27 episodes

Life Over Pain is a podcast full of inspiring stores from people with chronic pain and/or traumatic brain injury. Their stories are about how they are not defined by their pain or injury. They describe how they make choices to adapt to their present circumstances to create lives of value despite pain and loss. And, BTW, If you'd like to share your story, or know of someone who might have a story to share, please email LifeOverPain1@gmail.com.

Life Over Pain Patti Freeman Evans

    • Health & Fitness
    • 4.7 • 15 Ratings

Life Over Pain is a podcast full of inspiring stores from people with chronic pain and/or traumatic brain injury. Their stories are about how they are not defined by their pain or injury. They describe how they make choices to adapt to their present circumstances to create lives of value despite pain and loss. And, BTW, If you'd like to share your story, or know of someone who might have a story to share, please email LifeOverPain1@gmail.com.

    Life Over Pain - Bella Paige - An Adrenaline Junkie Pays It Back

    Life Over Pain - Bella Paige - An Adrenaline Junkie Pays It Back

    Bella Paige was a highly competitive show jumper as a younger girl.  And she LOVED it.  The adrenaline rush alone might have been enough to keep her going but she loved the competition, the horses, all of it.  She planned to compete and show horses for the rest of her life.  Sadly, injuries intervened.  In any sport having to do with 1200 pound animals you can bet that injuries will come, and often.  But highly competitive, driven athletes (even young ones) often don't share their pain with others, nor do they ask for help.  So Bella kept competing in spite of accumulating injuries and increasing pain.  But, finally, sadly she had to stop and she had to drop out of school to heal.

    Such a set back can be emotionally crushing, and it was for Bella.  It took a great deal of time,  many dark days with little to brighten them, and a vast amount of help for her to come through her emotional and physical struggles.  And she's not done.  Bella works on herself everyday.  She's found dirt bikes to replace horses, which she sees as less dangerous, but still feeds her need for a rush.   A lot of what gives her purpose and, I imagine a bit of peace, is her podcast, her mentoring, and her speaking engagements.  All of which she does to share her story with others like her (and me) in the hope that we can all gain some small or big insight from her experience to help us on our path to less pain, more clarity, and a life of value.

    Find Bella's podcast here: https://www.postconcussioninc.com/podcast and her website here: https://www.postconcussioninc.com.  

    A Note On The Life Over Pain Theme Music: Emily Bielagus graciously and generously composed the lovely theme music for the Life Over Pain podcast. Find her music at Spotify, wildyawp.com, and reach her at wildyawpband@gmail.com.
    Thank you to RØDE Microphones for donating the NT-USB microphone that was used to record  this story. You can check it out on their website at:  http://www.rode.com/microphones/nt-usb. 

    • 55 min
    Life Over Pain - Pamela Schmidt - Rediscovering Her Inner Superwoman

    Life Over Pain - Pamela Schmidt - Rediscovering Her Inner Superwoman

    When you are faced with an existential crisis, it's hard to see what is right in front of you.  Brain injury and Lime Disease screw with one's sense of self.  Pamela Schmidt was a never-say-never person a superwoman in the flesh.  She still knows she is that person in some ways, but then again, she isn't that person.

    She's had concussions in her past, like so many of us, but nothing like when a window fell on her head.  That changed everything.  Back in the 90's she was told to keep going, that she was okay.  But she wasn't.  She had to change her approach to life.  So she changed what she did, but not entirely how she did it.  She was still all in - home schooling her three kids, being a perpetual volunteer who usually became the lead at those efforts.  She's an incredibly capable person in spite of her limitations.

    Superwoman still reigns.  Pamela just doesn't see it herself because she can't be the same kind of superwoman that she used to be.  But you'll hear how strong, passionate and talented she is as she tells  her story.  And you can see it in her quilting.  Check it out in via the link in the text.

    A Note On The Life Over Pain Theme Music: Emily Bielagus graciously and generously composed the lovely theme music for the Life Over Pain podcast. Find her music at Spotify, wildyawp.com, and reach her at wildyawpband@gmail.com.
    Thank you to RØDE Microphones for donating the NT-USB microphone that was used to record  this story. You can check it out on their website at:  http://www.rode.com/microphones/nt-usb. 

    • 1 hr 3 min
    Life Over Pain - Joseph Ryan - Finding a Purpose in Recovery

    Life Over Pain - Joseph Ryan - Finding a Purpose in Recovery

    Joseph Ryan oozes enthusiasm.  He's overcome so many brain injuries that his head seems to have been a target for danger rather than a protected space.  As with many who have suffered brain injury pre-2018, his had gone undiagnosed.  So he struggled.   Smart, energetic, creative, adventurous; yet he struggled.   But, his brain wasn't keeping pace.  

