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What’s chronic pain like?

2010-05-06 1 comment

I was asked to describe what it’s like to be in chronic pain.  It’s difficult to put into words but you can get an idea of it by doing as follows:

Think back to a day where you woke up and had to go to work/school/etc., but on this particular day you feel terrible; maybe you’re sick, maybe you’re hungover, maybe it’s something else, but for whatever reason your body feels like shit.  However, staying home on this day isn’t an option (perhaps you have an exam or just can’t afford to miss work/class/etc.).  So you drag yourself to your obligations and go through the motions of your duties, and as you interact with people out of necessity, you strain with all your effort to put on a normal face and just get through it.  But inside you, every molecule of your body is screaming at you, and all you want to do is crawl into a dark room and curl up into a ball.  Some people don’t notice anything wrong with you, maybe some do, maybe some even ask you if you’re alright.  You wave off their concern and say something like “Oh, I’m just a little tired.”  You really hope they don’t probe further because you don’t have the energy to explain it to them.  Finally you get home and you lay down, exhausted.  Your friend calls you and asks if you want to hang out.  You really want to, but you just can’t.  All you can do is try and go to sleep.

Ok, have you been able to recall a day like that?  If you can’t, congratulations: you have an exceptionally good life.  To the rest of you, I have a question: how many days in a row like that could you endure before realizing that you’re debilitated?  For me it took several years, but my condition seems to be degenerative (i.e. gets worse over time) and didn’t get this bad until relatively recently.

Categories: Life Tags: , ,
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