A little about me
Following a manual handling injury in 2008 I have lived with daily persistent pain, and fully expect to live with it for the rest of my life. I have sciatica caused by a prolapsed disc. Most of my pain is neuropathic although I also have associated back pain.
I was born and brought up in the North of England and I graduated from University with a Mathematics degree. I went on to teach in a range of secondary schools and I was a Local Authority Schools Adviser. Towards the end of my teaching career I worked as a school leader in special schools.
By nature, I am very conscientious and hard working. This was to my detriment before my injury as I was probably a bit of a workaholic at times. Thankfully, my pain journey has taught me to take a better look at life and re-balance my priorities, and for this I am very grateful.
Some might say that I had the ‘misfortune’ to have experienced some trauma in my life, and I can understand that point of view. However, I strongly believe that both positive and negative experiences in your life shape you as a person and make you the person you are. I believe that ‘What doesn’t break you makes you grow’ and I have sought to ensure that I use negative experiences positively in order to grow, and understand and help others. This isn’t to say that when traumas do occur it doesn’t feel pretty awful at the time though! Nor does it mean that you escape without any negative impact at all! However the resultant positives for me far outweigh the negatives – I realise I am fortunate in that.
In terms of work, I currently work part-time. I work with the most amazing colleagues, but thankfully I am not responsible for the running of a department or a school. If I hadn’t had my injury then I am sure I would still be doing those things, but I have learnt that there is more to life than the stresses and strains of such a life.
My patient advocacy
For the last few years I have been supporting people living with persistent pain, and their healthcare professionals. You can read more about my patient advocacy work here.
Click on the pictures to learn more
Collaborating with CauseHealth
Collaborating with the PPA