opinions. There are vast differences between the two, even though the “CDC Guidelines” are specifically mentioned at the conclusion of the NPS report.


CDC Opioid Checklist: The good, the bad, and the ugly 

Overall, the checklist is not difficult to understand and physicians will be more likely to use it. Where I do not comment, assume it to mean I don’t see any reason to mention it.

Good Stuff:

·        “For primary care providers treating adults.” - Primary care physicians need guidelines by government agencies so they do not fear retaliation by the DEA. Not all patients living with persistent pain require supervision by a pain specialist; in fact, there aren’t enough pain physicians to meet the needs of over 100 million Americans living with chronic pain.
·        “Known risk factors” – Important assessment.
·        Prescription drug monitoring program”  (eleven states do not have a PDMP) – You can read what I think about medication safety on my website. PDMPs are good for identifying signs of drug diversion or abuse, which protects responsible people, but will physicians who treat patients with conditions that cause chronic pain, i.e., pain physicians or rheumatologists be singled out? And, how will this affect patient care in states without a PDMP?
·        “Behavioral treatment” – This piece is often difficult for physicians to discuss with their patient’s, and vice versa. However, there is evidence that shows our behavioral response to pain makes a difference in our ability to cope with the fall of of living with chronic pain, and how we respond to it mentally and emotionally can affect our pain intensity. (This does not mean it treats the pain source directly, however.)
·         “Schedule initial reassessment within 1– 4 weeks.” – This should be done any time a new medication is started, including non-opioids that affect the central nervous system.
·        “Assessing pain and function using PEG scale” – This one gets a mixed review. Relieving pain, decreasing the intensity to improve quality of life is the reason we seek pain care. However, quality of life should be assessed according to what that means for each individual patient. For instance, a diseased spine or joint is not going to function better despite pain relief. Q1 is difficult because it relates to an acute pain scale, which is not helpful for assessing chronic pain, especially in a person with more than one pain condition. Q2 reverts back to my comments on changing behaviors. Enjoyment of life is not affected by opioids, it is affected by developing healthy coping skills as is the truth for any chronic illness. Enjoyment of life fluctuates for everyone.  Q3 Improving endurance, i.e. activity, cannot be achieved without therapies that are often capped by Medicare and is not based on patient outcome. And, easing pain will not necessarily result in increased activity. Overall, asking a patient to make their own assessments is important, but placing an arbitrary number (30% improvement) is punitive. Many factors, life situations, can cause the numbers to fluctuate. One cannot assume status quo for chronic pain anymore than they can assume blood sugars will remain constant in treatment of diabetes.

Bad Stuff

·        “Benefits of long-term opioid therapy for chronic pain not well supported by evidence.” – Describe evidence? Anecdotal reports from physicians who specialize in pain medicine are evidence (but they were not represented in the “Core Group” of experts). If they are referring to research, there is no evidence to suggest opioids don’t work for long-term pain care.
·        “Schedule reassessment at regular intervals (≤ 3 months)” – This guideline is not appropriate for patients who do not need advanced pain care. Patients who have been on the same opioid dose for years do not require such close observation. Many patients, particularly the elderly, do not have the ability to see the doctor this frequently, nor is the physician available. To put an absolute time interval (without cause) puts an unnecessary burden on the physician, patient, and insurance, including Medicare, and drives up healthcare costs. This is a total disregard for common sense.
·        “Urine drug screens.” I am not against them when there are signs of abuse. (Perhaps the checklist should include assessment of those behaviors.) However, using drug screens to assess risk without probable cause is offensive for several reasons: they are accusatory (guiltily until proven innocent), they are humiliating, they are not consistently accurate, and they are not always covered by insurance, which is discriminatory against folks who can’t pay. Innocent people are being tortured by inaccurate results, while drug testing companies are making a killing, sometimes literally.

The Ugly

·        “NON-OPIOID THERAPIES Use alone or combined with opioids, as indicated:” – Suggesting long-term use of NSAIDs is not safe, and there is evidence to suggest this. Antidepressantsare not without consequences; they have many drug-to-drug interactions and can lead to suicidal thoughts, they are not always a safer choice. Anticonvulsantsare also abused because of euphoric effects and can have serious side effects like antidepressants. Non-opioid treatments should be considered, but the effects of alternate drugs should not be undermined.
·        “Calculate opioid dosage morphine milligram equivalent (MME).” Every patient is different. It is common sense to taper any drug or treatment to effect, but this particular issue could put a prescribing physician at risk of litigation.  (See Dr. Fudin's opinions.)

