Living with chronic pain is a concept that most people don’t understand unless they experience it firsthand. It touches every part of your life; your relationships, self-care, your job, your daily routine, even your sleep. These are some things that only someone with chronic pain will understand – and if you love someone with chronic pain, this will give you some insight.
Some days are easy, and some days are hard.
When you have chronic pain, you never know how you will feel in the morning. While you typically deal with varying pain levels every day, some days are easier than others. Still, you hesitate to make plans because you could have pain that day that puts you to bed. Although you could also feel quite good on that day, it just isn’t worth the risk to make plans, get excited, and then let everyone down.
Managing pain is a full-time job.
Sure, there’s medication, but chronic pain typically isn’t managed well with pain meds alone. Depending on the type of pain you have there’s medication, patches, exercise, Epson salt soaks, physical therapy, naps or bed rest, kinesiology tape, doctor’s visits, chiropractic appointments, and of course preparing for the next attack that will render you nonfunctional. It is a never-ending process that consumes you as you do whatever you can to just feel a little normal for a while.
The love-hate relationship with pain medication.
Pain medication doesn’t completely remove the pain – and a lot of people don’t understand that. But with pain meds comes a whole process of dealing with side effects, dealing with ER doctors who treat you like an addict seeking a fix, and finding a medication that works the best even if it doesn’t completely eliminate the pain.
There’s also the anxiety-inducing craziness of insurance requirements, legal requirements (because most pain medication is on the controlled substance list), clerical errors that delay the prescription, new doctors who need to be brought up to speed then decide they know better – and change your script.
All this just so you can have a few hours to be able to catch a glimpse of the person you were before the pain.
People, including doctors, who don’t have pain don’t understand.
You get a lot of “feel better soon!” which leaves you wondering if they don’t know what to say and offer that sentiment in the awkwardness of the situation – or do they truly not know what the word “chronic” means? Then there are the well-meaning ones who try to help you by offering folk remedies, various treatments, and some pretty disturbing stuff they found on the internet. But you know that you’ve been at this long enough to know your body, know what works, and trust experienced professionals to help you manage your pain. Plus, you’ve tried just about everything anyway.
Then there are the friends, family, and even doctors who look at you in “that way” and you feel like they are silently judging you. There are also the ones who come right out and say you are exaggerating or that it’s all in your head. Oh, how you wish it was all in your head! You could fix that.
Support means the world.
People with chronic pain understand people with chronic pain. You have an outlet, a sounding board, a support system that gets you. But even family and friends who don’t have chronic pain can be good support for you. However, it takes sympathy, empathy, and a lot of patience. Often, they will take on a caregiver role and it can be exhausting. So, even those who love you the most need to have balance, which is one reason your support should come from several areas. A chronic pain support group can be something that changes the world for you.
Chronic pain can leave you feeling isolated and stuck, like your life is standing still. Chiropractic care can help ease many types of chronic pain, increasing mobility and flexibility as well. It is a drug-free, non-invasive pain management tool that focuses on the whole body to heal itself and find balance.
At Sandstone, our Doctors of Chiropractic are trained in working with patients experiencing chronic pain and are experienced in helping them thrive with the right type of chiropractic care. Call today or make your appointment online. Relief can be yours.