From left, Carol McClintic and Renate Caine will lead the panel discussion about “Learning from Chronic Pain and Fatigue” next week. Photo by J.P. Crumrine
From left, Carol McClintic and Renate Caine will lead the panel discussion about “Learning from Chronic Pain and Fatigue” next week.
Photo by J.P. Crumrine

Coping with, dealing with and recovering from chronic pain and fatigue is the next panel discussion in the Healing series presented by the Center for Natural Learning.

“Four local individuals will discuss how coping and healing from chronic pain and fatigue are still a challenge,” said Carol McClintic, director of programs. “Everybody has had a very positive attitude. There is a way through it, and there are ways to deal with it.”

This discussion begins at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 14. It’s the second of four. “Learning to Age Gracefully” and “Learning from Caretaking a Loved One(s)” will occur Aug. 11 and Sept. 8, respectively, all at the Caine Learning Center.

A broken ankle and hip replacement surgery gave Renate Caine, executive director and director of research, plenty of time to cogitate about the process of suffering and healing, as well as to recognize the journey in which her emotions were traveling at the same time.

The result was the first four-part series on healing, which was last fall. The second series began in June with a discussion about “Learning from Physical Balance Issues.”

Next week, Mary Morse, Larry Kawano, Gary Kuscher and Caine will share their experiences and tribulations enduring chronic pain.

“The whole point of the series is that healing is not just experts and books,” Caine said. “Everybody on the panel has experience with this problem and they will share what they have learned. We hear from them in ways which people can identify with.”

Many people suffer silently because they believe that they are alone. Physicians, nurses and possibly books or online resources, either impersonal or distant, are their resources. These panel discussions offer the resource of another individual, on the Hill, who has or is going through the same problem.

“It’s an opportunity to learn from others who have a similar experience,” Caine said. “These people are living archives and have learned to handle these problems.”

At the July 14 session, chronic pain and fatigue will be discussed. Caine is one of many people who have suffered from fibromyalgia.

Fibromyalgia syndrome is a common and chronic disorder characterized by widespread pain, diffuse tenderness, and a number of other symptoms. Like arthritis, fibromyalgia can cause significant pain and fatigue, and it can interfere with a person’s ability to carry on daily activities.

“This is a condition that can easily exhaust you and there’s a lot pain,” McClintic said. “For years, doctors didn’t know what it was and how it made people so uncomfortable.”

Caine will discuss her experience. After it first occurred, it seemed to diminish, but after her hip and leg injuries, “It returned with a vengeance,” she said with a scowl.

Eventually, through her research, she gave up sugar and bread, which is improving the disorder. Of course, when she shared this with a doctor, he replied, “I can’t tell my patients that. They’d go off their meds.”

The panelists will be very honest about their experiences. Caine and McClintic encourage the audience to ask questions that will help them learning about solutions and ways to cope, and to share their stories with all those in attendance.

If a third series is organized, McClintic hinted that it might focus on the effect of stress on human health.

All of the sessions are at 6:30 p.m. at the Caine Learning Center on Pine Crest Avenue. The suggested donation is $10 and questions may be sent to [email protected].