The National Pain Strategy (NPS)

“National Pain Strategy outlines actions for improving pain care in America
Plan seeks to reduce the burden and prevalence of pain and 
to improve the treatment of pain”

There are many things I agree with, some that I can tolerate, and others that I felt needed attention. The NPS did have representation by advocates during its draft, and we have all been waiting for it to be released. And, so it has been. You can see and overview and download the National Pain Strategy here.   

“The Strategy provides opportunities for reducing the need for and over-reliance on prescription opioid medications;” this statement disturbs me. I believe the only way we can reduce the need for pain relief is to find a cure for scleroderma, complex regional pain syndrome, the effects of aging on the body, arthritis, fibromyalgia, EDS, myofascial pain syndrome, the centralization of pain, etc. Relieving pain is instinctive to all animals, including humans.

Not including all the stakeholders in the drafting of the CDC guidelines has many advocates and advocacy groups incensed, and rightly so. Public notice of the guidelines was made public for only 3 days. Only after being caught, did they allow our voice. But, despite pleas made by people far better equipped and knowledgeable (and unlike me, able to retain what they read), the CDC published them anyway. The total disregard for our government process - by, with, and for the people - is deplorable.

The CDC guidelines could have been done much better and would have been better received if our voices had been heard. And, it bothers me that the NPS overview ends with this statement, The goals of the National Pain Strategy can be achieved through a broad effort in which better pain care is provided, along with safer prescribing practices, such as those recommended in the recently released CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain. I doubt many of those who helped draft the NPS were aware of these guidelines being drafted when they participated in the drafting of the NPS. Some of those same people are among those who tried to hold the CDC accountable for their lack of transparency. (Read about it in The Guardian.) The CDC Opioid Prescribing Guidelines are not all bad, but they are written with a discriminatory tone, which is counter-productive to the Institute of Medicine’s report, Relieving Pain in America, available from my website here.

To me, it is more of the same and that’s really is a shame. Persistent untreated pain has biological consequences that are seldom considered, and certainly not here. A great opportunity has been squandered by lack of corroboration, something I value.

You can read my comments to the NPS and the CDC guidelines:

Other blogs of interest:







~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~

"Adversity is only an obstacle if we fail to see opportunity."  
Celeste Cooper, RN
Author—Patient—Health Central Chronic Pain Pro Advocate

Celeste’s Website: http://CelesteCooper.com

Learn more about what you can do to help your body function to its potential in the books you can find here on Celeste's  blog. Subscribe to posts by using the information in the upper right hand corner or use the share buttons to share with others.

All answers and blogs are based on the author's opinions and writing and are not meant to replace medical advice.  


Monday, March 14, 2016

A Message of Hope from My Guest, Clarissa Shepherd


 “There is no medicine like hope, no incentive so great, and no tonic so powerful as expectation of something better tomorrow.” 

~Orison Swett Marden, 1850 - 1924



Did you know that March is “Brain Awareness” month? We know the brain is a very complex organ, many people, with many disorders could have many things to say to raise awareness. Being one with a fibro-migrainus brain, I also know how important a message of hope can be for anyone who shares this journey with us. I am truly blessed to be able to share with you a message of hope written for you by my friend, Clarissa Shepherd, the, leader of the Facebook Group, Fellow Travelers

Get ready to face illness with courage, a sense of renewal and hope.


Renewing in Hope by Clarissa Shepherd

For those of us who face chronic illness each day, thinking positive is not an easy task. It's not as if we dwell on the negative, yet it finds us. We not only deal with daily pain and many other symptoms – we also deal with all of life's difficulties. I feel we do a magnificent job surviving a long list of daunting symptoms. Following is what you mean to me.

Learning to live within your limitations is not a negative thing; it’s a way to rearrange your life so you can live to your fullest potential. Finding new ways of doing daily tasks is a very creative thing. I find it amazing that you manage so well. You find new ways of healing, new ways of coping, new ways to entertain yourself, new talents that you didn't know you had.

Your journey may be very difficult. It may be very long and tiresome, yet you do it with such grace. A grace like I've never seen before. You're learning a new way to live, a new way of thinking, and ways of doing it soulfully. You've learned how to rethink what being productive means to you now, and you acknowledge that everyone's yardstick for measuring what’s productive isn't the same, and that's OK. You're still alive and moving ever forward as you learn to maneuver this new way of life. You've accepted the challenge and looked it right in the face. I call you—courageous.

