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Chronic Pain Not Always a Barrier to Work: How O’Brien Media Was Founded

As Pain Awareness Month draws to a close our Founder, Chris, thought now would be the perfect time to share the story of how disability, chronic pain, and a desire to use my website design and development skills, came together resulting in the creation of a business that worked around my disability, and that could, later on, help others who had been unfairly passed over by other employers into work, tailoring their working day and their daily tasks to accommodate their specific needs.

In this blog post, I’ll be talking about how and why I founded O’Brien Media, a web design agency in Swindon, in spite of my disability and, later, continued running the business despite chronic pain left after being affected by Sepsis.

I hope that this blog post will help to show other people with chronic pain or disabilities that they too can overcome any barriers in their lives and achieve their goals.

So, here’s my story of living with Chronic Pain

In 2006 I was living with a disability that made working an office based, normal 9 to 5 job difficult. However, this didn’t stop me from wanting to work, so the obvious option for me at the time was to found my own business – O’Brien Media.

If you’re living with chronic pain, you’ll know just how debilitating it can be. Chronic pain is defined as any type of pain that lasts for more than 12 weeks. It can often stop people from working or carrying on with their normal everyday activities.

For me, my chronic pain started after I contracted Pneumonia back in 2017 which resulted in Sepsis, where my body’s defence system turned on itself and began shredding nerves and muscles. I was left with a permanent mobility disability and had to take daily painkillers just to get by. Despite all of this, I continued to run O’Brien Media – a successful business that helps other businesses to grow and now supports others with disabilities to get into work by being an accredited Disability Confident employer with Leader status.

Chronic pain can often be seen as a barrier to working or running your own business. However, this isn’t always the case. Despite the daily pain I experience, I’m still able to work and run my business effectively through a combination of splitting my work day into manageable “chunks” with time for pain medication to take effect, and using, initially a virtual assistant service and later coming to rely on my growing team. If you’re living with chronic pain, don’t let it stop you from achieving your goals, find ways to incorporate pain management into your daily routine.

A bright note to end on

But, as my story shows, chronic pain doesn’t have to be a barrier to working or running your own business. If you have a desire to work, there are ways to make it happen – you just need to get creative and find what works for you.