About Me

Hello,
I worked nearly 25 years in a much treasured career in Occupational Therapy treating mainly the elderly population affected by orthopedic, neurological, muscular, cognitive, pulmonary, cardiac and psychiatric diagnoses causing decreased movement, function, strength and pain, among many other issues affecting every aspect of their daily lives.  An enormous aspect of helping them recover is teaching techniques to maneuver life with whatever their physical and/or mental diagnoses left them to deal with and to be as independent and functional as possible. This often means learning to live life in a “new normal" using compensatory techniques, adaptive equipment, energy conservation techniques and/or works simplification techniques, and many others.  This was my passion! It still is! It always will be!

In 2010, after 19 years of dealing with chronic cervical spine issues my much treasured career was cut short by what was later found to be a congenital disorder, causing multiple spine diseases, requiring two cervical and one lumbar spine surgery, leading to nerve damage and resulting in a neurological pain disorder called, Central Pain Syndrome, of which spread from my upper body to my lower body. This left me overpowered by 24/7, moderate to severe pain. As every individual who suffers chronic pain knows, this inflicts horrendous losses to one’s life as well, causing one to be thrown into the stages of grief. During the beginning phase of learning to survive this horrific existence shredded by pain, left with no self-worth or purpose, I was challenged by my hubby, and my pain specialist, to find a way to use my skills and experiences in occupational therapy to figure out what I was going to accomplish with my life in pain.

Over the past 8 years I have become acquainted with literally thousands of chronic pain sufferers on social media. Their numerous recurring questions, words of distress and requests for help left me grieving for these people traveling the same journey I was! Those words of encouragement from my husband, and my pain specialist echoed in my heart and challenged me to create this blog to not only share my knowledge from my much loved career in Occupational Therapy, but also to share what I was experiencing and learning on my own chronic pain journey. The words of fear and anguish I continue to see to this day are appalling to me! 100 million people suffer from chronic pain, 25 to 50 million suffer from moderate to severe chronic pain, leaving literally millions left to fend for themselves trying to figure out how to live life while gripped with horrendous pain.

In an effort to share information, suggestions and ideas regarding the various aspects of what those of us living life with chronic pain deal with, to help others to be able to maneuver the these many circumstances and becoming as functional as possible, I  have since become the author of this blog called, "Functional Living with Chronic Pain - Living Life in a “New Normal,” an advocate for chronic pain sufferers and those with chronic illnesses, an administrator of a spine disorder chronic pain and illness support group, as well as recently wrote a series of eBooks called, Preparing for the Holidays with Chronic Pain, 

My goal was to help just one person “maneuver the maze” of being flung into a life of having everything you once knew shredded by a health crisis, to have tools to help themselves by using skills I had learned in my career in occupational therapy, as well as what I am continuing to learn from living with chronic pain. My hope is that whoever is helped by any of my posts will then encourage and educate others on the same journey by sharing what they’ve learned.

I dedicate all my work to those whose lives have been torn apart by horrific chronic pain and illnesses. We are not alone! Together we can learn to push through the crushing pain and the deep, dark grief it shrouds us in due to all the losses we endure. We can learn to live a functional life in a new "normal." We need each other on this journey.  We need to be there for each other, giving words of encouragement and comfort and to share knowledge with those we come across! This gives us all a purpose in life!

Feel free to browse through my blog for something that may help you! If you have found something meaningful, please share it with others you feel may benefit along this same journey. We need to be there for each other sharing not only knowledge, but words of encouragement and comfort. This gives us all a purpose in life!

There are many communities of deep friendships for support for those suffering from chronic pain and illnesses. If you have not found a place of support, please email me and I will let you know where to look. Sherikay823@gmail.com.

Just know that I am not a doctor and nothing stated in this blog is medical advice. Everyone is accountable to seek professional help from one’s own physician and other health care providers.
Always ask your own physician about any recommendations or treatments you come across anywhere on the internet to be sure they are appropriate for you!

Blessings, Sheri Kay
Licensed in the State of Michigan for Occupational Therapy
Member of the American Occupational Therapy Administration
National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy
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2 comments:

  1. Hi, my name is Sherry Kay...for real (Sherry Kay Dyck) and my husband has CPS but specialists and drs have never figured out why so they can't get to the root of the problem. He had to quit work years ago but hasn't qualified for financial assistance because the illness is so nebulous. He's tried everything medication he's been offered as well as a gazillion alternative therapies that have cost a lot of money to no avail. He's currently on a cocktail of many meds that have nasty side effects but barely touch the pain so his quality of life is horrible. I, too, have lots of chronic pain due to 3 invisible illnesses (spondylitis, fibromyalgia and major depressive disorder) and lost my job 4 yrs ago so we are trying to raise 2 teenagers and survive on my very small disability income. We've lost tonnes of friends, our future hopes and dreams and have almost lost our marriage. These illnesses have shredded our lives and it is only by the grace of God that I am still alive...literally. I just finished reading your story here and wanted to thank you for sharing so beautifully and vulnerably and I can't wait to go through this site with a fine toothed comb to glean from your experience. Thank you Sheri...blessings

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    1. Sherry Kay Dyck, How are things going for you and hubby? I pray you're finding many blessings along the way. I know it's very hard to live this way, but we have to focus in on the good as best we can!

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