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  • Writer's pictureSarah Shorter

Chronic Pain Campaign

I've had two migraines this week. They were...well, not, great, but definitely not the worst. And they were short, for me.

I'm actually recovering from one right now, and I'm a little loopy from my meds.

The thing about chronic pain, chronic migraines is it sucks. It sucks in the sense that it's really, really crappy, and it sucks in the sense that it sucks all your energy and motivation. I've learned to work through feeling like someone is stabbing an ice pick into my left eye. It's not fun, but I don't really have a choice.

It's hard to campaign with chronic pain. You lose time with chronic pain, hours where you can't focus, where all you can do is hope to sleep it off. But now, those hours aren't time I would spend watching a movie or crafting or getting lost in a wikipedia spiral, it's time that I should be posting on social media, or trying to get this site to come up in Google searches. I should be talking to reporters and community groups and other candidates, but I can't because all I can think about is how ramming my head into the wall would hurt less.

At a certain point, you get used to pain. You learn to work around it, or through it. You get to the point where you don't even realize the reason you're miserable is because you're in pain because you've gotten so used to ignoring it. It becomes your normal.

A few months ago I went to see a neurologist, and towards the end of the appointment he said "you don't have to live this way."

I started crying. Just a little. Nobody had ever said that to me. Nobody had ever said "this is not normal, and you don't have to accept it as your normal. we might not be able to get rid of it, but we can make it better."

My health issues are some of the reasons I'm passionate about universal healthcare, about Medicaid expansion. There are people with chronic health issues that can't afford this, that can't afford the medication that makes life livable. There are people that do have to live like this. This is why healthcare is a right, not a privilege. "Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." Life. It's right there. We all have basic human right to life and liberty, and it is the obligation of our government to provide the means.

If I'm elected to serve as Senator for District 34, I will fight for this right with all that I have. I'll fight for everyone in the state with a disability, with chronic pain and migraines, everyone who has ever had a terrifying hospital bill. I'll do it because your fight is my fight. It's literally in my bones, in my skin.

I have chronic pain. My head currently feels like it's going to pop off of my neck and roll to the floor. But I'm still here. Still working. Still trying. Still showing up.

What do you think, District 34? Will you let me show up for you?

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When I decided to run for state senator, I knew this was an issue I'd have to address eventually. I was hoping to put if off for a minute so that I could still be welcome at extended family gatherings

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