Living with Chronic Pain | Introduction to Chronic Pain Awareness Week
When I was first told that as my pain had been so persistent that it was now classed as ‘chronic,’ I was obviously rather upset. I had been told by everyone, GPs, private physios, NHS physio, osteopaths and even the pain management people that it was just muscle damage. I say ‘just’, as muscle damage implies that one day it could heal, one day it could rebuild and one day I would be back to my old, healthy self. I’ve now been suffering from chronic pain for nearly 2 years – in fact I think I’ll just be coming back from holiday when it’s my 2 year anniversary of the car crash, I definitely won’t be celebrating.
I’m in too much pain to function GG –
I’ve never really wrote about my chronic pain and I don’t post about it constantly (well, I do sometimes on Twitter) but that’s because I’ve not felt like I’ve had the right. I’m technically not diagnosed although I am getting closer by the day now after finally being referred to Rheumatology. Obviously I’m over that mindset and I’ve realised that it’s stupid to not talk about something just because others are worse of. This is my life, my pain and I want to bring awareness to it because the World is pretty ignorant to a lot of things until it affects them personally. I was ignorant. I’d constantly feel bad for complaining about my pain when I was around others who had an actual chronic illness or a worse condition than mine, but all pain is completely valid. Faith, my dear friend from Music & Eyeliner has helped me see that.
My chronic pain affects SO much of what I do, too much for my liking. It’s unfortunately controlling my life, I am a slave to my pain. I can try and fight it, but the aftermath of me being mostly unconscious for the next few days shows that the battle with it is pointless. I had to leave my retail job because of my pain, I took a leap of faith and decided that I would have to work for myself and make work manageable that way. A day-to-day job or simply leaving the house a few times a week proved to be too much in the early days of my pain and that hasn’t changed much at all. I can pace myself, I can book all the appointments in with physios, osteos and any form of treatment to help my pain whenever I want because I can work around them. Right now it’s 2am when I’m writing this, I’ve had 2 naps today and now I can work. It’s peaceful, there’s no postmen or couriers knocking every hour and I can get stuff done at this time. I still overwork myself and take on too much but that’s because I do love my work, I love working, and I love being busy. It’s hard though. I’ve changed a lot of things. I now have a separate working space to my relaxing space, I have weekends off, sometimes, and I have learned to really manage my workload well, sometimes I even thrive.
Thriving GG –
It’s the physical part of life and blogging where I struggle, events are a fine example. I’ve now got to the point where I won’t spend my own money to go and promote a brand, so I only go to the events where I’m actually wanted enough for them to pay my travel to get there. It helps, they don’t come that often and so it means I’m genuinely interested in perking myself up for the event because they actually want me there. Sure events are tiring for people with chronic pain but I don’t mind resting for a couple days for a great event!
Although, I’ve started to get really anxious whenever I have something coming up or know I’m going out for an event or just with friends. I know that I’ll only last a couple hours before the pain is too much and I need to lay down or nap. I know that my friends without pain won’t understand and find me boring or moany. I know that I’ll have to call it a night earlier than others. This part I have no solutions for yet. Hopefully they’ll read my series and be more understanding about it all.
I guess now I’m at the point where I’ve accepted my pain is valid and I want to talk about it. I want to explain, not because I feel I have to explain myself, but so others realise how difficult the most basic of things to them, can be to people like me. I’m currently on holiday and instead of just having any old posts on my blog, I want to bring awareness to chronic pain and chronic illnesses, I want people to see the others who suffer, somedays thrive and I want them to be more considerate as humans.