    As years passed and injuries mounted, Joseph finally found help via Pennsylvania's head injury program.  This program provided all the elements of help he needed: counseling, PT, OT, out patient.  His case manager helped him through financial issues, insurance issues as well as personal growth issues.  The people in this program helped Joseph holistically.  They helped him to get the home support he needed and to fundamentally turn his life around.

    In fact, Joseph has gone from despondent to  vivacious.  He has a new lease on life and a life purpose to visit all major league baseball stadiums in the US.  And he's well on his way having been to 16 of the  31 parks already and will add the minor league parks, too.  He's a fan of the Boston Red Sox in spite of his Philadelphia residence (he says it must be the ultimate rebellion because he is the progeny of die hard Phillies fans).

    Along with his new-found life's passion, Joseph is on a bit of a mission to share his story  hoping to help others who have similarly struggled.  His advice: Don't keep it to yourself.  Tell someone, because someone else will know how to help.  Keep asking questions.  Advocating for yourself doesn't always mean knowing what to ask for, but it does mean speaking up and telling your story so someone else can help.

    Joseph is very happy to help anyone directly and he has generously offered his contact information here:
    Joseph RyanC:267-819-6186E: musingechoes@gmail.comFacebook contact pages: facebook.com/RSOXGUY215 Facebook profile: Joseph TBISURVIVOR Ryan (full name). There, you'll also see my baking album photos.A Note On The Life Over Pain Theme Music: Emily Bielagus graciously and generously composed the lovely theme music for the Life Over Pain podcast. Find her music at Spotify, wildyawp.com, and reach her at wildyawpband@gmail.com.
    Thank you to RØDE Microphones for donating the NT-USB microphone that was used to record  this story. You can check it out on their website at:  http://www.rode.com/microphones/nt-usb. 

    • 1 hr 7 min
    Life Over Pain - Ethan O'Brian - From a Concussion Filled Youth to A Calling of Service to Others

    Life Over Pain - Ethan O'Brian - From a Concussion Filled Youth to A Calling of Service to Others

    It's hard to imagine a time when we didn't know how dangerous a blow to the head can be.  But it was just 20 years ago when Ethan O'Brian was playing youth hockey and started getting banged into the boards and ice and other players.  He kept playing.  No one told him to stop as they might have today.  There was little talk of concussion. 

    It's not just hockey and American football or rugby where kids get hit hard and enough times to cause damage to their brains - for boys and girls alike.  Thanks, sadly, to the NFL and military, stories about brain injury and CTE have been common over the last few years. Research is being done and parents and schools are waking up to the risks kids face.

    Unfortunately, that didn't exist for Ethan.  He had to learn how to help himself on his own.  He's an over-achiever - the kind of kid you wanted to hate but couldn't because he was so damn nice.  But as he suffered more and more concussions, he withdrew,  became a bit solitary.  While he was in university, he found it was hard to concentrate and study.  He knew there had to be a solution.  So along with his studies, he researched strategies that could help his brain and overall health to improve his performance.  It worked though diet, activity pacing, limiting sensory input and more he tells us about.

    Ethan's  journey was always going to be one of success.  He's just built that way.  Now he helps others with similar health issues find pathways to better health and he and Dr. Blaskovich have written a book called Dr. B's Concussion Breakthrough available on Amazon.  Ethan has wonderful, first hand advice for parents and kids who face concussion recovery.  
     
    A Note On The Life Over Pain Theme Music:Emily Bielagus graciously and generously composed the lovely theme music for the Life Over Pain podcast. Find her music at Spotify, wildyawp.com, and reach her at wildyawpband@gmail.com.
    Thank you to RØDE Microphones for donating the NT-USB microphone that was used to record  this story. You can check it out on their website at http://www.rode.com/microphones/nt-usb. 

    • 1 hr 5 min
    Life Over Pain - Sameer Bhide - Eastern and Western Medicines in Harmony Help to Heal

    Life Over Pain - Sameer Bhide - Eastern and Western Medicines in Harmony Help to Heal

    UPDATE:
    Sameer has graciously offered the below special free copy of his book One Fine Day that recounts his stroke experience to listeners:

    Please enjoy one free copy of One Fine Day: Overcoming Adversity and Embracing the New Normal with Grace and Gratitude, now available on Audible. Redeem the one-time use code below at https://www.audible.com/acx-promo

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    BTW - from Audible (in case anyone has problems using the codes)

    Are there geographic restrictions to use promo codes? 

