Meet Naomi! When she was 12, she was having severe pain in her groin. “After a few days of it just getting worse, I ended up in the ER and needed surgery. I had complications and required another two surgeries. After all of that, the pain never went away. It took another two and a half years for me to see a specialist and finally be diagnose with chronic pain. Those years were the hardest because we didn’t know what was wrong or how to treat it. And, my situation was CONSTANTLY doubted and that was the hardest because then I started to doubt myself.” 

She was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, IBS, Chronic Pain Syndrome, Myofascial Pain, Andenomyosis, muscle weakness, chronic migraines, and Carpal Tunnel. 

What helps Naomi with her pain? Painting, make-up, writing, drawing, massages, heating packs, her dog, breathing exercises, baking, talking to people who understand her, cooking, watching a movie or TV show, reading, and aquatherapy. 

Naomi knows how hard it is to have others understand her pain. “Trust us — we’re doing the best we can and wish we were able to do more… more than you wish it. Pain is draining and tiring — just because we did something one day doesn’t mean we can do it again the next day,” she says.  

Naomi wants people to know, “You are NOT alone. Try and share how you feel with people you trust. Take things one day at a time, as cheesy as it sounds, it works.” And, lastly she shares, “Use your experience to help others.” 

Here is a message that Naomi has written for chyp! 

My name is Naomi, I’m 18 and I’ve dealt with various Chronic Pains since I was 12. It started when I had an ovarian torsion and spiraled downhill from there. It took almost 3 years for me to make it to a pain specialist and get diagnosed and those 3 years were the hardest.  Because we didn’t know what we were dealing with we couldn’t treat it and people started doubting my situation. Doctors, friends, family, and school started saying things like maybe the pain is all in my head, or that I’m looking for attention even if it’s unintentional. It was really hurtful for me to hear those things because it felt like people thought I was making up my pain or enjoying going to the hospital and getting surgery — and what teenager would enjoy that? When I got diagnosed it was such a relief because now I could be treated and now my feelings were validated. It was then that I decided that I want to help spread an awareness about chronic pain and that in the future I want to help other kids who are going through similar situations that I went through. I want to take this negative thing that happened to me and turn it into something positive by helping people. That’s what lead me to CHYP and what lead me to now try and pursue a career in medicine. I hope to be a doctor one day, and a doctor who understands their patients and validates how they feel. It’s hard being a teen with chronic pain, I can’t keep up with my friends, I can’t do everything they get to do and they don’t always understand me. That’s why helping in a program like CHYP is SO important to me. So that other teens understand that they’re not alone, that there are many other people like them who have similar struggles and there are ways to deal with them. For example, I like to read, paint, draw, write, scrapbook, pet my dog, bake, and talk on the phone with friends and explain my struggles to them so that they understand. These are all very helpful things that can help you get through a bad pain day. Just anyone reading this know that you are not alone, and that things can get better and you too can be successful in the future. You may have to do things a little differently than others but you can still do it. ❤