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A Day in My Life With Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

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As we are frequently told “it’s all in your head” — OK, walk a day in my shoes.

If someone broke their leg and it was in a cast, would you tell them that’s all in their head?

Pain is invisible.

You wake up in the morning and it hits you, the pain and the realization it’s yet another day to try and fight through.

Another day putting on the mask, smiling and pretending everything is OK.

You can’t see pain, but just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it’s not there.

You try your hardest to pretend and convince yourself and others everything is OK.

You get out of bed and your day starts the same every day — medication.

Imagine having to rely on something every day just to try and function and be normal.

You are in pain and medication allows you to try and live your life.

You’re on fire, yet there is no smoke and no flames, or you’re submerged in a bucket of ice and not able to escape.

You get dressed, something you don’t really think about.

Now imagine pulling clothes across a body that already feels like it’s burning — it’s like vigorously rubbing sand paper on a wound or burn but over the whole limb.

Imagine everything you touch or everything that touches you causes you indescribable pain.

Like a gentle breeze or simply your clothes moving on your skin.

You have to constantly think and asses what you do in the day and how it will affect you and pain level, and then compensate for this.

It’s like having a full time job, but one you hate and you can’t get away from.

Living with pain is exhausting.

Imagine going about your daily tasks, but doing so in custard.

But you can see everyone else doing things normally.

Imagine the frustration of this, the mental and physical exhaustion, and the physical fatigue of doing this.

Pain messes with your mind.

Imagine trying to go through a day with the to on full blast in front of you.

It is impossible to focus and concentrate on what you are trying to do.

Then you go to bed with all the exhaustion and fatigue from a simple day.

You’re tired and need and want to sleep.

But you can’t.

Imagine going to bed and having a duvet or blanket over you which feels like it’s burning and crushing you.

You’re so tired but you can’t sleep because of pain.

You eventually fall asleep, and wake up the next day to the exact same.

No escaping.

It is there.

24 hours a day.

7 days a week.

365 days a year.

Pain is invisible.

Just because I look “normal” doesn’t mean I am not suffering.

Walk a day in my shoes and then tell me it’s all in my head.

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Thinkstock photo by KatarzynaBialasiewicz

Originally published: May 2, 2017
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