Living with Chronic Pain | Introduction to Chronic Pain Awareness Week

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 –

Living with Chronic Pain | Introduction to Chronic Pain Awareness Week

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 – 

Living with Chronic Pain | Introduction to Chronic Pain Awareness Week

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.

  • You do incredibly well through your pain. I’m so glad to see you gaining such perspective with it, and learning to manage. We all need to be more empathetic towards our friends in pain. This series is such a great idea.

    GG, I just know you’ll have an amazing holiday. Rest and enjoy the sunshine (and cocktails)!

    Sending you loads of love xx

  • I feel like it’s a vicious cycle… I don’t know if the pain I experience is considered “chronic” pain, because I avoid doctors – they tend to not be helpful for me …. but I have a lot of hip and back pain, as well as neck and shoulder pain and I’m not even sure why. Every time I complain about myself in any way, my husband says something along the lines of ‘well then, do something about it” meaning I should work out and lose some weight because he thinks that will fix everything. Which, maybe it would, but how are you supposed to work out when everything hurts!?

  • Your pain is definitely valid! We’ve all been in that limbo stage where was don’t have diagnosis for our conditions. It’s hard, because without a label it can be difficult to explain to people what is wrong to help them understand, as we don’t fully know ourselves. Your symptoms are just as real, diagnosis or no diagnosis. Xx

    Tania | When Tania Talks

  • Aceso84

    Well done writing about this, I know it must have been hard. I am pretty much housebound with chronic pain caused by nerve damage following failed surgery and I can fully empathise with everything you have written. You are doing so well and have taken the best steps to help you manage it and that in itself was a very courageous thing to do. I do hope you get a proper diagnosis soon , once you have that there may be other treatments that may help. Hope your holiday is as pain free as possible.

  • So sorry to hear about how you struggle with your chronic pain *hugs* I can really relate to the way you describe your pain, it sounds so similar to symptoms that I experience too. Don’t worry about not having a diagnosis yet, getting an answer for your pain can be a long journey and everyone who experiences chronic pain has also been in the same position before, of waiting to see specialists and have tests. I hope you get a diagnosis soon. What you said about anxiety is really relatable, my anxiety has gotten so much worse because my chronic pain is very much unpredictable and I never know how I’m going to be from one hour to the next, let alone each day. It makes me so anxious when I’m out with friends. Stay strong x

  • Gillian Brewster

    Your pain is both valid and real! I understand your journey having gone through it myself in last few years. You will eventually get your diagnosis and know what lies ahead. The friend one is difficult as you fast learn who you can rely on and won’t judge. Just take each day as it comes and thanks for sharing. Xxx