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Born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, I now live with a wonderfully supportive husband and we have raised two incredible adult daughters. I have been an artist/educator in the St. Louis area for many years teaching at the high school, college and adult-education levels. Recently retiring from teaching at St. Louis Community College-Meramec in the Design, Visual and Performing Arts Department, I have ventured into new territory with the publication of my book, Silent Courage. Currently, I am presenting writing workshops assisting others to “mine” the stories their souls want to tell and working on a series of children’s books.

The first of my children’s books, Wheelie, the Wheelchair in Search of Adventure, is now available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Having endured a chronic pain journey from hip dysplasia since childhood, I have an insider’s grasp of its complexities and challenges. While hip replacement surgery has allowed me to be in a better place for many years, I am acutely aware of the gaps that exist between those who experience pain and those who treat pain–and I want to help bridge them together.

My life experiences have guided me to become a Chronic Pain Management advocate. Creating awareness about the lingering effects of chronic pain on the person, validating these experiences, developing peer support and identifying spaces/resources where healing can continue are all passions of mine. I have designed creative workshops, classes, and a variety of events on these topics. Book me today!

M.S. Ed/Art Education

Usui Reiki Practitioner, Level 2

Executive Board Member, Rockhaven Ecozoic Center,  House Springs, Missouri


Photo credit: Tony Carosella

31 responses »

  1. Mary, so glad you set this up. Your gift to youself will help others in living optimally with/without pain… are the best!!love,Mag

  2. Thanks so much for your continued support.

  3. yay!!!! so awesome to have this blog online for all to learn from, share in and be inspired by!!! i have worked with Mary and know of her talent…not only as an artist but in livng each day one day at a time in joy, no matter the circumstances of life. thank you and bless you mary.

  4. I cannot locate your artwork, which I would love to see.

  5. Georgia,
    On the right sidebar, there is a cateogory ARTWORK. There are 2 links there you can click on. mar

  6. Mary,
    Thanks for sharing information on your blog with me. Addiction recovery and recovery from pain seem to be divine interventions, trying to get our attention. Rebuilding the inner self with loving thoughts and patient actions, staying calm, doing one thing at a time, and living one day at a time is my daily feast.

  7. Mary Byrne Eigel

    I count it special that you would take time to comment. Seeing recovery as divine intervention explains to me why your approach holds so much wisdom. I know the personal success I have found through your book. I am thankful to have crossed your path. And thankful for the internet to be able to connect and discover beautiful resources like yourself.
    Namaste, Mary

  8. Dear Mary,
    I’m the author of a literary novel, called Remedies, recently published by Putnam. It’s received excellent reviews: a starred review from Publishers Weekly, raves from Kirkus, Minneapolis StarTribune, Baltimore Magazine, The National Post(of Canada), among others.

    Remedies is about a physician who believes he’s discovered a cure for chronic pain, and he begins treating his most desperate patients. He’s also a doctor who’s not afraid to prescribe opioids, or offer other treatments that might help. Ultimately, he suffers for what other practitioners believe is a zealous approach to treating pain.

    I’ve received e-mails from readers around the country who have endured chronic pain. One reviewer on Amazon (an RN) says the book is a “must-read” for anyone who’s experienced chronic pain. One reader wrote to me to say that the book made her feel “validated.” I hope you might look up the book and let me know what you think. There’s more information on my website:

    Very best wishes for peace on your journey,
    Kate Ledger

  9. Mary Byrne Eigel

    Just checked out your website. The book sounds very interesting. I look forward to checking it out. I am actually working on completing a book about Chronic Pain Recovery.

  10. Thanks so much for checking out The Pain Center’s blogs. We always appreciate it. You have a very interesting story. We should chat sometime. Feel free to email me and maybe we could talk about your blogroll as well. Thanks!

  11. Marja van Kampen

    Hello Mary, it is nice to hear from you. I still have good memories about meeting you in Ireland during the Spanish Arch Art Project.
    I will look out for your book.
    best wishes,
    Marja van Kampen

  12. Mary Byrne Eigel

    I have linked your blog to mine under Art Friends. Talk to you soon.

