I am watching television a couple of weeks ago and there’s this commercial from the Arthritis society touting this web site they came up with, in their not-so-infinite wisdom. It’s called http://www.thepain.ca/ . It’s a place where folks are invited to go to share their pain. Curiousity was too much and to tell the truth, I thought…oh hell, I don’t know what I thought, so I went to the site.
Jeebus in a handcart – way to take a wrong turn Arthritis society.
When you have chronic pain, the worst possible thing to do is to focus on it. That’s what this site does, it has people sharing, sharing and then sharing their pain some more. It becomes a focus. You CAN’T do that. Chronic pain is chronic pain. It is something you have to learn to live with and not focus on. It can’t be the center of your world. Once that happens? The pain takes over. You’ve had it. It is a constant, present state of mind.
There is no cure, folks. None. Chronic pain is simply an unwelcomed part of you and you need to find a way to live with it, not dwell on it.
I have it. My Dad had it, my grandmother had it, my husband has it and my son has it. We all have/had it to varying degrees. It is caused by a number of things; genetics, life choices and accidents. Far too late to go back and change anything, some things, like genetics, are impossible to alter. So? You live with it. You don’t wallow in it because, believe it or not, that simply makes it worse.
Avoid web sites like the one I mentioned – it won’t help and can only hurt your pain management. For some of us, coming to terms with the unalterable fact that drugs will be a major part of our lives is a tough nut to swallow but swallow it, we must. C’est vie, nothing will change it. The body has had enough and cannot take anymore. It is damaged, it is broken. Suck it up.
Go to your doctor appointments but understand that this isn’t a Star Trek universe. The medical profession is not magickal. It can’t wave a magic wand and make it all better. There are no kisses for this boo-boo. Don’t take your anger out on them. They aren’t lousy professionals. There is a limit folks, a very real limit as to what can and cannot be “cured”. It ain’t your doctor’s fault that your body has decided to turn traitor. Doctors do the best they can. Just be thankful that this isn’t 75 years ago and there was NO help for chronic pain, at all.
Remember your ancestors. There was no medical leave for them. If they wanted to eat, drink; have a roof and a fire in the fireplace? They had no choice but to go on. Truth to tell, this is one of my own methods for coping. My family came from, for the most part, hard scrabble lives. It was do it or die.
My grandfather – in the trenches in the Somme; feet being rotted away, every bone in his body aching. Getting gassed and shot, then send back on the lines; bearing witness to his best friend having his head blown clean off. There was no wallowing for him.
My great-aunt; left alone while her husband fought a war across the ocean, leaving her with 3 kids, all under the age of 6; two of them get sick, one with measles and I can’t remember what childhood disease the other one contracted, the end result was that both children died, while their father was at war, leaving my aunt alone to deal with, what had to be, the most intense form of chronic psychological pain. Then she gets that telegram that all families with men overseas dreaded; her husband was killed in battle.
These are just a couple of stories from my family, there are more. For me to dwell on the pain that is a part of my life, to me, is a gross insult to them. So, if it gets bad, I pop a pill and carry on. If I get fed up, discouraged, frustrated – I find something to do, something else to think about. There is nothing more I can do. This is, what it is. I have arthritis, I have serious back damage and that is just the way the cards have fallen for me. I will play the cards I was dealt and make the best of it.
That’s the best option for chronic pain. Nobody wants to hear about it. Suck it up Buttercup and move on. Adapt. Assimilate and move, the frick, on.