2021 Tom's Chronic Pain PR exposure

Tom Norris  Chronic Pain researcher, advocate & facilitator (spouse of Marianne Muellerleile)

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/tom.norris.31
Twitter: @jtomnorris
YouTube:  https://youtu.be/FOKwI_xAbTs
YouTube:  https://youtu.be/0hkmqk-F99g
YouTube:  https://youtu.be/ehvlzhNNj9U
YouTube:  https://youtu.be/KVCys-YP2yY
YouTube:  https://youtu.be/2p2L5USJCWA
Spectrum News 1:  https://spectrumnews1.com/ca/la-west/exploring-your-health/2019/09/23/why-pain-hurts--understanding-pain-and-the-brain-ca
Spectrum News 1:  https://spectrumnews1.com/ca/la-west/exploring-your-health/2019/09/23/hijacking-the-brain--scientists-are-using-vr-to-treat-chronic-pain-ca
Spectrum News 1:  https://spectrumnews1.com/ca/la-west/exploring-your-health/2019/09/23/using-meditation-and-yoga-to-relieve-chronic-pain-ca
National Geographic:  https://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/article/scientists-are-unraveling-the-mysteries-of-pain-feature 
WCAX 3:  https://www.wcax.com/content/news/Study-suggests-pain-could-be-risk-factor-for-suicide-492898181.html 
British Journal of Medicine/Protocol for NIH:  https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/11/6/e050545
Doctors 2.0:  http://www.doctors20.com/patient-experience-virtual-reality-cedars-sinai-vmed19-silber/
Pain Podcast:  https://www.bloodstreammedia.com/the-pain-podcast-episodes/s2e8-the-final-journey
NPR Take Two:  https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2019/08/19/751495463/got-pain-a-virtual-swim-with-dolphins-may-help-melt-it-away
Website:  https://acpafacilitatorsresources.com/
Website:  https://chronicpainla.com/
Seminar for Alliance to Advance Comprehensive Integrative Pain Management:  https://painmanagementalliance.org/behavioral-health-as-part-of-comprehensive-pain-care-and-payment-design/behavioral-health-symposium-presenter-bios/
Upcoming:  NY Times article(s)
Bloomberg News
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2021 Christmas Letter

