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If Only They Understood

Posted 10-27-2010 09:03 PM by greatoldthings

This is my letter to those who donít understand chronic pain. I know you will never read this, but I have to get this off my chest.

Iíve had chronic pain in my left hip and leg and lower back for the past 7 years. I am not a hypochondriac, I am not a head case, I am not imagining this. So please donít judge me.

Being sick and in pain does not mean that Iím not human, I am very much so a human, just one that suffers. And just because I am happy some days does not mean that Iím not in pain. I hate comments like, ďWell it sounds like you are doing better!Ē Just because I "sound" happy doesn't mean that I'm cured of my ailments. It just means that emotionally and mentally I'm doing pretty well. My pain is very much with me still. You must realize I have just decided that I will not let this pain control my every emotion.

Just because I can walk around pretty well one day doesnít mean that Iíll be able to the next day. The next day I may have trouble simply getting out of bed. Chronic pain means ďgoodĒ days and ďbadĒ days when the pain can spike unexpectedly and without reason. I never know how I may feel when I wake up in the morning. Sometimes I donít know how Iím going to feel the next minute.

I know I may not have a cast, a brace or a bandage but I do use a crutch or a cane to help me walk. Shouldn't that be enough for you when I say I am in pain? I know I am young, but people who are young can have chronic pain as well as those who are older. Please don't say that I just just "get over it" or that I'm young so my body will heal itself quickly, because 1) I can't just "get over it" and 2) time has shown that my body has not "just healed itself" quickly or even slowly! I hurt, please believe me!

I canít stand it when people say to "live life and not let the pain control you", because sometimes I hurt so much that I canít help it controlling me. And comments like, ďWell if you just get out-and-about it will make you feel betterĒ is not true. I can honestly say I hate being around people when Iím in agony because it just makes it that much worse. When Iím in a particular amount of pain I want to stay within the comfort of my own home. And going to school does not count, I have to go to school so I must simply force myself to get up and get going.

If I say I have to sit down or lie down or go home that means I have to do it right away, because I hurt so much. And sitting down for five minutes does not help. When I say I need to sit down it probably means that Iím done for the rest of the day and canít do anymore walking.

Please donít make suggestions as to what could cure me. Because if you suggest it Iíve probably already tried it or its too absurd to try. And Iím doing things at this very moment to manage pain and adding one more thing to my list would make my life overly busy. Thank you for the thought, but no suggestions, I beg you.

You can ask me how Iím doing all you want but Iíll tell you how Iím feeling emotionally, not physically. Because if I was to tell you how Iím doing physically it would be the same every time, ďNot wellĒ. So please take that into consideration when you talk to me.

If I seem crabby I apologize. I donít mean to be, because as much as I try to not let the pain get to me it can and it does. Some days I just want to be by myself and cope the best I can, so if I donít want to talk to you its nothing personal. I just donít feel well and need time to myself to ďrecoverĒ in the way I know how to.

I donít mean for this to come across as harsh, but this is how I feel. I just wish people could understand that my pain is complicated not just physically but mentally, emotionally and it can change your life.

I know there are some of you out there who can relate to me and what I'm saying. I hope some of what I have said can help you deal with people who don't understand pain.
Posted in General Health
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  1. Old Comment
    Searchin's Avatar
    Chronic pain wears on the very soul itself. Yes there are days and days when I put on a smile and pretend that I do not hurt. When people do not understand its just like saying you don't matter. You do matter and I have empathy for you. Please keep looking for someone that can help you with your pain...God heals all things in his time. Sincerely, searchin
    Posted 10-30-2010 at 02:02 AM by Searchin Searchin is offline

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