My name is Mosken and I live in Norway. I am running the online support group Friends International. The group was founded by my American friend Linda and myself in 2001. We are two women living on different sides of the Earth, who met in Cyberspace and built a cyberhome for people with chronic pain.

Linda once said: - Mosken and I have a dream, to have this little town in cyberspace, for all who are in need. That they can come and feel the comfort of having people around that understand our huge obstacles.

Our friendship was the foundation of the group. Today, the Friends support board has grown to be a busy online community with people from around the world supporting each other. Friends International Support Group is registered as a volunteer organization in the Norwegian register called Brønnøysundregisteret. Read about Friends International on Wikipedia!

We can often do together what we can't do alone.

Friends International is a non-profit, member based online community for people living with chronic pain. The daily result depends on the members. Our message board is a joint effort of volunteers who support each other. Our members work hard to stay upbeat and positive. They like to call themselves The Sunny Group! You are welcome to visit us anytime!

”All human beings are born free and equal in dignity.”

Our support group is based on the "Pillars Of Self-Help":

  • Self-help builds on the participant's own innate resources.
  • Everybody participates at their own risk.
  • The group is based on give-and-take, equal worth, and tolerance.
  • The group is based on active participation, not on the role of a passive recipient.
  • The forum is not a substitute for medical advice. Always consult a qualified medical professional.

Linda and Mosken in NorwayCalifornia
NorwayLinda and Mosken shopping, Mosken on her wheelbench

Membership is not limited to any specific diagnosis, but most of the members are living with chronic pain, back pain, Fibromyalgia (FMS) or other immune disorders. Though there may be no cure for us, we believe we are able to improve our lives. We believe in mutual motivation to improve our health, learning to know different cultures and countries, making new friends, teaching and sharing computer skills and interacting around the virtual world.

Living with chronic pain - sharing experience around the world

We encourage our members to become informed patients and read as much as possible about their own health problems.. We believe it is important to avoid isolation and boost our self-confidence. To be Informed, build confidence and avoid isolation are three important goals for our support group!

A self help group is based on experiential learning. You have experienced something on a specific issue or problem and you share it!

What do you do when you have chronic pain and no physical cause can be found? Most of us focus on how to cope the best as possible.

Have you heard about the treatment called Neuroreflexotherapy (NRTI)? It is practiced at 40 clinics in Spain. Neuroreflexotherapy (NRTI) consists of stimulating other nerve fiber endings on the skin - named Ab-. Their stimulation activates medullar cells - called "layer IV neurons"- that release a substance - called "enkephaline"-. This substance affixes to pain nerves, inactivating them. By this mechanism nerves stop releasing substances that trigger neurogenic inflammation, and activation of the cells provoking muscle contracture ceases.

The "switch" is the enzyme protein kinase G (PKG), which is activated upon injury or inflammation. And, the researchers state, "we are very optimistic that this discovery and our continued research will ultimately lead to a novel approach to pain relief for the millions suffering from chronic pain."

Many physicians believe it is important to know the difference between Chronic Myofascial Pain (CMP) and Fibromyalgia (FM). Read dr.Devin Starlanyl website to learn the difference. Also read about Trigger Point Therapy by NAMTPT - a professional American organization dedicated to increase the public awareness of and access to myofascial pain treatment. They believe myofascial pain accounts for as much as 85% of the pain people suffer from. Acute and chronic myofascial pain due to trigger points is a very common condition.

Some of our members suffer from chronic tendinosis in their arms. Read about a treatment called Platelet-Rich-Plasma (PRP) and eccentric exercise. If you have problems using your hands, you can use a foot mouse manufactured by Bili inc in the US. You are welcome to discuss with our members for more advise if you have problems using your hands.

People living with chronic pain often feel overwhelmed, isolated and discouraged. Our online group servs as an important and treasured haven, a place where the members feel welcomed, valued and understood. According to the The Fergusonreport, the right online community can make you a smarter patient.

If you suffer from ME, please visit Louise's UK site called M.E.Support, providing information, advice and support. The site covers many aspects of M.E. and has articles, references and resources on a vast array of subjects.

The story of how Friends International was created


Linda used to be a US rated athlete volleyball player in California. She once lead a very active life with sport and also raising two children together with her husband. Until suddenly one day her life was changed forever by a disabling illness. She had surgery for her spinal stenosis in her neck, but her life was never to be the same again. She was also struck with chronic EBV mono virus and later got the diagnoses Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and Fibromyalgia (FMS). After some years she lead a life constantly battling pain, fever and fatigue. She finally had to stop playing volleyball and her life activities became gradually more limited. Linda found herself living with a disabling, but invisible disease. It was hard for other people to understand. She still looked the same.

Mosken was an active cross country skier in Norway and a lawyer for the Norwegian Government for many years. She also lived an active life until she was struck with disabling chronic pain. She successfully battled the limitations for many years, but finally had to give in and became bedridden because of persistant backpain. No hospitals or doctors in Norway were able to help her. Mosken had to stop working as a lawyer and stayed home with her two children. Her life became more and more isolated and miserable. She was not able to participate in any activities and was totally dependant on her husband for help. Until one day a handy man built her a computer stand over her bed. A lap top connected to the Internet opened a new window for her to join the world again. Read how she and many others use their computer even they are bedridden or having reduced ability to sit. If you are housebound or bedridden, a computer can be your lifeline.

Linda and Mosken “met” through an online support group and started conversing with each other whenever the different timezones allowed. After a while they had seen enough of the ugliness that the Internet can offer. Spammers, hackers and people wanting to flame, disrupt and upset other people rather than support and discuss. One of their teenagers explained there is only one way of having a "safe place" on the Internet; You have to build and run the site yourself. They decided to create a non profit online community for people living with chronic pain. Linda travelled to the other side of the Earth to finally meet Mosken. She barely survived the trip by the help of pillows and lots of rest afterwards. The meeting was above any doubt, a great success. They shared their visions and dreams and were determined to make their online support group a place for people from all over the world to meet, share information and research, and battle their disease and pain.

A lot of hard work was done the next six months. Mosken using her organization skills as a lawyer and Linda her determination as an athlete. They got valuable support and help from other people that volunteered. Slowly the online Support group Friends International became a reality in 2001.

Disclaimer

Articles published on this website are written by the administrators of the community and not by medical professionals. They are not medical articles/content and are not a replacement for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If the article does not contain direct reference to the source of the data, please treat it as personal opinion of the writer.


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