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Backbone: Living with Chronic Pain without Turning into One

Backbone: Living with Chronic Pain without Turning into One

by Karen Duffy


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An inspirational, powerful, and funny manual for coping and living with devastating pain.

For two decades, Karen Duffy —New York Times bestselling author, former MTV VJ, Revlon model, and actress— has managed to live an enriching life despite living in a state of constant pain. Duffy has sarcoidosis, a disorder that causes the growth of inflammatory cells on different organs of the body. In her case, her sarcoidosis is located in her brain, causing her unimaginable pain. In this powerful, inspirational, funny, and important manual for surviving pain, Duffy draws on her experience as a patient advocate, certified recreational therapist, and hospital chaplain to illuminate gratifying methods people can use to cope with chronic pain and reinforces the sentiment that "circumstances determine our lives, but we shape our lives by what we make of circumstances" (Sir John Wheeler Bennet).

More than one-third of the US population—nearly 113 million Americans—is currently living with chronic pain, while another 133 million Americans live with some form of chronic illness. Half of the US population lives with the challenges of these invisible illnesses where their symptoms are not always obvious to the casual observer. Addressing a country ravaged by both chronic pain and opioid addiction, Backbone offers a salve of self-sufficiency, spunk, and perseverance. With a light tone, deft wordplay, and interactive gems such as the Bill Murray Pain Scale, Mastectomy Paper Dolls, and a crown to wear just for getting out of bed, Duffy's serious—and seriously funny—book is for the massive population living with chronic pain who are eager to be understood and helped, and sends the message that despite the pain, there is a way to a good life.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781628727951
Publisher: Arcade
Publication date: 11/07/2017
Pages: 252
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Karen Duffy is the author of the New York Times bestseller Model Patient: My Life as an Incurable Wise-Ass. She is a frequent contributor to the New York Times, Glamour, Esquire, and the New York Daily News, and has played parts in the movies Dumb and Dumber, Celebrity, and Wes Anderson's Fantastic Mr. Fox.She was also the face for Revlon's "Charlie’s Girl" and a VJ for MTV. She resides in New York with her husband and son.

Table of Contents

Introduction ix

The Eccedentesiast 1

Getting Old for the Third Time 9

Hockey Mom 19

Stages of Haggling 31

Extra Innings 43

Antipelargia: The Stork's Law 53

The Flaneur 65

Wise Guys 83

A Style for Your Illness 97

Have Mercy 111

Love the Chub 125

Fighting Words 135

OUCH! Platitude Bingo 145

To Whom It May Concern 149

How Not to Be a Jackass 163

Excuse Dice 175

The Optimistic Catastrophist 179

Uncouple Malade 193

Bibliotherapy: Read Two Books and Call Me in the Morning 203

The Non-Monumental Theory of Happiness 213

The Upside of a Life Turned Upside Down 223

Appendix: The Holmes and Rahe Stress Test 229

Appendix: The McGill Pain Survey 231

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