Louise has lived with pain of varying degrees since she was child. After being diagnosed with fibromyalgia in her 30’s, her pain gradually worsened over time and she was put on opioid pain medication which she took for almost 13 years.
She struggled to manage daily life, becoming depressed and inactive. She was also diagnosed with Osteoarthritis. Over time she believed her fibromyalgia was getting worse, but eventually discovered that the symptoms she was actually experiencing were the side effects of long term opioid use.
She was admitted to hospital for rapid tapering of the opioids and has transformed her life since. On admission to hospital, she weighed 25 Stone. Since then she has lost almost 9 Stone and increased her activity. She walks daily for pain relief and therapy and takes no pain medication. She still lives with pain but manages it by being active.
Louise has now made it her mission to help others who are experiencing the same difficulties that she has gone through. She is now working with the local team that helped her, as a patient expert and Chair of the Involve Giving Something Back Committee. She is Vice Chair of the British Pain Society’s Patient Voice Committee and an NHS Pain Service Volunteer. She is passionate about helping others find ways to live well with their pain.
Louise has a film about her experience on the My Live Well With Pain website where, since Covid19, she has also been writing a blog. Louise also give talks to patients and clinicians about her experience and how she self-manages her pain. This includes mentoring on a 1-1 basis to help support others on their self -management journey. It can be invaluable to consult with someone whose lived experience of pain and illness has been incredibly challenging, but who has overcome these challenges to Get Better.