hope, there is hope, heal, healing, chronic pain resolution, body-mind healing, mind-body healing

You WILL get better (a story of hope).

“You will get better.”

Said my new rehab doctor after our first visit, utterly stunning me.

I had yet to hear any such words during my multi-year saga of pain and dysfunction. No one—not one—of the perhaps dozen professionals I had sought help from in the past years had given me any scrap of hope that I might recover.

It’s a long story, but suffice it to say, I had one complicated injury after the next—all part of a hypermobility syndrome that led to over-stretched ligaments, tendon tears, instability, and intractable pain. Me—a previously healthy, highly active woman who thrived on athletic pursuits—suddenly sidelined, barely able to walk, and unable to do what I loved. Heck, I struggled to unload the dishwasher!

I had massive amounts of therapy and many procedures under my belt. Nothing seemed to put me back together. Even with the support of my well-practiced heroic-woman-overcoming-fatigue-and-limiting-beliefs-about-healing story, in my pain and rehab story I felt despairing and lost. Hope was a strenuous and lonely exercise that got harder every day.

Until my rehab doc’s words: “You will get better.” Simple words, but audacious. They captivated me. My new doctor’s words started the journey of changing my pain story. They reminded me that I had a story that was holding me back—a story that the pain was mine, was here to stay, and my situation was hopeless.

His words woke me up. For the first time in several years I felt buoyant with hope. My new story jump-started my journey to recovery and healing, and a new mindset to support me as I face new challenges.

This new story was hope. Hope changed my physiology in beneficial ways, but it also kept me engaged in the very active process of my recovery—the hard work I had to do every day, the assembly of the perfect team, learning when to pull back and rest—this is hope’s power.

He guided my every move, reminding me at every visit that I was making progress, and that he expected success. Painstaking as my recovery was, he held my focus on that positive outcome. He also very gently reminded me that pain—and change—is in the brain. I had to work hard on my body. I also had to work on my stories.

He nailed that one. And now that hope is my default story, I can pull it up even when I’m without a guide.

Hope is a story that’s available to us all. So, here’s your new story, whether or not you’ve heard it from your team of “experts:”

Yes, you will get better.

Have a Beautiful Day!


p.s. I had to change my story about pain to recover. How are stories getting in the way of your own recovery or health and wellness goals?

I’d love to share my new e-book: Big Energy: How We Bravely Claim Our Health, Our Potential, Our Lives—It’s All In Our Stories. It’s yours for free by simply clicking on the link.

And from my Archives:

You Can Heal Chronic Pain. 2017.

Karyn Shanks MD


Karyn Shanks, MD, is a physician who lives and practices in Iowa City. Her work is inspired by the revolutionary science of Functional Medicine, body-mind wisdom, and the transformational journeys of thousands of clients over her twenty-eight year career. She believes that the bones of healing are in what we do for ourselves.

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