Taking on the English Channel with Fibromyalgia

In need of inspiration? Katie Pumphrey is conquering two monsters: chronic and widespread pain due to fibromyalgia and the sea. Fibromyalgia is a widespread pain disorder characterized by pain on both sides of the body and usually accompanied by sleep and mood disruption, as well as, headaches and abdominal pain. There currently is no known cause and little in the way of treatment.

At 26, Pumphrey is determined to swim the Channel in 12 to 14 hours. From the age 9 to 19, Pumphrey was in search of something else–a diagnosis for the pain her body was enduring. When she finally received a diagnosis of fibromyalgia, she decided to handle pain on her own terms. “She had saved her money for a painting trip to the Bahamas. She spent one day alone, painted the sunrise, swam in the ocean, painted the sunset,” says Lenny Bernstein of the Washington Post.  This is a beautiful story about one woman’s determination to take back her life from pain.




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