themighty logo

What I Really Mean When I Say 'I Need to Rest a Minute'


Chronic pain has been my companion for my entire life – certainly not a welcome one but a companion nevertheless. I have acquired a good many diagnoses over the years beginning with scoliosis. Since then I have been poked and prodded and given more labels in an effort to find comfort. Degenerative disk disease. Spinal stenosis. Arthritis. Compression fractures of the spine. I won’t go on – suffice it to say I am in pain 24/7.

selfie of woman sitting on recliner chair

And I can get no relief from the myriad of pain meds on the market. I am allergic to all of them. Medical marijuana has helped recently and I am contemplating moving to have legal access. It is the only thing that takes the pain away and does not replace it with hives or swelling or such.

So when I am attempting a task it requires pacing and, sometimes, stopping completely. That mountain that looks like a hill to you is a huge challenge. I may say I need to rest or that I can only make it half way up. I am reluctant to say so, but I am dealing with serious hurt. Please accept that I am doing what I can and I would gladly run, singing up that hill if my body would allow it!

If I must stand during a “sit down time,” please don’t be embarrassed – I have to alleviate the pain somehow. Understand, if you can, that I would like to remain sitting if only I could.

It takes patience to be with me. I know that. And I appreciate those who will do it without judging my abilities. I am not lazy! I am not unwilling. I am simply trying to do the best I can.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Thinkstock photo by lolostock