EL PASO - September is pain awareness month.
"I have had days where I was almost pain-free which on a scale of 1 to 10 for me would be about a 4."
Troy Stone has suffered from chronic pain for 27 years as a result of a genetic condition called cystinuria which causes him to pass kidney stones every day.
"I keep track of them on a calendar and I average between 40 and 60 a month."
A former ballroom dance instructor... Troy can no longer work. He says he misses the activity which led him to his wife of 17 years.
"Dancing with my wife. It's the one thing that makes her happier than anything and I can't do that anymore."
Troy's wife Kris... who serves as the Assistant Dean of Graduate Education at UTEP's School of Nursing... shares his pain.
"We met ballroom dancing and we went out in a group every week dancing and then when we decided to get married we put on a 30-minute skit, a dance and...I miss it."
Kris has organized a local support group for chronic pain sufferers. She says doctors often deny these patients adequate pain management for fear of addiction.
"They see the rare instance where somebody dies, overdoses from pain medication and therefore thinks oh no we need to control this where in fact they don't see the number of people that have chronic pain and may need these medications in order to help them function."
Sufferers like Troy can also receive little empathy from others because they don't show any visible signs of illness.
Chronic pain affects 72 million Americans.
The chronic pain support group will meet the first Monday of every month at the Mind Body Clinic on Belvidere Street.