Living with Chronic Pain

Every day you wake up; you brush your teeth; you get dressed and start your day. If you have children then you do the same with them, except sometimes you have to wrestle them to do all of the above lol. Let’s be honest they aren’t the easiest of beings to manage sometimes.

Now imagine you couldn’t do those daily mundane things… What if the things you are so used to doing now become some of the most difficult things to accomplish? What if you didn’t have a choice but to still do these things but you fought tears doing them.

Have you ever injured yourself badly? Or overdid it in the gym and were sore for a day? How would you rate the worst pain you’ve ever experienced on a 1-10 scale? Now imagine living your life regularly at a 6 out of 10 on that scale. What if it took every bit of energy you have just to get yourself out of bed?

A day in the life of a person with Chronic pain caused by a degenerative disorder…

Wake up and slowly change position in bed for 15 minutes to settle the pain and spasms enough to roll out of bed. Careful, don’t move too fast or you are going to be stuck in bed for hours with painful spasms. Head to the bathroom at a snails pace because every step vibrates in your spine like the flick of a snare drum. Use the bathroom and brush your teeth, then have to sit down because your body isn’t ready to be standing that long yet. Getting dressed is one of two ways… either extraordinarily fast so you don’t feel the individual pain of getting your legs into pants and your feet into socks; or; slow and with breaks between clothing items. What used to take you 15 minutes in the morning now takes a minimum of an hour just to get going.

Now with children… imagine having to wrestle them out of pajamas and into clothing while your back screams in agony at the strain. Imagine not being able to pick your children up from the floor because it is too much weight for your back to handle. Imagine not being able to bend down to help them put on their shoes and instead you have to sit on the floor and then take 10 minutes just to get back up after helping them. Imagine having your kids want to run and play with them and it takes everything you have just to walk down the street with them. You desperately want to play with them as they make memories. Every day, you do these things because they need to be done. You get ready and manage your day, cook meals, read stories, get some cleaning in… and at the end of the day you are in tears because of your pain. You need many medications just to be able to function like a regular human being. Meanwhile, by the time you take yourself to bed, you can barely get into the bed because your body refuses to move. You need multiple pillows to make yourself semi-comfortable, you need medication to help stop the pain enough to hopefully fall asleep.

Then even with medication, you spend half your night having to change positions because of too much pain or numbness or full on muscle spasms and seizures in your body. Then you wake up and start all over again.

How would you manage a day like this? Think about the things you do on a daily basis. Think about everything you take for granted as just a part of your day. Now imagine you couldn’t do those things. How would you fight the invading depression of not being able to function normally? How would you have to adapt your current lifestyle?

How would you cope?