There are forms of pain: pains, aches, itching, etc. Did you know itching is a form of pain. I didn't know that until a dear friend was ill with cancer and she itched, a lot. Her doctors said it was a form of pain.
Chronic pain is associated with many different types of illnesses/diseases. I won't go into the many forms lest I miss a type and offend someone. (Our society, by the way, is overly sensitive these days. You know that I do not believe in political correctness -- that is a bunch of crap, and a different subject matter. I simply do not want to have someone who is hurting to think that I discounted his/her pain.)
If you do not have pain in your body, cherish it! Most days I have some pain; many days I have a great deal of pain; some days my pain overwhelms my ability to physically 'work' and initiative to do so.
I am not here to whine or ask for sympathy. I want to bring awareness to a massive pain problem in our country, even on our planet.
Our pharmaceutical companies churn out painkiller after painkiller and still we have pain. There are many treatment programs from physical therapy and home exercise to in-house treatments such as injections, surgery, and devices to wear. Guess what? We still hurt.
There are homeopathic remedies, folklore remedies, yoga, and diet possibilities. Guess what? We still hurt.
Clearly, there is a theme here: we hurt. We don't like to hurt. We don't like to take a bunch of drugs that consist of chemicals that were never intended to be absorbed by our bodies and have side effects of their own which we then have to handle. We don't like scheduled physical therapy because it hurts. Yes, it hurts. Sometimes we make progress, but it hurts in the process.....and when you start the process hurting, it makes you less anxious for the process that hurts. Vicious circle!
Treatments can hurt too! Have you ever had injections into your neck or spine? How about into your hip? They are nothing like the prick of a subcutaneous injection for a regular shot in the arm.
Sitting hurts. Standing hurts. Walking hurts. Stretched out /curled up in bed hurts. Seems there is no happy medium.
And then, and then........we share that we're hurting. With friends. With family. With strangers. And we get those looks. Pity. Disgust. Boredom. Yes, you've heard it all before. You know we hurt. You wonder why we point it out at every turn. You wish we'd keep it to ourselves. Surely no one really hurts THAT much. Why don't we just suck it up like everyone else does when they hurt?
BECAUSE WE CAN'T. We try!! We really really do try!! We go to work, we go to church, we go to school, we go get groceries, we do laundry, we drive, we climb the stairs, we try!!! And some days, we can't work. Why go to work if you're going to be inefficient? That only wastes the boss' money and makes you hurt more! Some days we can't make it to church. Just getting ready to go puts us into a sweat from the pain and exertion of getting ready on the day of rest. Everything and anything can make our pain worse.
Sometimes we have an almost pain-free day -- we cherish those. On those days we feel we can conquer the world, so we run about with a surge of energy as if we have been cured -- doing errands, cleaning our houses, accomplishing great things at work and at school. And then......and then.....the next day we crash. We crash with pain and exhaustion because we felt so very good and did so much that, for our bodies, we overdid.
We get judged because some think we're lazy, some think we're faking it (why anyone would want to fake living in this kind of pain is beyond me), some think we are attention-seekers.
Why do I write about this today? I've had a good bit of pain for many years and I tried to keep going. As the pain started winning, I found it harder and harder to keep pushing and accomplishing the 'everything' 'everyone' expected and was used to me producing. I kept wondering to myself if this was what aging was really like, if I had messed up somehow, if I were really lazy...... I worried about all these things, and the resulting failures in future accomplishment situations. What would people think as I began to let them down.
Fortunately, I had already started backing out of several committees. I kept a few. And then came family illnesses and needs. So, I kept pushing and pushing. And finally one day I met a man, a chiropractor, who said we can work on these things and we can start getting rid of some of these medications. That's almost two years ago. We've made great headway, but there are times (days and sometimes weeks) when the pain reminds me it is a part of my life. Then I met a pain management doctor who agreed that we can work on this. He sent me to a rheumatologist for the first time in my life who agreed with the chiropractor and the pain management doctor: we can work on this and that the less drugs the better!!
Pain is a vengeful creature, it doesn't like to be pushed to the back burner. It reminds you it is there - most often thought of as a symptom. Chronic pain exists.
Why do I write about pain today? Because today is a high pain day for me -- it is getting in the way of my accomplishing physical activities, of going to my office, of mowing my lawn when it is sunny, of carrying laundry, of feeling like doing anything. I write today because I am reminded that there are others who haven't found the healers, the support network, the friends who will say that 'it's ok, we still love you' and 'we can work on this.' I write because those who hurt need to know it's ok to hurt and take time to rest. It's ok to work on yourself and looking to the future.
I write because I want the world not to look down on those who hurt, but rather lift them up and help them move through the pain. Chronic pain is nothing like the pain of working out and building yourself up physically. Chronic pain is exhausting and debilitating.
I am not cured. I hurt. I live. I will go on. Thanks to my good chiropractor and other doctors, to my husband who understands me, to my siblings who understand, to my extended family who put up with me, to my friends and fellow committee workers, to my friends at my office (they are, indeed, friends, not just colleagues), to my social media friends who've never met me but send me cyber hugs -- thanks to all of these folks, I am lifted up. Thanks to God above for peace of mind and strength to tough it out when I don't want to, I am lifted up. I know there is far greater pain, even when, on a day like today, I doubt it. I have never been a Prisoner of War. I have been blessed in so many ways, that I know I will get through this day and many more!
(Some days, I will grumble and share that I'm hurting.) I figure if someone has the nerve to greet me with, "Hi, how ya doing?" I'm going to answer and I'm going to answer honestly. If you don't really want to know, don't ask!! The greeting is, "Hi!" if you don't want to know how I'm really doing!!
Why am I writing about pain today? Shouldn't I be writing about something political? This blog is for my opinions, my viewpoints, my observations. Topics vary. There is much in the media about world events and our country that has me livid with rage, heartbroken beyond belief, and in shock. Some of those gaining moments of media attention don't deserve our time of day. For that very reason and the fact that I hurt, that is why I have written about pain today.
We, as human beings, are hurting. We can work through it. We need to support each other. We need to lift up each other. We need to strive to comfort, to alleviate the pain of our fellow men and women. We can work through this to enjoy other days.