Saying Goodbye to My BSc.

Before this new and different life of mine, I was studying for my Bachelor of Science (BSc.). I was lucky enough that I fell in love with my Cellular Molecular Biology major.

Before I developed CRPS, I was a regular student worrying about my grades, and trying to figure out my next step.

I know the education I was receiving was a privilege in many ways. Now I know that studying for my BSc. was a physical privilege as well. A physical privilege that I no longer have.

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Spring News Rant

Wow. It has been a while.

Like many people who deal with CRPS, I am on many medications. Sometimes the medications, or combinations of them make me feel quite dulled mentally. For all my openness, I still can’t put something on here knowing that the writing isn’t totally me. The good news is that those combination of meds have been changed. The damp rag over my brain has dried up! ! !

Keep reading for more news on all things Zara. Yippee-cay-yay-MFer. Read More »

Preparing for the next Exhausting Excursion

With CRPS, it is very hard for me to go out. I have difficulties with my mobility, and being “comfortable” when not in my house, but the hardest by far is the anxiety about people, and people. A perfectly OK day can turn sour in less than a second if someone brushes by me too close, steps on me, bumps into me, or touches me on purpose (yes, it happens). Even when I warn people about my disease and not to touch me, they still do it. People suck sometimes, what can I say?

Some events are so important to me, that I accept all of the vast and sometimes unknown dangers to attend. The next event coming up that will wreck me physically but lift me emotionally is a family friend’s wedding. I am very excited to go, although when we were first invited I never thought I would be unable to dance, walk on my own, or even enjoy a Scotch. Life, it will surprise you. I am very excited for this wedding. The bride and groom are a wonderful team and I am very happy I get to join in.

So, in an effort to let everyone know what it REALLY takes, here is a list in no particular order. I present to you, The List of Things I Have to Consider Before Attempting Excursions in My New LifeRead More »

Recovering Happily

As I made a big fuss about earlier this week, I had a meeting with my MLA to discuss my case, and chronic pain in Alberta. The meeting was on Wednesday, August 17th with Calgary-Glenmore MLA Anam Kazim. I was allotted an hour, and ended up staying and discussing my case for an additional 20 or so minutes. My legendary mom Tobe transported me and joined in. Tobe also really helped me edit everything before! ❤

I am still really recovering from this meeting, as it took a lot out of me. I may add more to this, and re-share the edits at a later date. Read more to hear about my meeting summary and impressions…Read More »

660 News Coverage on CRPS and Chronic Pain in Alberta

A wonderful ally of the chronic pain community approached me about doing an interview on chronic pain, after I had posted yet another update on Facebook detailing my struggles. I am ecstatic to see Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, and the chronic pain problem in Alberta getting press. I hope this leads to more.

Kendra Fowler, of 660 News reports, “Chronic pain sufferer to appeal for help from MLA”.Read Kendra Fowler’s article HERE.

You can also access the clips from the radio report:

Kendra Fowler interviewing Zara Pickel, Clip 1

Kendra Fowler interviewing Zara Pickel, Clip 2

Kendra Fowler interviewing Zara Pickel, Clip 3

Thank you all for reading, listening, and sharing!

Zara ❤


MLA Meeting Ahead

I am very excited to announce that I am having my first meeting with my MLA (a Member of the Legislative Assembly) next week to discuss healthcare for chronic pain patients in Alberta. I have many ideas about what isn’t working in the province, so I feel as though I owe it to myself to let the government know. I’m not ready to lobby the government until they change yet, although that sort of is a dream of mine for the future.

What do I hope to accomplish? I hope to truly illustrate to my MLA that pain patients are being left behind in the province. With 1 in 5 Canadians having chronic pain, if we are behind now we are already hooped on addressing the chronic pain problem. Alberta needs more education for both public and health professionals, more programs to deal with complex issues, and more funding to accomplish this. I also really hope to be an example, a 25-year-old woman who is benched and withdrawn from university and our society, because my province is too scared to make me worse, and I am constantly getting rejected from the very programs created for pain patients like me. I hope to be clear, back everything up with fact, and blow their minds on the failure going on in our system.

Wish me luck.


One Year Down

One year down, the rest of my natural life to go. It has for the most part been literally, one year down. One year fighting my body for the privileges I absolutely took for granted. Walking, dancing, being pain-free. A year ago I suffered a relatively minor knee sprain, working at a Stampede party tent. The acute injury became a chronic pain cycle, that seemed to be livable until it really wasn’t. My physical decline became steady, as my peers and professors watched me [insert mobility aid here]’d to class, and watched my personality dampen at times, due to the pain. On November 6, 2015, I reached a level of pain I could not fathom, nor control. I went to the local Emergency, and that was the last day I attended university in 2015. My last class was a Molecular Genetics lab, with some wonderful people…Read More »