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The Truth About What It's Like to Live With Different Kinds of Pain

I deal with several different types of pain with having mixed connective tissue disease (MCTD), gout and scoliosis. Here is a list of just some of the pain I may experience on any given day:

Arthritis Pain

On the outside it literally looks like nothing – maybe a swollen joint, possibly a little stuffiness.

On the inside it honestly feels like someone has shoved two needle-ridden splints under my skin on the side of the joint that happens to be hurting, which truly can be any part of my body that has a joint, which is literally everywhere. The more I think about moving that specific area of my body, the deeper the needles dig into the ligaments and muscles, which causes everything to swell and become stiff.

Gout Pain

On the outside, it looks swollen and red sometimes and can be warm to the touch.

On the inside, there’s a little witch sitting in the infected area creating and mixing her painful potion, which I’m fully convinced includes glass and lava, just stirring away, and if I try to move the area it sends beams of pain into the rest of my entire body!


Though these are not types of pain, it is a part of having lupus:

Brain Fog

On the outside: a little confused look on your face.

On the inside: the feeling of cluelessness beyond any form of human tolerance, seeing your brain firing up and nothing coming out except for “ummmm.”

There’s no way to avoid this happening. I honestly just use the time to stop thinking and rest. It can be nice to know you can’t think (helps with my anxiety).


On the outside it can look like laziness because I can’t move.

On the inside: for me, the pain gets worse as I go along with the day. With the way it goes, it may start with a little bit of wet cement wrapping around my spine, but by the end of the day it literally feels like a 20-pound bag of cement has hardened in my back and I’m forced to do nothing but lay there and look as normal as possible.

I hope this will help someone who lives pain-free take another look in a positive light at people who deal with pain every single day. I know this is
only my opinion on how my pain feels and that everyone is different. There is never an easy way to explain pain but I hope this helps my fellow chronic pain warriors laugh and smile knowing you’re not alone!

Getty Image by lupashchenkoiryna