While chronic pain is quite an easy thing to understand in terms of what it means it does not mean it’s the same for everyone. It’s pain that never disappears and if it does it’s never for long.
Every individual will experience it differently. Every individual will have different causes for it. Several individuals can in theory suffer from the same causes for the pain and have the same issues related to it. It’s possible to relate to one another but how they experience it will never be the same.
I will try to give one (probably bad) example: If three individuals have chronic pain, the same triggers, the same symptoms and the pain is located in the back for all three it does not mean they experience the pain in the same way. The pain is only felt by one person. It can be explained, related to but not compared. The threshold of pain felt by one person can vary over time. Depending on how long you’ve had to live with the pain you’re dealing with the longer you’ve often had to learn how to deal with it. Some ignore it as much as possible, some accept it and find ways to make the pain as bearable as possible and some ends up bedridden. There’s many more examples but I don’t feel comfortable going into detail in those since I personally seem to switch between the three I mentioned.
Did it make any sense? Probably not.
My Life with Chronic Pain:
The chronic pain in my situation started almost 10 years ago. I thought it would go away and ignored it until it started affecting me physically and mentally.
It took me years to realize how much it affected me. I became depressed, I shut myself in my own little bubble and avoided people. I ended up with social anxiety.
I’m still working on those. It might never fully go away again but that’s alright. I’m aware of the signals now. I listen to my body and try to push myself when I can. We all have ups and downs. We all have days where we don’t want to be around people. There’s nothing wrong with that as long as we don’t let those thoughts and feeling devour us and eventually be the thing that control us and our daily life.
I’d pay a great amount of money which I don’t have to get a life without pain and full mobility of my body but at the same time I’m afraid of the day it might happen if the doctors and specialists find the cause of it. I feel and fear I’d lose a part of myself I’ve learned to accept. I fear I’d lose more than half of my identity if I lost that part of me. I’ve fought for years to be believed when I said I was in constant pain. It took almost 7 years until someone believed me and for blood relatives to not think I was exaggerating. “You need to eat more/right”, “You need to sleep less/more”, “You need stop being negative”, “If you only did this and not that”. The list is endless and I can only hope others experienced less of that or not experienced it at all.
Being Positive and Motivated:
I need to stay positive and motivated as much as possible.
I have chronic pain but even with what I stated above I will not let the pain control my life. I will listen to my body and relax when needed but I will not let it fully control my daily life.
I intend to work for as long as my body possibly will allow me in a job that I enjoy around co-workers that I adore. I accept that there will be days where I don’t feel life my ‘normal’ self but it does not mean I will like it but I need to accept it.
Today my boss told me something I don’t hear often or not at all.
Considering the pain I go through and how low I can get on bad days my boss never cease to be impressed by how positive I remain, how much motivation I show and my determination.
If I just accepted that the pain limits me I’d lose my mind. I’m still capable of working so being without job would make me feel worthless. This is probably not healthy in the long run though. I’ve made it my personal mission to prove, not only for me but to others, that you can work yourself up the ladder. You can do anything you set your mind to (some lines of work requires an education for a reason) without an education if you only show the ones around you what you’re capable of without pushing yourself. Don’t aim too high but don’t aim too low either.
What I’m trying to say, I guess, is that with our without chronic pain, illness or no illness, you are who you are because of you as an individual. How you think and what you do is what makes you special. Your experience and view. There’s only one YOU. Don’t chance unless it’s a change you want. Only you knows how to be you even if it takes time.
(1 hour later) Fun Update:
My back ironically decided this was the right time to act up. Just before it was time to sleep when I needed the rest before work. I will still work my butt off at work (hopefully not literally since I kinda need that part to keep clothes on and somewhat fitting). This is something I’m used to. The culprit is muscle knots. The muscle knots cause pressure to my spine (nothing serious and it is something weekly physical therapy can fix) which often, not always, makes it feel difficult to breathe. Not sure how to explain it but it makes the muscles unable to relax and some areas those muscles affects the breathing. It makes it feel like I can’t breathe but I can and I am aware of it. While I can breathe I’m not able to use the full capacity of my lungs to take a breath. Still, nothing seriously. I just waste a little more energy on breathing and trying to take a deep breath. Nothing a little extra rest can’t fix.
It’s the small things. This is my daily life. This is something I go through on a weekly, even daily, basis. I notice the pain more but it’s still acceptable. I can still function. I can still work but not as effective as normal. I have to focus on not pushing myself over the limit and to not give in to the frustration. It’s my pain and my fight. I don’t want to drag others down. I don’t want to affect them. It’s not their fault. It’s not my fault. It’s just the way it is. This is where self-irony comes in. This is where my protective side shows. I don’t want other people, doesn’t matter if I know them or not, to feel this. Lifting wrong? Stressing too much? I’d rather be the one that does that means you won’t.
It’s not healthy, it’s not smart and it’s not helping my case but it’s a choice I’ve made.
I have so many ideas for my sort of job. Some many things that could help heavy lifts but I don’t have the ability to make those ideas real. I need help but most of all I need a professional to confirm that those ideas will be of help and not cause harm.
Ideas are just that. Ideas. Ideas cost money to create.
For it to be any beneficial to a work place it needs to be cost effective and worth the money without making workers pay for it (losing their jobs).
The idea(s) I have is not something I want to affect peoples job in such a way.
Take a warehouse employee as an example. If there is three workers and two of those workers were to be laid off as a result of said idea the idea would no longer be effective. It would double the workload for said worker even with the idea at hir’s disposal. The idea is to help with heavy lifts. To lessen the strain on their body.
I hope this makes sense. It probably won’t. Maybe the point I was trying to make still shows? Who knows. I’ll leave it up to you.