Chronic Pain: My Lifelong Companion
Each morning is filled with hope and promise, a clean slate! That is what I have heard. That is not my reality. My moment of wakefulness is that precise moment my pain medication gives up and my body wins. Each morning for me begins with the shock of a severe wave of pain. It slices through my peaceful dreams and drags me into the agony of my reality.
Once I am orientated to this harsh, unforgiving place, I take my morning meds and wait. Wait for them to ease the pain and steal pieces of my brain. This, you see, is the only way I can get out of bed, stand and participate in life.
You see, my job is taking care of others. But that isn’t important. What is important is I am gainfully employed. I work a full 40 hours a week, sometimes more. So many of us with chronic illness do. My fibromyalgia, chronic pain, chronic fatigue, migraine, restless leg syndrome, history of TIA and seizure have isolated me. These are my demons. I have had these companions since childhood.
I missed my son’s wedding because I couldn’t travel three hours to where it was. I wanted to, but my demons had other plans. I have lost countless friends because I had to hibernate to make my companions leave me alone. I lost a job I had had for 11 years because of the battle inside me between my meds and my lifelong “friends.”
The battle is real. As a child I watched the world around me and wondered why the other kids liked to run. Running = pain; why would anyone want that? Now I’m in my late 40s. These demons have grown up too, and I understand. I was singled out. What the “normal” world can’t grasp is we did not ask for this. We are not “drug-seekers” or “disposable” members of society. We deserve a life too.
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Thinkstock photo via jujustr.