When Chronic Pain Changes Your Life

by NanciArvizu

So many people suffer with chronic pain. Pain that debilitates even though there is no outwardly sign of an injury.

Chronic pain is more than a syndrome. It's an epidemic. Ask anyone how they're doing and they'll inevitably say, "and this has been hurting me."

With no visible signs of injury, outsiders - meaning everyone outside of the sufferer's body - cannot see it and say, "oh wow, that must really hurt." Instead they see a physically-abled person limping along, complaining about unseeable pain.

Visible or not, the pain is real and can often has the power to change the life of the sufferer.

Just Because You Can't See It, Doesn't Mean It Isn't Real

Chronic pain doesn't need a visible wound to exist.

There are so many reasons a person can suffer from chronic pain:

A muscle tear or strain, a joint sprain, a twisted joint, a tight back. Siatica nerve pain, carpal tunnel, migraine headaches. Stomach pain, Chrones disease, IBS. Fybroid Myalgia. Stroke. 

Days, weeks, months and even years can be spent searching for answers, for relief. Tests are run, blood, urine, x-rays, ultra sounds, MRI's and CAT Scans. 

Western medicine doctors are left as alternatives are researched. Chiropractic. Acupuncture. Hollistic. 

As options are exhausted but the pain persists and depression sets in. The sufferer finds it's easier to take as many meds as they're allowed and sleep. In sleep there is no pain. 

Where does that leave the family and friends, who wait as patiently as possible for their loved one to "get over it"? How can they possibly understand something they've never experienced and they can't see?

 

How To Be Helpful

Because there really is little you can do

The only thing you can do, is believe them.

Sometimes, just knowing that someone is in their corner, that someone truly believes them and what they are experiencing can be a huge emotional relief. Doctors can become almost deaf to the constant complaints they hear from the never ending stream of patients they see for a mirad of problems.

Family and friends can become weary of listening to what they consider to be the endless whining of the sufferer. They wonder why the sufferer continues like this - why don't they "DO" something about it?

How anyone can think that someone would choose to be in pain and not try every thing suggested or prescribed to STOP THE PAIN?? 

WAIT - Yes I believe that a large number of people, when offered a possible solution to their problem, will not try the solution if it takes too much effort. If it takes more than a few times to work. If they have to work at it too hard. It's so much easier to not try, to not do the work, to keep doing the same thing or things they've been doing and keep getting the same results. They choose to continue living in pain. Yes, there are people who live life this. I understand that.

But there are people who are trying to find a solution. They do the work. They follow doctors orders. They try.

But the pain doesn't go away. They try something new. That doesn't work. They try again. And are disappointed again. 

How would you feel if no matter how hard you tried, you were never able to accomplish your goal? Would you, at some point, quit?

My Own Story Of Pain

Personally, I've been dealing with some serious, yet "unseeable" injuries that have made it incredibly painful for me to walk. Me, the person who was hiking 10+ miles a week, taking care of three horses, dogs and a household. Me, whose favorite thing to do, is to walk.

Because my injuries do not show on X-Ray, Ultra sounds or MRI's, there is nothing a doctor can do to help me heal. I've not done enough damage to warrant a surgical fix. The healing has been left up to me.

The first 30 days were torture. I kept thinking I'd still be able to do my normal activities if I just slowed down a bit. But my body said no. I had to completely stop everything, which meant no hiking, no enjoying the amazing April and May weather of Arizona springtime. It was hard. It was depressing.

I'd spent the previous eight months completely committed to a healthy diet and exercise plan and had lost nearly 50 pounds and shrunk down 5 jean sizes. Sitting around was not in the game plan. 

It's been four months now - 4 MONTHS - of pain that continues to keep me from doing normal things; like walking. Being on my feet for more than a few minutes or few hundred feet will lead to pain and burning sensations. No matter how I try to work through it, using orthopedics and taking small steps, is exhausting. And gaining weight back that I'd just lost after a lot of work isn't helping either.

I've just begun acupuncture and massage therapy, because I'm finally at a point where I can let other people touch the spots that hurt. But these methods are not quick fixes and will require more time for healing. 

My injuries did not occur from a specific incident or accident, they just happened. My goal is to heal - I have a lot of life still ahead of me!

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Updated: 07/23/2015, NanciArvizu
 
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NanciArvizu on 07/24/2015

Having no reason - no accident, injury - that turned into this pain is frustrating - maddening. Especially after having been so active, so strong! I prefer not to go the route of pharmaceuticals. I don't see how masking the pain can heal it. I've been practicing yoga and mediation for almost 2 years now (wow, how time flies) and I am just now starting down the path of Naturopath medicine.

NanciArvizu on 07/24/2015

I'm definitely learning compassion and empathy for people who suffer from chronic pain. I thought I was doing everything "right" by being active. You just never know when your body might say, "nope, not going to do this anymore."

happynutritionist on 07/24/2015

I am sorry to hear you are experiencing pain. It helped me to read your story as I often believe that people would not have as much pain if they got out and walked and exercised more, including myself, though I am not really suffering intense pain, but you are one who did all that and still have pain, I have to be more compassionate.

WriterArtist on 07/24/2015

I can empathize - chronic pain is complicated to deal especially when there does not see enough reason of any cause associated with it. I have found that the prescribed medicines are just not adequate to eradicate the pain. My experience with Yoga, Ayurveda and Meditation helps to accept and lessen the pain.

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