It is hard to explain to those without chronic pain what it is like. Others may get a cold or even the flu but it goes away and life continues. They may break their foot and have to wear a cast but it gets better. One of the toughest things about chronic illnesses is the CHRONIC. There is no end in sight. The first time I heard the “let’s manage the pain” phase was a game changer! Mentally it was a kick while I was already down. Wow! So this is it. I’m not going back to the way it was before!
That was so hard for me to hear. Still is. Some days more than others. But everyday the pain is there and a big part of my life. Keeping up with all of the medications and doctor appointments alone is like a full time job! Trying to gauge how I feel in the morning to know what I think I can do that day is always tough because sometimes the pain changes so quickly.
I realized it’s like I live in a glass-paned box. (Like what I did there? Pain-pane! Ha) This box of pain surrounds me everyday, everywhere I go. How well I function depends on the thickness of the panes around me.
On good days they are thin and seem almost breakable. I can almost “be myself.” My family and I can enjoy our day and no one is constantly worried about Mom. No that is not true, is it? Because with chronic pain you are always wondering when it will hit or if doing this activity will bring on the pain. What I am learning do on these days are enjoy them! Or at least the part of the day I was given. I am also working on making the most of the amount I’m given and not be resentful or worried about when it will return.
Then there are the medium days. Or one of my average days now. I can still see through the glass but it is thicker. With this thicker glass comes a glare causing me to see a slight reflection of myself. I can see through my reflection but it does make it harder to focus on the world outside of my pain. These days i feel as if the world I am moving through has been muted because the pain is turned up. I am mom, wife, friend, daughter but not very good ones. I am doing the best I can now! My “best” changes on how I feel and I try to keep a happy-medium. Thankfully I have an amazing family who is understanding and learning right along with me how to maneuver down this road of chronic pain.
Then there are the days I am in not only in my metaphorical box but I’m also locked away into the 4 walls of my room. Stuck in bed because noises or lights are just too much to bare. This glass is so thick I feel like it could be certified for submarines. Only all of the pressure is inside the glass pushing on me. It is hard to see out of this thick of a pane. This is pain that is almost unbearable. I mean for starters the pain alone is miserable! And then you add the facts that they can’t make it go away, you don’t know when it’s coming, and how long it will last this time.
These different thicknesses in panes (or pain) affects how I am able to not only see the world but interact with it. What causes me pain one day may not another. That can drive me a little batty sometimes! However, I am trying to focus on the times it does not.
Praying you have many more pain free days,