Being diagnosed with a condition that causes chronic pain can put a severe damper or even a hold on your life. You can't do the things you enjoy, and in some cases, you can't do the things other people see as simple. It's not always easy to talk about either. You don't want to be pitied, but at the same time you don't want to be dismissed. And truth be told, sometimes you're just so sick and tired of feeling horrible, that the last thing you want to do is talk about it at all. So even if your friend or loved one isn't talking to you about it, here are some things you should know.
1. We don't use it as an excuse:
While it may come to your mind, please realize that if we can't attend something, and we tell you it's because of our chronic pain, it's the truth. We don't use it to just get out of things. We wanted to go to that birthday party/concert too.
2. The pain is, well... chronic!
Unfortunately, this means we are in pain every day or at least nearly every day. Saying something like "Oh, that still bothers you from four years ago?" is not something we want to hear.
3. We hate being asked if we've tried taking vitamins, or acupuncture, or if we've had any Tylenol today:
This one is the most important to me. The truth is, if someone is in chronic pain that has been lasting for years, they have most likely tried and exhausted everything. I know every time I go to the doctor, I ask what the next step is. And if we could just take some Tylenol or Advil, we would be doing backflips.
4. It can make us feel depressed:
It takes its toll, constantly feeling like there is a screen of pain between you and the outside world. So just keep in mind we may need a little morale boost every once in a while.
5. It affects our sleep:
Most likely, a person in chronic pain isn't sleeping as well as they should. This could be because they are in too much pain to fall asleep, or to stay asleep, or they are having anxiety over the fear of dealing with pain for the rest of their life.
6. Ultimately, we just want you to keep it in mind:
I'm not saying the world should revolve around, or cater to us when we are going through this, but please keep it in mind. Don't dismiss it or make us feel like we are overreacting. Please don't say things like, "It's all in your head," or "You'll never feel better with that attitude." Just be a little more considerate to your friend/family member who is going through this.
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