Yellow and black image of a figure of a person, with clouds within the outline of the person. The background is dark and barren.

John Ferguson – Elgin, Scotland (4 photos)

I suffer acute pain in my chest abdomen, shoulder and arms, it took several years for doctors to rule out a variety of possible conditions. This included a cardiogram and other invasive procedure. Following a two year wait I eventually had a neurosurgical operation which gave me a year of reduced pain then after a year or so, the operation failed. I take a variety of medications including opiates and occasional steroid injections. I live daily with radicular pain from damage to my upper cervical vertebrae. I had been taking images with my camera but during the period before and after I found that the process of photography helped distract if not alleviate the pain I was experiencing. I felt disbelieved by people and the medical profession and experienced self-doubt and confusion. I tried to maintain normal life and people could not see the stress of my condition. I wanted to the image to expose the dark and confusing place of radicular pain when your spine and nervous system shares sharp and debilitating pain across your body. I was also assessed as being dyslexic and the images shares that confusion an inner chaos that invisible disability causes.

Instagram: @jfergusonimages

1 Comment

  1. Your story and photos made me cry. I am right with you in the chronic pain world. Just had a total knee reconstruction. Pain was out of this world. I just kept telling myself to calm down and let time pass. I don’t know what life without pain is, it comes in waves like your snake. Beautiful work, thanks for understanding. Back to faking it for the world!


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