The following story was published in support of the current National campaign: Nerve Pain is Different. Please help us raise awareness for those with debilitating invisible pain.
If you think you have nerve pain, talk to your doctor and visit www.nervepain.com.au. Complete the online questionnaire intended to help you explain your pain and take a printout to discuss with your doctor.
Resident shares story of coping with daily agony following fit ball accident
By Nic Price for the Melbourne Leader
SOULA Mantalvanos’ life was up-ended in 2007 when a fit ball she was sitting on burst and she dropped to the concrete floor.
She didn’t think much of it at the time and tried to continue her routine of yoga four times a week and regular walks, but that soon became impossible.
Dealing with chronic pain that made her feel like her “finger was stuck in a power point”, the Collingwood resident was not diagnosed until four-and-a-half years later with severe pudendal neuralgia nerve pain.
As she embarked on a journey of living with pain, Ms Mantalvanos and her husband turned their lives upside down in an attempt to find a better quality of life.
They closed their graphic design studio down (Ms Mantalvanos now works part- time) and even removed doors in their house so she wouldn’t have to open and close them.
“I’ve learned not to lift more than a few kilos, to sit a lot, get in the car a lot,” Ms Mantalvanos said. Continue Reading
(By Ebru Yaman, ANZCA Media Manger. Read the full article)
Research and resources are desperately needed to ensure that fewer chronic pain patients are told to “go home and live with it”.
Soula Mantalvanos was working in her graphic design studio seven years ago when the fittness ball (also known as a balance ball or exercise ball) she was sitting on in place of a chair unexpectedly burst beneath her. Ms Mantalvanos fell from a seated position onto the concrete floor, her sacropelvic region bearing the full force of the blunt fall.
Her husband Theo ran to her side. After the shock settled, she crawled to the carpeted area and her response was to laugh. The pair “had a good old laugh actually – it was such a silly accident,” she remembers. That unexpected and seemingly innocuous accident would determine the course of the rest of her life. Ms Mantalvanos expected to feel sore but better after a couple of days. But the pain continued, intensified and from that moment shaped her days, her nights, her relationships and her ability to work.
It took nearly five years of chasing answers, of tests and interventions, frustration, grief, and constant, unbearable pain to reach a diagnosis. The fall caused nerve damage in the pelvic area, very real but invisible on MRIs, examinations, X-rays and CT scans. Continue Reading
Yes, I’ve found another medium to express my pain and you can own your own copy of it!
I didn’t see the point of creating a long description of my living with pain, sharing my tips, turning journal entries into a pain story. Afterall, first and foremost, before the person in pain, I am an artist… so my book had to contain many pictures and few words, just 32 pages in fact, but I believe it’s a complete story. It doesn’t hold the solution for PN but it’ll allow you to explain it to someone else, leave it on the coffee table, and it will be light enough to carry around.
Above all I created it to express my experience so far and so that it is a bit of a companion to another PN family member. The idea was for the reader to feel empathy in a world where no one seems to understand, and to ease the pain as you look through it.