What’s this all about?

Hey there! Thanks for popping in. My name is Jo. I live with pain, although I’m living quite well with it at the moment. I got hurt many a moon ago working as a firefighter paramedic (I wasn’t doing anything cool, just stepped off the fire engine awkwardly). It wasn’t much of anything at the time, then became life-altering. I medically retired from the career that had defined me and started down a path of trying to better understand pain. I’m still on that path.

MyCuppaJo is where I muse about pain and health equity, everything from my own lived experiences of pain and trauma and struggling to find the right care, to pain research and treatment, to how we think about and treat pain (and people with pain) in the broader world.

My historical content (imported to Substack from my blog ) is largely about how I’ve made sense of my own pain through science and stories. My current content is more focused on equity, ethics, and other ways of knowing beyond science and ‘evidence’. I am particularly interested in concepts such as epistemic justice as a way to improve our understanding and treatment of pain and people living with pain within health systems and within society.

I’ll also muse on other things, and share things I’ve read or seen that I find interesting and that you might find interesting, too. I live in the beautiful Rocky Mountains in Colorado, so nature will surely creep into these posts. So will my dog, Coco.

We are never only one thing, and I’m certainly not only about pain.


When you subscribe you’ll get full access to the newsletter and website, which has all my historical posts from MyCuppaJo.com too. Everyone has full access, whether you’re a free or paid subscriber. I never want cost to be a barrier to my content.

There is also a paid option for those who want to support my work financially. I put a lot of time and effort into my writing, eduction, and advocacy work, most of which is unpaid, so every little bit helps and means a great deal.

No matter what subscription you choose, I’m really thankful you’re here!


I love this this amazing community that has come together around pain. All of you who’ve engaged with MyCuppaJo over the years are a pretty stellar bunch of humans. You’re compassionate, reflective, supportive, and just all around awesome folks. I look forward to learning with and from all of you.

Other stuff

To find out more about the company that provides the tech for this newsletter, visit Substack.com.

Subscribe to MyCuppaJo

Making sense of pain through science and stories. Advocating for health equity and the integration of lived knowledge into the study, research, and treatment of pain


Reader, writer, nature lover. Pain advocate and research partner interested in epistemic justice. Love playing outside with John and our rescue mutt Coco.