 Dear Family and Friends,

I’m kicking this year’s letter off with a bit of business.  Please delete our home phone from your records. At least every other day I consider canceling it due to robo calls. We never pick it up.  
I/we remain devoted to Heifer International and its mission to end hunger and poverty while protecting the earth. This is my 18th year as an active donor, volunteer and fundraiser. I invite you to join my team https://fundraise.heifer.org/mariannemuellerleile especially in this month of December as a Group of Generous Donors is matching all December donations.
I’ve been blessed with work as I did two voice overs, one for Jameson Whiskey and two for Comcast Xfinity. My episode of THE KOMINSKY METHOD aired, and I did zoom readings of OEDIPUS REX, THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST and TROJAN WOMEN. I’ve been with The New Phoenix Theatre for 14 years and love exercising my theatrical chops on great plays. My feature film, QUEEN BEES, was  finally released. They played my 6 GEICO “Aunts” commercials through the year and I just finished shooting a BMW commercial to air on the Super Bowl, 2022.
I happily flew to St. Louis three days before my sister Jeanne drove in to meet me. Was able to see a few old friends, before we shared the excitement of Allie and Kel Vin being pregnant, and planned a zoom AND in person showers. Then Jeanne and I took a road trip to Dayton to be with our sister Cecilia and her family before we all drove to Cleveland for her granddaughter Monica’s vow renewal/wedding of her dreams. We drove back to Allie & Kel’s and I flew home. 
Finally got to take my twice canceled three week trip to NYC/UAE/Oman in October.  I have yet to organize my photos or journal notes but, suffice to say, the Middle East was the most transformative trip I have ever taken.  
We are both well but Tom has had a recurrence of his bladder cancer from last year. 
He had the new cancer growths removed under a local but it was while he was using his VR (virtual reality) Oculus 2 and the discomfort was minimal. He was so thrilled to have had that personal experience to share with his VR research team at Cedars.
Tom won't be seeing people for a long time as he has all five medical issues that the CDC lists for those who are vulnerable (limited lung capacity, cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure & heart disease.)  We just lump it under his chronic pain but he's had the other stuff, most for many years. And all of it is being controlled or addressed.
We are encouraged and hopeful that someday he will be able to be in the general public. But it's that 15% vulnerability that a vaccine/booster cannot eliminate, and all the people who won't vaccinate, and then the current variable and the yet to appear variables that make his being in public dicey.
We're leaving it in the hands of the Lord.
Tom is mentally strong about the whole thing and having his best life in spite of it.
We managed to have a little getaway time too. I had two weekend commitments which involved overnights so we figured he’ll drive us up there, I’ll check us in, then drive directly to the room.  So he enjoyed our personal mineral hot springs tub, as well as room service, while I enjoyed 48 hours of surprise celebrations for Juliet Mills 80th.
The next weekend we drove to San Mateo, CA, to meet 15 other Muellerleile’s (my brother Jack and his brood) to see my great-nephew, JD Bertrand, play Notre Dame football against Stanford. They decimated them. We stayed an extra day so I could zip around SF to see a handful of long-standing pals. Once again Tom laid low with his books, computer, TV, room service and his favorite wife at nights.
Tom continues his work as a consultant and patient partner for research at Cedars-Sinai and the National Institute of Health. He was profiled by NPR, National Geographic, the New York Times, Lifetime and more. Truthfully, he is way busier than I am.
Tom was hit with a curve ball after a VA medical zoom review of his PTSD status.  He has put so much effort into addressing his PTSD, managing it, that he wasn't prepared for the aftermath flood of excruciating memories, painful physical reactions, thunderous heart racing, fear of sleeping, ETC.
Six months later he says he has it back in a mental box, on the floor of his mental closet and is just about ready to push it to the back.
He did several additional rounds as consultant/reviewer for DOD (Department of Defense) 2021 Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program Pain Management Panel.
Tom was thrilled to have an authorship credit on a published work in the British Medical Journal from his work as a patient advocate/partner at Cedars-Sinai on a study on Lower Back Pain control with VR.
He has been hired as a consultant/patient for a Global Alliance study: “Towards a global strategy to improve musculoskeletal Health”; in which he and others are developing guidance for treatment of chronic musculoskeletal pain.  
He is also a patient partner/consultant for a Cedars Sinai/UAB/Ochsner Health/ Stanford University, Northwestern Medicine study on “Transcending COVID 19 barriers to pain care in rural America: Pragmatic comparative effectiveness trial for evidence-based, on-demand, digital behavioral treatments for chronic pain, which will compare two different methods of remote chronic pain management. His work on these VR related projects will last another four years.
He is also a patient partner/consultant on yet another VR study on the effectiveness of VR for chronic pain management on those dealing with abdominal cancer pain.
He’s already started that work which will continue for four more years.
For over 30 years, just a short time after he developed chronic pain, Tom has volunteered for the ACPA (American Chronic Pain Association) as a Regional Director, facilitator, spokesperson, media manager, you name it.
This year the ACPA changed hands, new officers, new board, and changing structure to the possible exclusion of facilitator support groups. 
Time will tell whether he will continue volunteering for the ACPA. However, he plans on continuing to facilitate his two chronic pain support groups, as long as they are wanted.
Lest you think all he did was “work,” I want you to know Tom remains an avid comic book collector, reader of comic books, and books, in general. He goes through his monthly comic order in one evening, and manages to read on average ten books a month.
He also spent many, many, many hours in zoom Ancient Egypt, taking tours and classes. If he can ever get out of Pandemic Prison, THAT is our next destination.
So that’s basically what we’ve been doing, in the busy part of our lives. 
But the best part, the core part, the foundational part of our lives has been growing closer to our Creator, renewing ourselves spiritually, not letting the clutter of our daily lives overshadow the true meaning and purpose of our lives, to love and be loved.
We remember all those who have passed, those struggling with holiday blues and loneliness and grief, may you find comfort, peace, and faith as you move forward.
And we thank the good Lord for the birth of our newest great, Oliver Simon Woo, on October 24, grandma Jeanne’s birthday.
Marianne and Tom
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