OMTimes Radio Archives

Sarah Anne Shockley - The Pain Companion

July 18, 2018

Aired Wednesday, 18 July 2018, 8:00 PM ET

Sarah Anne Shockley – The Pain Companion

Growing up in the fifties and sixties, my mother was a great source of practical wisdom. Once I developed a toothache over a holiday weekend. The dentist was unavailable and I was having difficulty processing the pain. In her wisdom, my mother said, “Relax. The pain will fade in a few hours and you will be able to manage until the dentist returns.” She was right and I was fortunate. When it comes to physical pain, especially chronic pain, there are many who are less fortunate.

According to the American Academy of Pain Medicine, 100 million Americans suffer chronic pain. Compare that with the 25.8 million who are dealing with diabetes and 16.3 million experiencing heart disease. The estimated cost of health care and lost wages to pain treatment is 800 billion dollars. Add to that the tragedy of those who become addicted to pain medications and the outlook is quite grim.

What if there was another way to look at chronic pain and in doing so come to terms with it? My guest this week on Destination Unlimited, Sarah Anne Shockley, did just that. In the Fall of 2007, she contracted Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS), which is a collapse of the area between the clavicles and first ribs, and has lived with debilitating nerve pain ever since. She has been a columnist for Pain News Network and is a regular contributor to The Mighty, a 1.5 million–member online community for those living with chronic illness and pain. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and you can visit her online at She joins me this week to discuss her new book, The Pain Companion.