    No, as long as the users who are going to receive the promotional codes have an Amazon.com account (for promotional codes for the US marketplace) or an Amazon.co.uk account (for the UK marketplace), the codes can be redeemed without problem.

    Folks can buy the audio book at Amazon  https://www.sameerbhide.com/order-now

    Sameer Bhide's life was on track.  Family, friends, career, many interests to pursue.  Then one day, out of no where, his brain says, "Stop!" A stroke.  A genetic condition caused his stroke so there wasn't really much he could have done to prevent it.  So now he had to deal with the aftermath.  A month in a medically induced coma left hime a bit bewildered, at a loss as he awoke to a completely new situation, one where he couldn't talk or move most of his body. On the surface it's hard to see it now, but in many ways he was lucky. He had his cognitive function, he had his family and friends around him. and he had good medical care to help him process his situation. Not everyone has that many factors in the plus column. 

    Sameer made the most of his rehab services here in the states and he made good progress.  And on top of that foundation, he then added an extended stay at a facility in India call Nimba. there he continued with the therapy he was doing in the US and he added meditation, yoga and massage, among others.  The progress Sameer was able to make in two months at Nimba was vast going from a wheel chair to walking with a cane.  He credits his progress to the marriage of both  eastern and western medicine.  Either one alone would not have worked as well for him, but the two together produced results Sameer is happy with and continuing to build on to this day.

    His story is rich with challenges as he struggles with recovery, having to leave his career as a business and technology consultant,  divorce, and rotator cuff surgery and even getting waylaid in India after that surgery due to COVID travel constraints.  He shares this story with us and in his book One Fine Day which is available through his website https://www.sameerbhide.com/.  

    A Note On The Life Over Pain Theme Music:Emily Bielagus graciously and generously composed the lovely theme music for the Life Over Pain podcast. Find her music at Spotify, wildyawp.com, and reach her at wildyawpband@gmail.com.
    Thank you to RØDE Microphones for donating the NT-USB microphone that was used to record the intro and outro to this story. You can check it out on their website at http://www.rode.com/microphones/nt-usb. I'm looking forward to using it more completely on my next story.

    • 1 hr 11 min
    Life Over Pain - Megan Heiser - Creating A Deeper Connection With Her Life

    Life Over Pain - Megan Heiser - Creating A Deeper Connection With Her Life

    Megan Heiser grew up on a farm, traveled the world, had a career, got married, had a baby. She was a perfectionist. Then things changed, dramatically.  An auto-immune disease caught hold of her and has made her take a completely different approach to life.  

    Each of us wake up to a new day with some uncertainty, but we generally have a strong sense of what our day will be like.  Unfortunately, that's not true for Megan.  Her disease throws her a curve ball every day. She may wake up with pain, fatigue or a whole host of other bodily errors she'll have to deal with that day.  To cope, she's had to let go of trying to be perfect - easier said than done.  So she tries to look at what is real and what is not real.  Is there something that doesn't hurt today?  Can she use that piece to help her accomplish what she wants to do that day?  Or, does she have to realign her goals for the day to accommodate what she realistically can do.  It's a daily balancing act.

    How does she stay sane?  She has a robust mindfulness meditation practice, and even teaches and runs workshops on the topic. She says this type of meditation helps her to settle herself and to learn to be self-compassionate.  Also, she learns from her students how to look at the issues and emotions that come up in class from different perspectives, something she might not have done before.  She feels all this helps her connect with her life in a new and deeper way than she ever did before.  A silver lining. 

    A Note On The Life Over Pain Theme Music:Emily Bielagus graciously and generously composed the lovely theme music for the Life Over Pain podcast. Find her music at Spotify, wildyawp.com, and reach her at wildyawpband@gmail.com.
    Thank you to RØDE Microphones for donating the NT-USB microphone that was used to record the intro and outro to this story. You can check it out on their website at http://www.rode.com/microphones/nt-usb. I'm looking forward to using it more completely on my next story.

    • 1 hr 12 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
15 Ratings

15 Ratings

Sweet Home Angela ,

Life over pain has such rich and meaningful content!

I am grateful to have been one of your first interviews, and I am so pleased to see how many episodes have been captured since!

Your genuine ability of asking real questions helps both the listener and the speaker uncover the real heartbeat and meaning behind the tragedy that has been faced. Thank you for helping shine a light in an otherwise dark territory…

Lpenny71 ,

Inspiring and Authentic

This is a very helpful resource for those suffering with TBI and/or Chronic Pain. Great idea!

pkondo ,

Helpful and inspiring podcast

There are times where I let physical pain take over which is never good. The guests and the hosts have been through a lot more than I have ever been through though. Their stories are a great reminder that I need to choose life over pain.