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Why I'm Thankful, Not Bitter, About the Chronic Pain That's Followed Me for 12 Years

Dear Chronic Pain,

You have taken a lot from me in the past 12 years. You’ve stopped me from going to a lot of places and doing a lot of things. You’ve stopped me from having my dream career. I can’t be a nurse now because of you. You have been a constant in my life for 12 years. There are a lot of reasons I should be mad at you for more than two lifetimes. But ironically, I’m not. Yes, there are times I wish I could be cured; yes, there are times that I’m upset I can’t do the things I used to. You go everywhere I go. You follow me to the bathroom, out with friends and even on vacation. You don’t take time off — you’re working hard 365 days a year. You’re the CEO of making my life miserable. You’re attached to me. So why am I not annoyed beyond all understanding by you? Why am I not bitter? I ask myself the same question on a sometimes daily basis. 

Chronic Pain: It’s almost as if you gave me a different set of eyes. And for that I can never thank you enough. You allowed me to see life through the most beautiful eyes, and I now have the greatest view. I now see the beauty in everything. I see how beautiful it is to be able to write my entire name, Kimi Sorensen, with my fingers moving and no muscular pain for the entire time. I see the incredible beauty of my story helping other people, to keep going. I now see the beauty of a pain level staying at four instead of going to six or seven. I never thought something beautiful would or could ever come of this. I cried for days, weeks begging God to take you away. But as you know, after enough time, you get used to anything. I always swore I would never get to the point where I wouldn’t even know you were there. But I have… well, to an extent.

Chronic pain, you never go away. Chronic pain, you don’t mean predictable. You don’t mean sporadic. You don’t mean boring. But you do. You mean every one of those words that I just said you didn’t. Sometimes you are sporadic and sometimes you are boring — sorry to break it to you. Sometimes you stay at the level of four for days, and then you’re just annoying. Sometimes you go to a level of eight and then you’re maddening. This is the reason why you are so misunderstood. Everyone knows how we treat illnesses, but the one thing we can’t seem to wrap our minds around is the fact that you will never go away. So how are we supposed to treat something that is never going to get better? It’s an anomaly that we keep trying to understand.

But maybe this is a lot simpler than we thought. And maybe I’ve just cracked the code. Maybe if we just accept the fact that we aren’t going to get better, we will, because hopefully, we will be content with it all. We will stop fighting an invisible enemy that always seems to be winning. I know this seems like such a simple solution, so why haven’t we done it? I think it’s because humans are stubborn. We don’t want to accept that we are less than what we were. But maybe if we do, we will eventually become more than we could have ever imagined. I know I am now more than I could have ever imagined and I have chronic pain to thank for that. I think things through differently. I make decisions differently.

We have always been taught that if we take medicine, we are going to get better within a few days. We just need to lay low and we will be fine. So that’s why you are so hard to wrap our mind around. So why would I be saying thank you? Because you are what we can’t understand. You bring us, your sufferers, to our knees crying, yet you make us so thankful. You gives us eyes to see what we don’t have. Sometimes you let us see what we have had, but will never have again. You allow us to be thankful when we have these things, but at the same time, you allow us to see those things, and not be bitter about the fact that we don’t have them. But still, we are thankful they’re not worse. 

Yes, chronic pain, you never go away. But maybe that’s what makes you good. You force us to look our own inabilities in the eye and say I can beat you, and you then force us to do it. I know from experience if I could do everything I wanted as easily as snapping my own two fingers, I would never try to go beyond that. I would just be content with that and leave it be. But because I can’t do certain things, I say, “Watch me do it,” and then I surprise myself. And it’s a great feeling to be able to say “I did that when I thought I couldn’t.” You are an anomaly we may never understand, but maybe that’s how it’s supposed to be — maybe we are never going to understand you, but maybe that’s what will keep us on our toes and always striving for more.


One of your millions of sufferers that will be OK!

Follow this journey on Blessings in Hydro.

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