Our Anus Horribilis: Pelvic Pain

Keep Calm and Bend Over

PELVIC-PAIN MANTRA: This was Sharp’s motto during the 20 years he was wrongly told he had prostate trouble.

Today, Painopolis editor David Sharp outs himself as a chronic-pain sufferer, talks about the 20 years he spent in the Land of the Misdiagnosed, and recalls the unforgettable day his ass spontaneously imploded.

“When you’re in terrible pain, doing nothing is not an option. It’s like, ‘I can’t just lay here and hope the pain goes away by itself.’”

Plagued for years by intermittent pelvic pain that his doctors wrongly diagnosed as mere prostatitis, Sharp learns the hard way that he’s actually got chronic pelvic pain syndrome. It’s a muscle-tension disorder that he likens to, at its worst, being impaled on a spear. But he’s not all doomsday about his diagnosis. Rather than let it derail his life, he’s figured out ways to deal with it. Before he turns the microphone on fellow pain sufferers, he thought it only fair to share his own pain story.

Sharp talks in-depth about:

•  The frightening moment when his pelvic pain went from mere discomfort to DEFCON 1

•  How he got stuck in a “see the doctor/take antibiotics/get better/get worse” loop . . . for 20 years

•  How a pelvic-pain internet forum led him to discover the health card he really got dealt. Hear a snippet:

•  His unrelenting search for strategies and tools to relieve his pain

•  His “I’m an experiment of one” attitude toward trying new treatments

•  His decision to travel to an out-of-state pelvic-pain clinic with an unconventional protocol

•  Seeking his wife’s help with his life-altering condition

•  How he “rebooted” his body after sleeplessness and anxiety hit

In next week’s episode, he describes his long, strange journey from being nearly bedridden to resuming a normal life.

Interviewee:

•  David Sharp is a founding editor of Painopolis.

Pelvic pain overview:

•  Chronic pelvic pain syndrome strikes males and females. (So much for it being the same thing as prostatitis.) Here are the symptoms associated with the disorder.

Resources:

•  National Center for Pelvic Pain Research

•  Prostatitis-CPPS-Interstitial Cystitis Forum is a popular forum where people with pelvic pain share insights, encouragement and treatment experiences.

•  A Headache in the Pelvis by David Wise, Ph.D., and Rodney Anderson, M.D.

•  Paradoxical Relaxation by David Wise, Ph.D.

•  The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook by Claire Davies and Amber Davies

•  The Long Run by Matt Long with Charles Butler

The Wise-Anderson Protocol:

•  Here are the components of the Wise-Anderson Protocol.

•  These studies measure the effectiveness of the protocol in treating chronic pelvic pain syndrome.

•  The developers of the protocol discuss their pelvic-pain treatment in this video.

Music:

 •  Our theme music is “Gentle Storm,” composed and performed by Betsy Tinney (betsytinney.com).

Wish other people in chronic pain knew about Painopolis? To help spread the word, please post a review about Painopolis on iTunes. We’d be forever grateful.