Megan Park: Living With Rheumatoid Arthritis Has Made Me ‘More Empathetic’ As An Actor (People Magazine)

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megan-park-1024By Michele Corriston

Megan Park shot to stardom playing conservative cheerleader Grace Bowman on ABC Family’s The Secret Life of the American Teenager for six seasons. But behind the scenes, she had her own secret: She’s been living with rheumatoid arthritis for about a decade.

“I had all the classic symptoms: extreme joint swelling, different pain, the inability to do certain things that everyone else could,” she tells PEOPLE of first being diagnoses with juvenile RA as a child. “That’s when I knew that something wasn’t right.”

Now, the 26-year-old is raising awareness of the disease with the educational campaign Joint Decisions, sharing her story to support others who suffer from the autoimmune disorder. “It’s empowering people who live with RA to share in the healthcare decisions that are going to impact their life and their overall wellbeing,” she explains.

Read More: http://www.people.com/article/megan-park-living-rheumatoid-arthritis-secret-life

Accepting Chronic Pain: Is it Necessary?

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PainNewsNetwork

By Jennifer Martin, Columnist

A patient of mine told me the other day, “I don’t think I will ever be able to accept my chronic pain. It has completely changed my life.”

I think this is something that most people with chronic pain contend with at some point in time; wanting to hold onto hope that their diagnosis isn’t chronic or not wanting to come to the realization that they will have to live with the pain forever.

When most people hear the word “acceptance” they equate it with the notion that they should feel that it’s okay or it’s alright to have a chronic condition. Many people don’t ever feel okay about having to live with pain or an illness for the rest of their lives. It is not something that is easy to get used to and it’s not fair.

Read More: www.painnewsnetwork.org/stories/2015/3/25/accepting-chronic-pain-is-it-necessary