From my standpoint, I am extremely aware of pain. However, it is the time of year where we try to raise awareness about chronic pain to other people. I have been creating images and posting them. These are two of them. I plan to make more as well.
Fact is pain has a very significant toll on us. Mentally, emotionally and physically. It affects our goals, ambitions, and career. It affects our social lives. It can lead to depression and anxiety. The fatigue can be so immense. The insomnia, often referred to as painsomnia for a reason, is an endless cycle because it makes the pain and fatigue worse, but the pain makes insomnia worse.
We struggle endlessly to cope with it and it is a lifelong battle because there is no cure for chronic pain. There are less than effective treatments. There is exercise, which I never found to be all that helpful but quite painful. Painkillers, which just dull things somewhat. Other sorts of medications that you are lucky if you get any result at all, but get a lot of side effects. NSAIDs that can trash your digestive system.
Not to mention there are all sorts of pain to be experienced. I have quite the variety. I can’t really say which is worse, to be honest as they all have their particular flavors but I would say the migraines are the most disruptive to my existence. Nerve pain the least responsive to any medication I have ever tried, however, I do not have it as severely as I know others do, so that is good for me. Fibromyalgia pain, which is varied and does have nerve pain in there as well. Hypermobility syndrome pain which is felt in the joints. Really, here is the thing, any chronic pain is horrible in its way. It is persistent. It will get to you. It will be difficult to treat. You will have to adapt to it in various ways. It will affect your life.
There is some level of pain though that you can sort of establishing a good level of coping. I certainly did when I was dealing with Fibromyalgia. It was difficult. But I got there. Mind you, that does fluctuate and can get worse. But there was a time I had this balance achieved. I could not work certain jobs of course, but other than that, I was pretty good. Then you reach a tipping point; in my case chronic migraines. Not even counting nerve pain here. But the chronic migraines with the FM, really hard to ever establish a balance or treatment. Society expects it of you. Doctors expect it of you. Just never have it. Just pretend to have it. Just push through the pain. Never really coping. Never really adapting. I am not sure what one does when the pain reaches that point. Personally, I think coping is an achievable goal, but I think it isn’t possible with working. When I was on leave I was able to ‘maintain’. When working…. nope. Impossible.
But then, I am struggling right now and have been for some time. And there is that. Chronic pain is a struggle. I am also struggling with depression, which is a common complication. I aim to maintain again. That would be a goal I have.