Chronic pain is one of the most mysterious and disheartening medical conditions. People suffering from chronic pain often prefer being silent rather than telling you how much it hurts every other minute. The reason? They want to avoid being ridiculed by those who believe the pain is ‘just in their heads.’ But trust me, the pain is real, and will not just go away after taking some pills for a week or two.
Chronic pain is like a prison from where you can’t escape. We interviewed several people suffering from chronic pain and learned this facts about their condition, and we want to share them with you:
1) You cannot imagine their pain
Chronic pain by default is hard to imagine unless you have experienced it in your life. It’s invisible, but it is always there. No matter how sympathetic you are, studies have proved that people tend to underestimate other people’s pain. You think you can imagine their pain? Now multiply that amount by 10 and you’ll be close.
2) They think their illness won’t go away
Chronic pain is like a prison from where you can’t escape. If there was way, a cure, they would know about it!
3) Every step must be taken carefully
Getting up, getting dressed, taking a shower, driving, walking, picking up the phone — each action requires careful calculation to avoid triggering a painful episode. On good days, things are manageable. But some days every step hurts. Try to understand this.
4) Struggles finding a Good Doctor
Unfortunately, a lot of health care professionals lack knowledge in pain management because it is rarely part of their training, and some take the legal risks involved in prescribing powerful pain pills. People with chronic pain often visit numerous specialists before receiving a proper diagnosis and wait months to years to see a real pain specialist for proper treatment.
5) They are willing to go anywhere to find a solution
It may sound crazy, but those who suffer from chronic pain are willing to travel anywhere in the world to find a good specialist with this kind of training and rave about it when we find one. So if they hear of some good doctor in Japan, they want to go there.
6) They are not lazy
It takes twice as much effort for them to complete even simple things. Sometimes our pain occupies too much space in their brains and they simply cannot focus on anything else. Pain can be very distracting and mentally draining, so please forgive them when we can’t accomplish as much as you do.
7) We don’t always know how to manage their pain
Just because they have been dealing with it for ages doesn’t mean they always know how to tame it. Sometimes, they just close they eyes and wish those would pass faster
8) They don’t want sympathy, they want acceptance
Please remember, instead of making that ‘I’m so sorry for you’ sad face, treat them like equals. It’s not that you should completely ignore their condition, but show them you are ok with it and ready to make small adjustments for them.
9) They appreciate you and everything you do for them.
No matter how self-sufficient and independent they try to appear, they need you and are eternally grateful for supporting them and making them feel loved. You should never forget that!