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Why Chronic Pain Is Like a Toddler

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Hear me out: I teach preschool for a living. I think toddlers are funny and smart and wonderful, but I also know for a fact that toddlers are very unpredictable.

Toddlers occasionally like to scream bloody murder at the top of their lungs for absolutely no reason. Imagine being stuck in a small room with a screaming toddler and having all attempts you make to try to get the toddler to stop screaming… fail. No matter what you do, you can not get this tiny human to be quiet. It’s not long before you start to feel as though you’re going to lose your mind.

Toddlers also like to talk… a lot. Whether they babble and scream, or are old enough to form real words, they like to hear their own voice. Imagine having a toddler strapped to your leg who is talking nonstop, making you perfectly aware that he’s there and he has no plans of going anywhere anytime soon. At first you can handle the talking, but minutes pass and then hours and the toddler still has not shut up. You would do anything in your power to get the kid to shut up for just five minutes. Hell, you’d do anything for even a minute of relief. A minute of silence; a minute break from the pain. It doesn’t even matter what kind of pain you’re having (dull, annoying, shooting, stabbing, burning); you would do anything for just a minute of relief.

The truth is that you can send a toddler to bed at night and get relief from the talking and screaming.

There’s no sending your chronic pain to bed.

Getty Images photo via AntonioGuillem

Originally published: April 26, 2019
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