You are a vital human being. This illness is not of your own making, and it does not define you. It just is. You show your strength and courage with each breath you take, every obstacle you overcome, and every new way you learn to cope. You are fearless, even in your pain.

Now I want you to take this truth into each day. Allow it to cover your entire being. There will be those in your life that don't, or won't, understand what you face each day. Chronic illness has taught me this…

Some people will fill you up,
Others will drain you of energy better spent,
So, choose wisely.


The reality is you are wonderful—just as you are. Your bravery is unparalleled, because you live it in solitude. Believe in yourself, as you renew in hope. Just as the season's change, so does your strength. Hope, courage, and renewal define you. They are in you, beside you, in front of you. Know this, and let the beacon, your bright light, guide you, hold you, and sustain you. You are brave. I applaud the person you are.

~ ~ ~

I am constantly encouraged by Clarissa and her generous spirit. Following is perhaps one of my favorite affirmations from her, which is included in one of our books.

"Be kind to yourself.

Respect who you are.

Walk in the light of your fearlessness."





~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~

"Adversity is only an obstacle if we fail to see opportunity."  
Celeste Cooper, RN
Author—Patient—Health Central Chronic Pain ProAdvocate

Celeste’s Website: http://CelesteCooper.com

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

A Spring Lesson on Mindfulness: Dealing with Pain and Illness



It comes as no surprise that when we are sedentary, our mind shifts without provocation. And for those of us who live with persistent pain and illness, its source sticks out like a thumb that was just smashed with a huge hammer, red and swollen, throbbing, and begging for attention. But unlike a sore thumb, chronic pain and illness does not heal with time. Want to or not, we must acknowledge it. Through acknowledgement, we learn to accept it. And, when we learn not to scream, ridicule, or judge pain, fatigue or chronic illness, we do better. 


“But only a person in the depths 
of despair neglected to look beyond winter to the spring that inevitably followed, bringing back color and life and hope.”
~Mary Balogh



Biofeedback gives us hard evidence that our mind does have an effect on our body. This mindfulness boosts our defenses against the myriad of problems living with chronic pain and illness can bring to our door. So, what can we do to calm down the brain when it wants to take on a mind of its own? We can learn to be mindful. 

Our pain or other illness is not the villain here; it is the result of a bad character insulting our body. It doesn’t want to exist anymore than we want to experience it. So, being hard on it isn’t helpful, it won’t make it go away, and it won’t make us feel better.

In your journal, or in this book, write down what you think you MUST do. Now, go back and decide what it really is that you NEED to do. I suspect you will find the Must Do's that keep getting pushed to the bottom of your inbox resolve on their own. If you are having trouble giving up the driving force of stress inducing thoughts, pick up a good CD on mindfulness. There is a difference in living a packed life and living a full life.

Ten Lessons from Pain:
  1. Acceptance of what is.
  2. Compassion for the less fortunate.
  3. Change is not a bad word.
  4. Humility is a virtue.
  5. Strength in not surrendering to stressors.
Can I make a list of my own ten lessons on pain?


[The above is an excerpt from: Broken Body Wounded Spirit: Balancing the See-Saw of Chronic Pain, SPRING DEVOTIONS, Day Seventy-five]


BUY NOW!



Remember, there will be times when no matter what we do to negate it, pain will demand its just courseDuring these periods, we should be particularly aware so our mind-body interaction can heal. Whatever means you use to become mindful, whether it be prayer, meditation, structured action, silent retreat, creative visualization, T'ai Chi, just do it! Procrastination is not our friend. 


You can find other topics, tips and exercises in our books (Jeff Miller, PhD, coauthor), and more. Take a few minutes to go through the table of contents for Spring Devotions.

 "We are all subject to the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune; they are around us, in a space we do not control. This book is a gentle, yet forceful reminder that the best defenses against them reside within- in a space we do control, welling up from resources we can learn to cultivate. Hope here is equally soft and irresistible, much like Spring itself."
 ~Dr. David L. Katz, MD, MPH, FACPM, FACP, Director,Yale University Prevention Research Center

Read what our other reviewers had to say about Broken Body, Wounded Spirit: Balancing the See-Saw of Chronic Pain, SPRING DEVOTIONS.



