Prior to deciding to become a stay-at-home mother to three children, Julia Kelly was a public relations consultant managing communications on major public works projects. As a mother, Julia experienced the fear, overwhelming caretaking and isolation involved with seeking medical expertise to help her daughter with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia due to an over-active pain system. Seeking out pediatric specialists and getting appointments, transporting and supporting a young teenager to many doctors, advocating for her with her high school (unsuccessfully), juggling the emotional needs of siblings and eventually helping a teenager process her loss and grief was daunting. After almost a year of trying to obtain a diagnosis for a mostly bedridden teenager, she discovered the UCLA Pain Program. The relief of having her daughter’s condition understood and meeting other parents who were in different stages of experiencing the same issues was life changing. Watching her daughter grow stronger through medication, guided exercise programs, therapy with biofeedback, mindfulness exercises, ceramics and interacting with other teens resulted in a profound sense of gratitude. She learned healing is not a straight upward process, but creative healing does work, and teens are very empowered by having an essential role in their own healing. Most importantly, after years, her daughter has learned the tools to manage her condition on her own, graduate from college and have a rewarding career.
Julia’s creative healing: trail hiking with her dog, horseback riding, Pilates, and being in a book club