Backbone is a life-fulfilling message about managing chronic pain and living a life of purpose. For two decades, Karen Duffy, New York Times bestselling author, former MTV VJ, Revlon model, and actress, has managed to live an enriching life despite living in a state of constant pain. In this powerful, inspirational, funny, and important manual for surviving pain, Duffy draws on her experience as a patient advocate, trained recreational therapist, and hospice chaplain to illuminate gratifying methods people can use to cope with chronic pain and reinforces the sentiment that “circumstances determine our lives, but we shape our lives by what we make of circumstances” (Sir John Wheeler Bennet).
More than one-third of the US population – nearly one hundred million Americans – is currently living with chronic pain, while another 133 million Americans live with some form of chronic illness. Half of the US population suffers from these invisible illnesses where their symptoms are not always obvious to the casual observer. Duffy herself suffers from sarcoidosis, a disorder that causes the growth of inflammatory cells on different organs of the body. In her case, her sarcoidosis is located in her brain, causing her unimaginable pain. Backbone is for the massive population of sufferers who are eager to be understood and helped, and sends the message that despite the pain, there is a way to a good life.