~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~

"Adversity is only an obstacle if we fail to see opportunity."  
Celeste Cooper, RN


Celeste’s Website: http://CelesteCooper.com

Learn more about what you can do to help your body function to its potential in the books you can find here on Celeste's  blog. Subscribe to posts by using the information in the upper right hand corner or use the share buttons to share with others. 

Celeste’s other books can also be found at Author Central. 


All answers and blogs are based on the author's opinions and writing and are not meant to replace medical advice.  


Saturday, February 27, 2016

Urging Congress to Stop the War on Pain





Following is a letter I sent to my congressional representatives and to the President. It started out far more intense, but the character count needed to be 2,000 or less. Feel free to use it as a guide for your own letter. There are links to help you following this letter.





It’s time to end the war on pain and restore compassion. 

The sad fact is that responsible citizens are being demoralized because they take opioids to relieve their pain. They have to pee in a cup, guilty until proven innocent, and the tests accuracies are as diverse as the expense. And who pays for this demeaning accusatory test? The patient does. And, if they don’t succumb, they are sent away to suffer through withdrawal, without help. How is such torturous injustice allowed, even promoted, by our government?  

The number of baby boomers statistically accounts for upsurge in people with chronic pain, and for many of us, opioids are the safer choice. Overuse of anti-inflammatory drugs cause permanent damage to our digestive tract, kill our kidneys, give us heart attacks, and cause death. Alternatives, such as new antidepressants and anticonvulsants, not covered by Medicare, can cause cognitive problems and have many drug-to-drug interactions. Make no mistake, I understand addiction is real; I understand that suspect behavior should be investigated, but the majority of people who take opioids for pain are not at risk. 

Please urge congress to stop discriminating against us. Give patient care back to the physician and quit letting news headlines be a determining factor. Drug testing companies and pharmaceuticals have financial skin in the game using people living with pain as patsies, and most of us will not outlive the research. Untreated pain causes physical stress on the body, and it not only causes harm, it can be fatal. Our government should stop making physicians liable for their edicts. Physicians are damned if they prescribe opioids and damned if harm comes to their patient from not treating their pain. We are real people, with real pain, who deserve to be treated with dignity. We understand we need to be actively engaged in modalities that help us (also not covered by Medicare), and we have earned the right to not be treated like criminals. 

Helpful information and links for writing an advocacy letter.
Helpful links for finding your legislators
Links for advocacy involvement


Monday, February 22, 2016

Introducing Spring Devotions, Broken Body, Wounded Spirit: Balancing the See-Saw of Chronic Pain



“Is the spring coming?" he said. "What is it like?” …
"It is the sun shining on the rain and the rain falling on the sunshine…”

~Frances Hodgson Burnett

As one who lives with chronic pain, I know how important it is to have daily reminders, because as many of us do, I am easily distracted and can lose focus. That’s what inspired me to write this series of books with my co-author, Jeff Miller, PhD. Our readers and reviewers have told us Spring Devotions is inspiring, well written, and offers practical advice in an easy to read format. They appreciate that each day offers visually stimulating photographs thoughtfully connected to inspiring quotes that are carefully positioned to stimulate self-reflection from the thought provoking questions and exercises.  

Spring is just around the corner, so it’s time to prepare for the season of new growth, a time that allows us to plant roots and establish a core from which we can continue to cultivate wisdom and learn ways to treat our body with the care it needs and deserves. 






Broken Body, Wounded Spirit: Balancing the See-Saw of Chronic Pain

SPRING DEVOTIONS










The paperback version allows space for documenting personal interactions when applying thoughts and practice and our paperback readers tell us how much they appreciate this. Our Kindle readers tell us they keep their journal close so they can write in it as they address each day. 

Please see what our reviewers have to say, here. And, be sure to check out the Table of Contents too. We want you to know about our books before you buy. While the series does provide opportunities for exploring our spiritual nature, and we feel our readers will find this is important to finding balance, none are Christian Devotionals. We received a poor review from a reader who thought the books were something different. We want to make sure you feel this is the right book/s for you. We want you to feel connected and engaged, inspired and successful in meeting your goals. And we would love for you to write a review for Amazon when you feel it's time to prepare for Summer Devotions, the next in the seasonal sequel. 

Now available in paperback and Kindle at Amazon UK and Amazon Canada

Also available at Barnes and Noble in paperback.











Celeste's Website

Celeste's Website
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