Good Friend was just diagnosed with Chronic Pain~Walking in my Shoes
It's great that we all found this site....if anyone in the world understands pain-issues~ WE DO!! And on that topic, nobody in this whole world understands Chronic Pain UNLESS they themselves, have it!!
Recently, a friend of mine herniated a disc in his lumbar region (atheletic, long-time surfer, into more natural types of healing). Well, amongst my friends, I'm known as the back-pain person. Me & him have discussed our back issues/pain issues on several occasions. Currently my friend just hit the one-year mark....with his lumbar pain going from low to high intensity throughout the year.
In November, after feeling close-to pain-free for almost 2 months, he & his wife took a trip to Costa Rica. Since he hadn't surfed all summer because he was recovering, he was really looking-forward to some surf-time in Costa Rica. I was hesitant about the situation because I've been dealing with Chronic Pain for 10 years. But, we each have to live & learn. Apparently, as soon as the 1st wave hit him, he was out of commission for the duration of the trip. With that in-mind, he took my advice to skip surfing this winter to give his back more time to recover.
Anyway, I had a conversation with him about 2 weeks ago, & he said the following in a VERY serious tone: "You know Babs, it's not that I thought you were complaining too much, or that you weren't a strong person,,,,but I had NO IDEA how much pain (esp back pain) can affect a person's life. Everything I do seems affected. Getting dressed, showering, cooking, and even walking OR just sitting here on the couch!! And I only have 1 herniation. No offense to you, Babs. But if I had 12 herniations like you do, I think I might kill myself. Like I said, no offense to you". I responded to him by saying, "One of the 1st things you should know (now that you're in this Chronic Pain family), is that all pain is relative. You should never attempt to 'compare' your pain or injury with another person's. If you say you hurt 10/10, I'm gonna believe you & help you in any way I can. And if you meet someone who is saying that their chronic hang-nail is the worst pain they've ever felt, believe them & try to assist them to get more comfortable. All pain is relative to that particular individual who is experiencing it. It's when we start to compare our pains/injuries that we begin to turn on one another. And like I said, we're ALL in this together....that is, being a person suffering from Chronic Pain." Since NOBODY ELSE UNDERSTANDS US, we should really try & stick-together!!
I thought to share, & was wondering if anyone else has had a friend / family member "all of a sudden" walk in their shoes? What was their response & did you find it extra important to support them (being that we KNOW what CP patients are up against in this world?)
Thoracic Fusion via Thoracotomy 10/06