A photo of podcast guest Karra who discusses maintaining joyful relationships in spite of chronic illness

Karra Eloff wants to help individuals living with chronic pain or chronic illness maintain joyful relationships. She is the author of The Chronic Pain Couple: How To Be a Joyful Partner & Have a Remarkable Relationship in Spite of Chronic Pain. Her book is the result of years of research, inspired by her own health journey.

Karra was an avid jogging enthusiast that had been married for about a year when she collapsed one day while furniture shopping. She went to the doctor complaining of intense hip pain, which was brushed off as a running injury. It would take about 3 years of progressive symptoms to learn she actually has spondyloarthritis, an umbrella term for several diseases including ankylosing spondylitis and psoriatic arthritis. Her diagnostic journey was full of traumatic medical gaslighting and deep sadness, leaving her wondering how to find the energy to love and support her partner while in survival mode.

Karra began researching couples and chronic pain, hoping to find a blueprint of practical steps for couples to take. Her focus had been on reducing pain and managing symptoms, but she learned that tending to the mental health of both partners was a crucial tool she had been overlooking. Since no practical blueprint seemed to exist, she spent several years developing one and writing her book.

On this episode of the Major Pain podcast, Karra discusses her process of injecting joy into relationships touched by chronic illness or chronic pain. She discusses making space for joy within these relationships by addressing communication, intimacy and mental health, hoping her work will help others feel loved in spite of health challenges.

Find Karra’s work online at https://www.chronicpaincouple.com

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