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Chronic Pain Haikus: A Complaint-Based Art Form That Describes the Pain of EDS

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September is Pain Awareness Month, but as someone with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, I’d say I’m pretty much aware of pain, in particular my own, basically all of the time.

• What is Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome?
• What Are Common Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome Symptoms?

Recently, I’ve been dealing with my chronic pain by communicating out in a “complaint based art form” I call “Chronic Pain Haikus.”

I’ve written a part two to my previous round of haikus, and I once again hope they will bring a laugh or smile of wry recognition to my fellow pain warriors. Keep up the good fight!

My dear, darling calf:
What the fuck is your mother
Fucking damage, bitch?

anatomical illustration of calf muscles

Harrowingly, I
Lost the remote in
The bedsheets today.

messed up bedsheets

I will not let the
Pain win. I am collected,
Grounded, calm, furry.

cat on lake at sunset

What is this hollow
Pain? Bone Pain? Nerve? Muscles? Cursed
By mine enemies?

anatomical drawing of leg bones and muscle

I’ll just stretch my foot.
Rotate and dear god snapping
why why stop it why

speech bubble that says if you need me i'll be on the floor dying

I’ve named this knot in
My hamstring Garry. He peers
From my thigh and groans.

image of garry shandling

Feels steadily worse.
Checks supplement side effects.
That explains last month.

pills being placed in laundry basket

La la la my legs
La la when is this over
Such pain wow la la

meme of girl and text when in pain again try your best to distract yourself

Makin’ breathin’ terrible.
Dear fuck. Not coughin’!

image of skeleton chest and arms

So, my shoulder hurts.
And my hip. And I gotta
Say, I’m pissed ‘bout it.

abstract man's face screaming

Sometimes, I missed school,
Because of “growing pains” that
Feel the same today.

drawing of body and flowers

Crack. Crack. Ca-RACK!
Part arch, ankle, and big toe,
All along my calf!

greek sculpture face

How can my ankle
Ache into a three foot cloud
Of pain and bullshit?

red clouds

You had your chance, legs.
Tomorrow, I tattle on
You to the pain doc.

man with boulder on stomach and another man holding up hammer

Message from my thighs:
Argh No Why Please Make It Stop
Message concluded.

anatomical illustration of leg with bones and muscle

I miss you, high heels.
My body does, too, and it
Makes it hard to walk.

x ray of foot in high heel

These poems originally appeared on TwitterInstagram and Tumblr.

Originally published: September 8, 2018
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