Pain had symptoms. And pain has a cost.
And when we look at the cost of pain we have to acknowledge it is more than the pain. It is immense fatigue. It can be depression and anxiety. It can be painsomnia and poor concentration. It can be an impaired memory.
The most common cost of pain?
We often have difficulties maintaining work. We take medical short-term leaves as well. And long-term leaves. We reduce hours or go part-time. We have problems with absenteeism AND presenteeism (Where we are there but the pain and symptoms are severely reducing our productivity). And some of us cannot work at all and have to figure out a way to live on disability payment. Hidden cost of unmanaged pain shows some stats on missed days.
We can self-isolate because of pain and because of depression. Some of us cannot drive due to symptoms. So we are isolated. And we cancel plans with people. And friends melt away over time and this makes us more isolated.
The financial Burdan
There is a lot of out of pocket costs for chronic pain, when we have a fixed budget. Alternative treatments can be covered a little for the short term, but not enough to see if it would be any benefit or if it is beneficial for regular treatment. And that isn’t counting all the supplements and diet foods we buy. Everything costs money. And when we are maintaining our health it can cost a lot given we are generally making less than we used to.
Depression and anxiety
Even without these, we have a higher risk of suicide and suicidal ideation. But we can also develop the burden of depression and anxiety which compromise our ability to cope with the pain. It often means we need to see a psychologist, which I highly recommend, but sometimes that is yet another out of pocket cost.
We have to find ways to cope and adapt to each of these factors. Try to socialize more… within our limits. Find work that works within our limits. Treat comobid depression and anxiety. Have pain management that helps us cope and treats the pain. And that may include alternative treatments but I go with free ones; mediation for example, or exercise at home.
But the cost of pain is high in our lives and its impact on our lives. And in no way are these things we can fix easily. It is a constant struggle to cope with the additional cost of our condition. The Impact. The constant Impact.