The Impact of Osteoarthritis: Seeing the Person Behind the Pain
Eli Lilly and Company | September 16, 2020
Each person’s experience with chronic pain is unique. However, many people living with chronic pain have powerful stories to tell of personal strength and perseverance despite their pain.
After living with chronic pain due to osteoarthritis (OA) in both knees for more than 20 years, Ann Sullivan has persisted to grow her own business, raise a family and maintain a can-do attitude – no matter the circumstances.
Ann describes the process of living day-to-day with her pain as "constantly trying to learn" and "trying to put the pieces together to be as functional as you can be."
Approximately 27 million adults in the United States have OA, and it is estimated about 40% of patients experience moderate-to-severe OA. Women are more likely to have OA than men, and the impact of the disease can be life-altering.
“It’s just a host of little things that if you don’t have osteoarthritis, you would never even think of it as being a problem,” says Ann. “My son instinctively holds out his hand to help me over a curb. My husband does the share of the driving whenever we go anywhere because I can’t drive for a long time, and I always let everybody go up the stairs first because many times I can only do one step at a time.”
During Pain Awareness Month, and every month, it’s important to give a voice to those living with chronic pain and hear their experiences firsthand. Watch Ann’s story as she has a candid conversation with Grace Whiting, CEO and president of the National Alliance for Caregiving, about her journey with chronic pain and the ripple effect it has had on other aspects of her life.