Painting Pain Art Gallery – Two

Paintings by Heather Bolinder Crushing Spine

This was my very first pain painting.  This is how my back feels, like two hammers are crushing down hard on it!














Pins and Needles

Many back pain patients get this feeling in their legs if they have a nerve/disc issues.  Feels like the pins and needles are stabbing you all over your legs!















Bob’s Stroke

This painting was inspired by a chronic pain patient, that I have known for years, Bob.  His stroke happened two years ago and he is still adjusting to his new life.  The right side of his face feels like an empty space, is what Bob described to me.














Elephant Legs

A Painting where your legs feels extremely heavy, making it hard to move or walk. Many pain patients will tell you this is how their legs feels.

















This painting was inspired by Ellen.  She is a chronic pain suffer and was thrown from her pony.  She use to be an avid hiker, but now feels the pain of nails going into her neck.













More by Heather Bolinder

My Rise From Near-Self Destruction

To be or not, as Shakespeare said, or to live or not to live. That was the question which plagued me. I was now seventy-seven years old. Did I want to live into my very senior years, given that I had developed neuropathy which was hampering my ability to walk and causing me great pain? Then, a further question appeared; would it take more courage to commit suicide, and avoid the painful future which would include a lessening of my faculties, both physical and intellectual, and would include requiring someone to look after me, or to choose to live, and accept the years and changes to come, as a challenge?

I had always been healthy, strong, and independent. Thus the concept of not walking, and needing someone to look after my daily needs was an anathema to me. The neuropathy had probably been developing over many years, as I can now recall getting tired faster, and not being able to walk as far. Also there appeared a numbness and tingling sensation in my legs, along with pain up my legs and into my back. As well, the tingling had begun in my fingertips. So now fear really set in. How long [...] continue the story

Why patients with irritable bowel syndrome are angry at their doctors

By Sophie Lee January 10, 2010

I’ve had irritable bowel syndrome for 20 years, and I’m angry. About the pain, and the suffering, and the limited diet, and the huge impact that it has had on my life. But mostly, I’m angry at my doctors. No, they didn’t misdiagnose me. No, they didn’t harm me. No, they didn’t treat me like dirt. But they still made me angry.

Before we go any further, let’s get one thing straight: I know that IBS is difficult to treat. Try to help an IBS sufferer and you are presented with an unholy mess of anti-diarrheals, laxatives, fiber supplements and anti-spasmodics, and that’s before we even start arguing about which diets might be useful. So I don’t expect my doctor to cure me. I don’t expect a miracle.

I know that IBS patients are “heart sink” patients; that doctors dislike our visits because we’re so tough to help. I understand that it must be horrible to have patients who you don’t know how to cure, who are begging for relief you can’t provide. It’s not the physical treatment of my IBS that has made me angry. It’s the way that I have been treated as a person.

I have [...] continue the story

Overcoming an Obstacle – RDEB-H

Bruce Gunn

During high school, my classmates were getting ready to take their driving tests and permits. I really wasn’t focused on that during high school and I knew I wasn’t ready. I have Recessive Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa – Herlitz (RDEB-H) and there are a lot of things I wasn’t able to do. My special education teacher said encouragingly that I would be able to drive one of these days and have a car well-equipped with my needs.

It wasn’t until a couple of years later when I was working in a workshop for a non-profit agency for mentally and physically handicapped adults that I finally fulfilled this goal. Being able to drive was a requirement to work outside the workshop and have an opportunity for full time employment. Therefore, I took it on myself to ask a case worker to start the paperwork process to get my first step toward independence.

I knew my dad wouldn’t be able to teach me how to drive because I saw what my two older brothers and twin sister went through and I needed someone with a bit more patience than my dad! In the beginning, my parents had some doubts about whether or not I [...] continue the story

I am an addict in recovery

My name is Jon. I am an addict in recovery. I am 24 years old and have just completed the Our House program here in Edmonton, AB. Over the last 10 ½ months I have changed so much. I have found the peace and serenity I have been looking for my whole life. I used to be insane.

I grew up an only child with a lesbian mother. We moved around a lot when I was a kid. I was kind of a loner until I started using drugs. I started drinking when I was 13 and I loved it. I drank until I blacked out. I started smoking pot when I was 14 and I was partying like most teenagers do. I got introduced to cocaine at the age of 16 when I was at the bar. I partied all through high school and graduated as the all-star quarterback with the trophy girlfriend at the age of 17. I had started apprenticing to be a welder out of school and started working all over the map. I got kicked out of bars all over Alberta for fighting. I started realizing I had problems because I couldn’t stop using, gambling [...] continue the story