Chronic Pain: 16 Things We Want You To Know

It’s not just in our head. The pain is there and always would be even if there is no apparent reason for it. Our pain is real and will not just go away after we take some pills for a week or two. It would always be there and we have learned to live with it. Here are 16 more things we wish you knew about us!

1. We Don’t Make a Mountain out of a Molehill

You think you can imagine our pain? Now multiply that amount by 10. No matter how sympathetic you are, studies have proved that people tend to underestimate other people’s pain. Chronic pain by default is hard to imagine unless you have experienced it in your life. It’s invisible, but it is always there. We urge health care not out of hypochondria or the need for attention, but because of our severe physical state.

2. We Need to Balance Actions Carefully

We use the Spoon Theory.  We have a limited amount of spoons each day we could use for different actions. Getting up, getting dressed, taking a shower, driving, walking, picking up the phone — each action requires us to use one of our precious spoons. On good days, we finish with a few spoons left so we can do something fun. On bad days, we borrow spoons from the next day and need extra recovery afterward. So if we suddenly cancel our plans with you or tell we can’t do it now — it’s just because we ran out of spoons today. Try to understand this.

3. We Struggle to Find a Good Doctor

Sadly, a lot of health care pros lack knowledge in pain management because it is rarely part of their training. We often visit numerous specialists before receiving a proper diagnosis and wait months to years to see a real pain specialist for treatment. Doctors often fall victim to the cognitive error of underestimating another’s pain and a small number of doctors are willing to take the legal risks involved in prescribing powerful pain pills.

Same goes with the nurses. Finding a good one who can really understand and help us relieve the pain is hard! Luckily, there are some online schools like Sacred Heart University that are training future nurse leaders to overcome these issues in the future and provide better care for patients.

While you may think it’s crazy, we’re willing to travel further to find a good nurse with this kind of training and rave about it when we find one.

4. We Are Not Lazy

Remember the limited amount of spoons we have? Now add the fact that it takes twice as much effort for us to complete even simple things. We try harder than other folks, yet we still manage to accomplish less.

5. We Try to Look Our Best

“But you don’t look sick” is one of the most common phrases you hear if you have an invisible disease. Well yes, we try to look our best even on bad days when our body explodes from pain. We dress up carefully to cover up our bruises or swelling, take painkillers at the optimal time, and rest before going out. We would love to pass as normal as much as possible! Even if we feel pain, we would keep it to ourselves until the moment we step into our apartment and just collapse.

6. We Don’t Ignore You

Sometimes our pain occupies too much space in our brains and we simply cannot focus on anything else. Pain can be very distracting and mentally draining, so please forgive us when we can’t give all the attention to you.

7. We Know Our Illness Won’t Go Away

It’s always there. We can’t escape. And yes, we have researched all the possible options. If there was a cure, we would know about it!

8. We Are Not Drug Seekers

Sadly, we need to explain that both to the doctors and folks around. We don’t want drugs. We want anything to make the pain go away even for a little while. So yes, sometimes our treatment requires taking opioids or medical marijuana. We treat those just like any other remedy. And no, we are not particularly fond of the side effects either.

In fact, as the Cleveland Clinic explains: Addiction appears to be distinctly uncommon in patients without a prior history of addiction. Addiction is a psychological phenomenon that isn’t caused by chemical components of the drugs and typically requires a setting different from the one we have. We take our drugs under the supervision and come back home to the loving family, unlike the street-users.

See remainder of this article @ Chronic Pain

7 thoughts on “Chronic Pain: 16 Things We Want You To Know

  1. Tina - Invisible Illnesses Blog says:

    I’m glad you wrote this blog, I read one earlier today that was telling how to overcome chronic fatigue. As if that was even possible. I wanted to comment on that one, but I could not think of a nice way to tell them they were uninformed and I took a great offense to the implication that anything said was even possibly correct. Your blog completes my day by countering that other blog’s misinformation. Thank you!


    • cherished79 says:

      Thanks for your comment. I think the word is ‘judgement’ when people assume another person’s pain is ‘not that bad’. I was at the ER once with a 5-day excruciating migraine, and next to me was a chatterbox who told me her relative had migraines and x-strength tylenol helped, and maybe I should try it. Hmmm….I felt like saying “that would be like putting a bandaid on my head”. People will never feel another person’s pain, and don’t know when to keep their trap shut! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. TheFeatheredSleep says:

    TOTALLY! My friend who had the non-cancerous brain-tumor? She was told ‘it’s in your head’ when she had post-operative pain. They would NEVER have said this to a man, or to someone younger. It was a sexist and ageist comment, assuming women in particular ‘make things up’ – which was ludicrous. She was having seizures but because they did not ‘show up on the EEG’ they said they were ‘in her head’ which literally they were! Later, she proved them right but WHY should she have to prove anything?

    Liked by 1 person

    • cherished79 says:

      I agree with you on the sexist part. My neurologist who has basically thrown his hands up on my migraine ‘complaints’, only suggesting botox treatments as the fix all, I often wonder if I were a male client would I have been treated the same? It’s hard to actually feel another’s pain, but the ‘it’s in your head’ comment is disrespectful. Good to hear from you always. Having so many migraines myself right now, trouble keeping up with posting. Hugs and more hugs, Deb.

      Liked by 1 person

      • TheFeatheredSleep says:

        I agree. I really think men are treated differently by male and female doctors and medical ‘professionals’ and that’s just going back to the idea all women are hysterical – good grief they haven’t got over that yet? sigh. It is disrespectful – very – especially as when you feel sick/ill/depressed the last thing you can do is fight, fortunately I fought for my friend but what if I hadn’t been there? Not acceptable. Good to hear back from you also my lovely friend – no rush on the keeping up just BE and take it step by step xo BIG HUG BACK

        Liked by 1 person

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