With the 21 Thunder commentaries over (until season two, come on CBC), the crew is back on a more serious note. Jessie, Kirsten, and Megan tackle the huge issue of chronic pain and how it impacts not only our personal fan experience but also a few notable players. Chronic medical issues are widespread, and this episode is an attempt to expose the stigma and be transparent. Statistically, at least 20% of Americans suffers from chronic pain, with 8% facing high-impact chronic pain (chronic pain that frequently interferes with life or work activities).
Each host has a personal connection with the issue, which we explore at the beginning. Kirsten has been completely open and vulnerable with health struggles and how they impact content on the site. Each host takes a chance to explain their chronic issues, which helps expose how prevalent the issues are.
In addition to our personal stories, we reference two USWNT players who struggle with chronic illnesses. Michelle Akers, curly-haired goddess, has been public with her struggle with myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome. An intimidating presence on the pitch, most fans wouldn’t know the struggles she faces to make it through practice at times. Her advocacy raised awareness of the issue, particularly within sport. On a slightly different path, Shannon Boxx struggled with lupus from at least 2002 and was not diagnosed until 2008. At first she kept it quiet, telling only her coach. Later in her career, she became more open and an advocate for lupus awareness.
In addition to our personal narratives, we had incredibly brave and vulnerable messages from #Effortistas.
👋🏼 I am an older player with EDS and migraines. My condition both demands daily physical activity and leads to frequent injuries. I’ve had to change my activity to barre and yoga in my house, and walks. It’s tough but doable. I miss my teammates.
— 璋 蝴蝶 🐧 (@pretypenguin) May 10, 2020
You’re not. I’m really struggling atm with a chronic panic disorder and health anxiety/OCD-inspired, and it’s so scary and draining. It’s good to know that I am also not alone x
— ᴍᴀʀʏᴀᴍ ɴᴀᴢ (@MNaz98) May 10, 2020
Another story comes from one of our younger contributors, @emilysonny, who leaves us with a story of struggle and perseverance that leaves us all speechless with the bravery.
Note: You can find out more information about Ehlers-Danlos Sydrome (EDS) here.
Listen to the episode below on Megaphone, or find us on your favorite podcast app under “All for XI”!
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