The Professional Patient

My name is Ali Esfahani and I am 24-years old. I was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois up until the age of 11, where my family moved to Upper Arlington (a suburb of Columbus), Ohio. I went to Upper Arlington high school and graduated from the Ohio State University with a bachelor’s degree in Biology. I am currently a third year MD/MBA student at the University of Toledo. I like to see the humor in everything, have an obsession with Chicago sports, love the game of basketball, and most importantly have been living with chronic pain for about 4 years now.

To date, I have seen about 24 doctors (this consists of general practitioners, orthopedic surgeons, physiatrists, pain management specialists, and neurologists), have had 5 MRIs done on my spine, 4 X-rays, 3 rounds of prolotherapy injections (a topic for another day), 4 different types of blood work done, and there is still no consensus on what is causing it. Six doctors are convinced I have facet joint-arthritis, and the rest have no clue.

My condition leaves me with the inability to stand or walk longer than about 20 minutes without being in immense pain, but I am (relatively) comfortable when sitting down. I have created a blog that gives a unique perspective about chronic pain from the perspective of someone pursing a career in the field of medicine. My blog can be found at:

My hope is that by posting in this blog continually about my and other people’s experiences with managing the pain, I can shed light on a subject that I feel doesn’t get enough attention. I also hope this blog will inspire others with similar conditions or even other challenges in life to overcome them and maintain a positive attitude along the way.

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