Ellen has logged more time in the float tanks at The Floatation Centre than any other floater. She suffers from a condition called CRPS where her nervous system is a bit off tilt, telling the brain that any and all sensory input is burning and painful. The hug of a loved one, or even a blanket covering her feet at night can causes burning pain throughout her body.
Floating has been a way for Ellen to escape this constant pain and even reprogram her Central Nervous System to remind it “Hey, this is what NORMAL is supposed to feel like – amazing and pain free!”. Because she lives over an hour away, coming to The Floatation Centre is a bit of a journey for her – often every 10 days. I’ve encouraged Ellen into purchasing a Zen Float Tent to have at home where she can float as often as she pleases and want to support her as much as possible on her journey. One of the ways she will raise money is selling her handmade cards here at TFC.
Read a bit more about Ellen’s story below and the next time you’re in, purchase a card — they’re only $3.00 and feel free to donate a few extra dolla dolla bills to Ellen’s cause.
My name is Ellen Swan and I have a Chronic Pain disorder which was triggered out of remission by a fall over 6 years ago. Since then it has progressed to affect all 4 limbs. The condition is called CRPS and is essentially the nervous system on tilt as it has created a “super highway” telling the brain that any sensory input is burning and pain.
There are really no words that can explain how this constant 24/7 pain changes your life and even who you are; where amputation and induced comas seem like a viable option for even temporary relief from the continuous input of pain. You learn to either do things you always did differently or give them up for good. One of the things I gave up was drawing; as an artist it was like cutting out a big chunk of who I was. I have been working on taking that back and it has been a pen stroke at a time and with a different medium.
My family and I have been on a journey of recovery and that journey led us to The Floatation Centre and Lindsay! For many years we have been intrigued by the idea of floating but have never been able to experience it; as my disorder progressed we started trying to find somewhere we could at least try this. The Universe has answered this request by sending Lindsay and her Vision.
I had my first float on June 25, 2015! What an AMAZING experience! To have 75 minutes where there were NO pressure points or outside sensation to send the pain to my brain was nothing short of Miraculous. I could finally envision getting my life back; maybe not exactly as it was but one that was active and where I could be a participant rather than an observer. The benefits of a float will last for a couple of days (like being able to sleep for more than a few hours at a time!). I have found that to make progress and keep it I have to float very regularly and that is where the next phase of the journey begins.
The Floatation Center is an hour from my home and it takes a full day to do a single float. I am still dependent on having someone drive me to these appointments as the vibrations and holding the steering wheel are beyond what I can accomplish on my own. We are now looking at building a Floatation Room in our home but this takes cash to purchase a Float Tent and to do the renovations necessary; to that end have begun doing some fundraising. The first project is selling the blank greeting cards I designed several years ago before the accident and offering them at a discount with all funds raised going to our Floatation Room Project.