I came across this post on twitter after @ChronicPainDad tweeted it out. As I started reading I thought this would be great to post on my facebook wall. The further I read the more and more I felt that it was me behind these words. Especially at this point…
“Anywhere I go, my crutches tell the world that I have a disability. At the same time, I suffer an invisible disability that the world cannot see. They see that I have mobility impairment; the crutches tell them so, what they do not see is my debilitating pain. My chronic pain is my invisible disability and yes, I am using the crutches to help the pain, but that is not what the world sees. They steal a quick look at my legs to try and figure out the reason for the crutches but the reason is not visible.” – Chronic Pain an Invisible Disability, livinglifeoncrutches.com
As we’re moving into the holiday season so many of us wince at the thought of having to answer a million and one questions about our health during get togethers. PLEASE don’t get me wrong … having those around you that really care and love you is an amazing feeling and very much appreciated. It’s just hard when you hear ‘you’re still on crutches?’ or ‘you’re feeling better… right?’ over and over again. Those who haven’t had chronic pain or a chronic illness find it hard to understand that our symptoms won’t just go away with medication. That our symptoms won’t just go away by meeting the right doctor, with the right surgery or the right medicine. Some will have pain for the rest of their lives. Some will be on crutches for the rest of their lives.
“Everyone has the magic solution, what they don’t have is the ability to understand and I don’t blame them, I doubt I had the ability to understand before experiencing chronic pain.” – Chronic Pain an Invisible Disability, livinglifeoncrutches.com
I would never ever ever wish my pain on anyone – even my worst enemy. When my pain was at its worst I remember my Mom and Dad would say I wish we could take the pain from you… and I would say I wouldn’t give it to you. And I wouldn’t. I would never want to have someone else feel the way I did/do. It’s been a very interesting and trying year. It’s taught me soooooooooooooooo much about myself, the people around me and how I need to make changes to my life to accommodate my new ‘life’.
“For those of us tormented by chronic pain daily we are “not looking for sympathy but just some understanding.” The understanding that living with chronic pain is difficult, exhausting and we are doing our best. But sometimes we need help, a shoulder to cry on and most importantly acknowledgment that we are suffering. Just because someone doesn’t exhibit visual symptoms of a disability doesn’t mean they are not struggling to accomplish simple daily tasks.” – Chronic Pain an Invisible Disability, livinglifeoncrutches.com
So I’m asking for understanding because –
Some days I can’t ‘just push through’ the pain.
Some days a shower isn’t going to make me feel better.
No, I don’t have the flu, nothing else is wrong… My psoriatic arthritis takes all my energy, makes my bones ache, and gives me flu-like symptoms.
Sleeping it off won’t give me more energy. When I wake up and don’t have energy I’m pretty much down and out for the day.
I’m not on a ‘diet’ to try to lose weight, I’m trying to make a lifestyle change to help my body not attack itself.
Yes. I’m still on crutches and will continue to be until 1. the injections I’m taking twice daily help heal my knee or 2. I get a surgical fix
“Living with chronic pain is not easy and it will never be.” – Chronic Pain an Invisible Disability, livinglifeoncrutches.com
It won’t…. BUT with understanding from family and friends we can learn to live a new normal life and enjoy every moment of it. So, Friends. Family. If I’m not feeling well please refrain from the pep talks. It actually just ends up frustrating me because I know there is nothing I can do to change the way I feel. In those instances I need to accept the pain and/or feelings/emotions I’m feeling and assess what my body needs. If I cancel plans it’s not because I’m avoiding you or because I don’t want to do those things – it’s because I physically cannot do them. The hardest thing for me is swallowing my pride and having to be selfish. Selfish for my body’s sake.
This post is very personal to me because it expresses a lot of things that I think daily, but have never said out loud. The love and support I have in my life is so immense and I thank God every night that I have it in my life. Without it I honestly could not get through my days.
Please head over to Living Life On Crutches and read the full post. It is beautifully written and I’m so grateful to have come across his page.
Wishing you a pain free day!