I am so pleased to have found photographer the website of a human depicting her experience with pain and analgesia. I was moved by the expression in the artists face and in the contortions she used trying to alleviate her pain. I was fortunate to be able to speak with her about her experience with pain and have excerpted the interview below:
Me: Thank you Elinor for being so forthcoming about your experience with back pain. What made you feel you could reveal it to the world in you photos?
Elinor: I feel that it is healing for me to expose my weaknesses, that this is the essence of who I am
Me: How do you think being a person with chronic pain impacted your profession?
Elinor: As a photographer, I capture what is happening to me.
Me: Were you concerned about getting work?
Elinor: Yes, back then I was belly dancing, and the time I took off from work for the pain, I was advised to say it was for other reasons or I could lose bookings. Pain is not sexy
Me: But it's ok as a photographer?
Elinor: In the art world, being different is ok.
Me: I would like to ask you about how you functioned during your period of pain, about 22 months. Were you able to go out? Did you interact with other people? Did you eat?
Elinor: I lost a lot of weight as you can see from the pictures. I did eat some. I was able to function.
Me: I was struck by some of the pictures and would like to discuss them individually. First, you are in your kitchen hanging over a wooden pole.
Elinor: My dad was a soccer player. He advised that he used to do that
Me: I noticed how your spine sticks up as you are laying across the blue therapy ball. Looking at you now, it looks like you had lost muscle mass
Elinor: Yes, I was laying around, not dancing. You're looking at it clinically. I never thought about it that way
Me: Was the cause of your pain clear?
Elinor: No, each doctor gave me a different answer. I wish if they hadn't known, they just said "I don't know".
Me: Did you have surgery? Epidurals? I'm looking at a patch on your back
Elinor: Yes, that was a cortisone patch. Yes, I had epidurals, but no surgery.
Me: Elinor, thanks for sharing your story. Let me tell you what I gained from it: it's very difficult to pin point pains cause but that doesn't make it any less painful for the patient. Looking at your pictures, it was your facial expression that, when shown, clued me in to how you felt. As a veterinarian, the facial expression of my patients is difficult to discern, and the best understanding of your pain was from you allowing me to ask you these questions. Thanks for putting a picture on pain.
E. Carucci photos- click here