  13. Dee Dee Menacho

    So good to finally meet up with a few of you who actually understand about Chronic Pain. I am just getting acquainted with a new class at Kaiser that teaches how to deal with pain on a daily basis and what to do when having a flare up. I have also been told that Chronic Pain is now listed as a known disease in the medical community. I have tried many things for the pain and have finally found something that comes close to managing my life. The miracle drug for me is Fentanyl patches. I can actually function and do a few things that I could not before.

    Thanks for this great site of yours,
    Dee Dee

  14. Mary Byrne Eigel

    Dee Dee,
    Glad you stopped by.
    Be well.

  15. Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wished to say that I have really enjoyed browsing your blog posts. In any case I will be subscribing to your rss feed and I hope you write again very soon!

  16. Mary Byrne Eigel

    Thank you kindly for stopping by.

  17. Excellent post once again! Thanks=)

  18. Hello. magnificent job. I did not expect this. This is a splendid story. Thanks!

  19. Mary Byrne Eigel

    Thanks for stopping by.

  20. Your blog is breathtaking. Most of the stuff on your page are my consent regarding. thank you for sharing.

  21. I definitely wanted to construct a comment to express gratitude to you for the superb guides you are posting on this website. My incredibly long internet search has at the end of the day been compensated with good facts and strategies to write about with my friends and family. I would express that we visitors actually are very endowed to dwell in a really good network with very many perfect people with valuable guidelines. I feel truly happy to have come across your entire website page and look forward to tons of more amazing moments reading here. Thank you once again for everything.

  22. great job with your blog, Mary! Love, Sharon Lebell

  23. Mary,

    I would like to reprint one of your blog posts on BOOMER HIGHWAY. I would like to repost LIGHTENING UP, Pain Management.

    Please let me know if that would work for you.

    Thanks, Beth

  24. Mary Byrne Eigel

    Sure, that would be fine. Do you need me to do anything or are you going to link to the post. Let me know.

  25. I’d have to check with you here. Which is not something I usually do! I enjoy reading a post that will make people think. Also, thanks for allowing me to comment!

  26. Only wanna input that you have a very nice website , I like the style it actually stands out.

  27. Hello Mary 🙂

    I’ve just discovered your blog through Linkedin, and I have read through several of your post already, smiling and nodding my head in agreement. As a Disabled Veteran I am all too familiar with living with Chronic Pain…in my case the combination of male pride and years of military minded determination often found me trying to ignore the pain and “suck it up” and drive on which only made things worse. I applaud you for following your passion and bringing awareness to Chronic Pain…consider me subscribed 🙂

    BTW, I’m a former student of yours, when I saw the title and content of your blog I thought Linkedin must have connected me to the wrong Mary Eigel LOL, glad I followed through and clicked the link, and it’s nice knowing we have more in common that just a love for art.

    Have a Great Day

  28. Mary Byrne Eigel

    Howard. Great to hear from you. Bittersweet that we share a tapestry of pain. I hear you about “grinning and bearing it” i have felt a need to talk about my experience, something I could not have done when pain occupied me. Finishing a book about my journey. How are things with you? Where you at nowdays.

  29. I’m doing good, pushed myself a bit hard to make sure I graduated over the Summer, Good News I got my degree, but it caught up with me and I had to spend a few months recovering. But I’m much better now, and getting things together so I can start Freelancing while I wait to start at UMSL in the Fall. I’m also working on a project of my own to help bring awareness about Traumatic Brain Injuries and the Center for Head Injury Services, which was instrumental in helping me successfully returning to College and Graduating.

  30. Mary Byrne Eigel

    Congrats on graduating! You did really push yourself! How wonderful that you also are an advocate.i know your experience and recovery must be an inspiration for others. LIke they say “It isn’t what you do in life that matters, it’s what you have to overcome to get there.” Blessings to you and your work, stay in touch. Mar

  31. Indeed! It was good talking to you, and I will stay in touch 🙂

    Be Blessed


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