Embracing life with chronic pain and illnesses.

The Face of Chronic Illness

Conditions such as Chronic Pain Disorder, Fibromyalgia, Polyarthralgia, IBS and other associated conditions are invisible. These conditions hurt the one that is afflicted in unbelievable ways…..the physical pain….the inability to sleep….the lost time with friends and loved ones…

I know that I am not alone in living with this hidden condition….and as is so often the case….I have a number of “hidden” conditions.

I have seen the look of “can you believe that”….or “how disgusting” when I have used an electric cart at the grocery store. I have seen those same inquisitive eyes when I am being pushed in my wheelchair by my hubby or son.

There is no outward sign….there is nothing that anyone can see with their eyes that reflect the pain coursing through my body….that constant ever present pain. The often inability to move my legs well….my awkward “Zombie walk”…..the difficult time I have in using my hands and arms….

I have had the frustration of going to specialists that do not believe in Fibromyalgia and/or Polyarthralgia. I know that others in my shoes have dealt with as well….

I am thankful for my doctors that do understand that Fibromyalgia, Polyarthralgia, Chronic Pain Disorder, etc. are real. These conditions are not made in our imagination!

Our life with a chronic condition is like a two edged sword….on the one hand are the symptoms we live with each and every day….on the other is the way that we are “seen” by others.

How we view ourselves….the “faces” we put on for the outside world further hide our true conditions. We smile and put our best foot (LOL) forward! We do not truthfully answer “how are you today?” (I mean….who would really want to listen??? It is more than words can express!!)

Loved ones and friends can sometimes think of us as “fickle” since we cannot give a definitive Yes to an invitation….our usually answer will be “I will let you know….closer to the time”…..

The truth is we do not know how we are going to feel from day to day. No day is the same. Life is a nasty roller coaster of pain going from out of control to “manageable”…..(let me tell you though….manageable is still beyond what a “normal” person would want to deal with….even for a brief amount of time”….

Some things in life will take precedence, like the sudden death of my Sister. My conditions took a back seat….it did not matter that I could barely move….that my wheelchair was my best friend! I was present for everything….just as anyone in that position would be.

The recovery time for us is so much longer! This I am just beginning to finally grasp…it has been over 6 months since I lost my Sis…..and I feel that my body is just now settling enough to let me work through my grief….to allow me to work on some projects (like a photo album)….

I am so thankful for the strong support group that I have (my hubby, son, family and close friends)……my hope for each of us making our way through this maze of pain is to have the emotional support that we need.

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