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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Overview

Backbone: Living with Chronic Pain without Turning into One by Karen Duffy

More than one-third of the United States population—nearly one hundred million Americans—is currently living with chronic pain, while another 133 million Americans live with some form of chronic illness. Half of the United States population suffers from these invisible illnesses where their symptoms are not always obvious to the casual observer. Among them is Karen Duffy, New York Times–bestselling author, former MTV DJ, Revlon model, and actress: she suffers from 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.

For two decades, Duffy has managed to live a full life, despite living in a state of constant pain. In Backbone, a powerful, inspirational, funny, and important manual for surviving pain, Duffy draws on her experience as a patient advocate, trained recreational therapist, and hospice chaplain to illuminate gratifying methods people can use to cope with chronic pain. Backbone is for the massive population of sufferers who are eager to be understood and helped and sends the message that despite the pain, there is a way to seek a good life.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781628727968
Publisher: Arcade Publishing
Publication date: 11/07/2017
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 171,987
File size: 3 MB

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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Backbone: Living with Chronic Pain Without Turning Into One 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
SchizanthusNerd More than 1 year ago
“Pain is intensified from trying to control the uncontrollable. Acceptance and resilience have made me stronger.” This is a quote from Backbone: A Memoir but these two sentences alone epitomise my own experience with chronic pain. Karen Duffy’s book is part memoir, part how-to guide for living with chronic pain, part lesson in philosophy and etymology, part ‘do you know this quote or cool fact?’, and part funny anecdote. I wound up loving the etymology and the information about philosophy in Karen’s book. I’m always on the prowl for new areas of interest to learn about and I can now add Stoicism to my list. Having lived in chronic pain world myself for 7.5 years, I’ve read the books, become an expert at timetabling my medication regime, done the breathing techniques and the mindfulness, and honed my patience while waiting for specialists at the hospital. My social interactions mostly consist of doctor’s appointments, and all of the receptionists and pharmacists know me by name. I was the woman that upon stepping into my first pain management appointment and being told the name of the book their treatment plan was solely based on responded by listing what I’d implemented in my life as a result of my reading said book and gave a critique of what was unhelpful. Because I have read the books, medical journals and news articles, Karen’s prescription for pain management wasn’t revolutionary. She covered a lot of the usual techniques - exercise, self care, medication, trips to the doctor and hospital, managing your symptoms, managing your friendships. What Karen adds that was refreshing is an authority that I find lacking from even the most respected works on chronic pain. Because she’s lived it you can’t very well dismiss what she’s saying because she’s been there, done that, and has the practical examples of how she’s applied it right there in black and white. I don’t know about you but I find it much easier to hear someone who has lived what they’re describing. Karen also understands too well the isolation and uncertainty that come with chronic illness, something textbooks don’t deal with well, if at all. Karen’s writing style is engaging and I felt like I was chatting with a friend, albeit one who couldn’t hear my responses. I initially found the lack of fluidity between chapters somewhat off-putting and the plethora of quotes distracting but I got used to both. While there were some things said in humour that I didn’t find funny, there was a lot that I related to and found really funny. The quirkier the story, the more I appreciated it. While I admire Karen’s resilience, optimism and penchant for making the best out of a truly awful situation, I equally respected that she is authentic in giving her readers a peek inside what bad days look like as well. What I got from this book above everything else was acceptance, hope and encouragement. What Karen gave me while reading is encouragement to do the best I can each day. Her attitude of focusing on what she has instead of what she hasn’t and her gratitude is a gentle nudge in the direction I’m trying to keep steering towards. I received a copy of this book from NetGalley (thank you so much to NetGalley and Skyhorse Publishing’s imprint Arcade Publishing for the opportunity) in exchange for honest feedback. Please note that the quote is taken from the ARC and may have been changed prior to publication.
Angela Carbonetti More than 1 year ago
There is not one person I know who could fathom living each day of their life in constant pain, yet Karen Duffy manages to show us all how to do so with dignity, love, faith, compassion, and, above all, humor. Her book covers it all and even includes visuals/games to get us thru to the last page and beyond. Brava, Karen, Brava! Mrs. Bunny Taylor
Angela Carbonetti More than 1 year ago
There is not one person I know who could fathom living each day of their life in constant pain, yet Karen Duffy manages to show us all how to do so with dignity, love, faith, compassion, and, above all, humor. Her book covers it all and even includes visuals/games to get us thru to the last page and beyond. Brava, Karen, Brava! Mrs. Bunny Taylor