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Channeling Chronic Pain Into Art
Monday 26 August 2019
Channeling chronic pain into art
BOONSBORO — For chronic pain sufferers, the clock means nothing. At night, when most people are sleeping, bodies wracked with pain can be in motion trying to find relief.
That’s the way it is for Sarah Bigham of Frederick, Md., who couldn’t sit or stand and resorted to walking in circles around the house in the dead of night.
As she wandered and cried, Bigham decided to find a different outlet for that awake time. In desperation, Bigham turned to writing as a creative release.
She also dug out the painting supplies from the art class she took while a student at The College of William & Mary and got to work.
From those sleepless nights, Bigham has produced scores of poems, essays and other reflections, some of which she plans to publish in a book. Sixteen of her more than 80 paintings are on display and for sale in the back room at Vesta Pizzeria in Boonsboro through September.
For more than five years, Bigham has been plagued with pain that she describes as a urinary tract infection “with the horrible burning except supercharged 24/7. It’s really hard to explain the level of torture,” Bigham said.
Her complex medical condition has resulted in 17 different diagnoses and Kane said there is a unifying diagnosis for all the pain and discomfort, but that cause is still undetermined.
Bigham’s diagnoses range from interstitial cystitis to fibromyalgia/chronic central pain syndrome/central sensitization syndrome to chronic fatigue syndrome and more, all with their own pain.
“It’s like being on a scavenger hunt nobody wanted to be on,” said Bigham, who will be 47 on Sept. 23.
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