Joletta Belton writes and speaks about her experience with chronic pain, so that clinicians and researchers can understand the patient perspective. I’ve heard her speak several times at pain conferences in San Diego and Oslo, and each time she had one of the most informative and engaging presentations.
Joletta is co-chair of IASP’s Global Alliance of Partners for Pain Advocacy, which integrates the patient perspective into the study, research, and treatment of pain. She is also the first Patient and Public Partnerships Editor at the Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy.
In this podcast, Joletta tells her story about how she went from being an athletic firefighter to a disabled patient within just a year, after what seemed like a minor injury in her hip. She also explains how she eventually recovered, and how her sense of identity and meaning were profoundly impacted during her journey.
We talked about her injury and subsequent surgery, the pain of losing her job and sense of identity, her experience in the medical and worker’s comp system, and how some deep realizations helped with her healing process. We also talked about the value of stories and personal narrative to patients, how clinicians can help patients create those stories, and what researchers can learn from Joletta’s experience.
Highly recommended for clinicians, patients and anyone impacted by chronic pain.
Joletta’s website and blog
Joletta on Twitter