Amy experienced twenty years of persistent low back pain before becoming a physical therapy assistant (PTA) and later a pain coach to help others with chronic pain.
In this interview she speaks about:
- 1.20 Her daughter contracting Covid -19 and how the rest of her family managed to avoid becoming infected
- -05.05 her pain onset at age 18 when she was a collegiate athlete swimmer
“I did a flip turn and I heard a snap, and ended up face-down feet down, can’t unbend… for the next 3 months I would go in and out of doctors I would have every scan, I mean, bone scans, CT, MRI, XRay, … they couldn’t find anything. There were no mechanical issues, so, it must be in my head right?… My spine is pristine, there is nothing that comes up on any of these scans. All of the male physicians have now said that this is in my head and I must just not want to swim and this is my way to get out of it”.
- 10.30 Her experience of going to a physiotherapist who focused on SIJ dysfunction, and how the explanations she was given affected her view of her body. “She was the first one to believe me..”.
- 15.00 Opting for laparoscopic surgery against her better judgment in order to make sure she was “the patient who had tried everything“, and how chronic pain makes it difficult to “stand up for yourself” in interactions with health professionals.
- 17.00 The power of the words used by clinicians, and how important it is to avoid inaccurate and disempowering descriptions of pain. Amy feels that the words used by some of the therapists who treated her were “insanely damaging… like… negligent damaging that there are still physios out there telling people that their pelvises are unstable” The importance of words
- 30.00 How she decided to name her company “Restoring Venus”, based on the story of the Venus de Milo statue. Her current work as a pain mentor and coach, the importance of good information, and helping people navigate the medical system.
- 33.45 Her approach of being less “combative” with her pain