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Dear Chronic Pain, You Won't Get the Best of Me

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Dear Chronic Pain,

You have been more persistent over the past few years and now you are deciding to take full-time residence in my body without an invitation. I mean, who wants you? People don’t understand that 24 hours a day, 7 days a week I feel your presence. Some days not as much as others, but when you are “at your best,” I am at my worst.

I manage to move about my days no matter your severity and get things done. I get my homework done, I take care of my family, and I even work out in the middle of the pain you inflict upon me. So why would anyone think something is as seriously wrong as it truly is? They have no idea.

I’m tired of making excuses to the ones I love. I am sure they get tired of hearing that I’m having a high pain day, and they can’t understand how your persistence makes the smallest of activities difficult. Sometimes I can’t bend to pick things up off the floor. Even getting out of the chair must be done with slow intention as you make yourself known with every move. Traveling is nerve-wracking because lifting my small suitcase in the overhead bin can cause me to be in bed for several days if I am not careful.

And then there’s walking. Just walking with my family at the mall or on vacation gives you a wonderful opportunity to make me feel terrible. I’ve lost over 60 pounds to help relieve myself of you, but that hasn’t seemed to be something you care about. It’s as if you are even worse now that I am at a healthier weight and I work out. I get it. You don’t want to give in because you see I am capable of getting my health under control.

I refuse to let you stop me completely, but the truth is my pain medications and medical marijuana sometimes don’t seem to touch you. My neck and back are in constant pain, but I will keep working hard to get up and move because you don’t like that very much. You will not get the best of what I have to offer my family and the world.

I’ve been through some difficult things in my life, and I will admit you are truly a vicious opponent. Sometimes I think you will win, but you will never define me. I may have to live with you for the rest of my life, but I will be in charge, not you.



Originally published: August 14, 2019
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