What I want you to know about living with chronic pain

Pain comes and goes in my life, but when it comes, it sets up camp for a good while. Weeks at a time when my whole life revolves around pain.

Sometimes chronic pain has a name, most of the time it doesn’t. Sometimes that is the hardest part of all.

Sometimes people think it’s all in my head. Sometimes I wonder if it’s all in my head. Then I feel more pain. Nope, it’s really there.

Sometimes I put on a smiley face and get through the party/function/event. Sometimes I have enough fun that I’m able to forget about my pain for a while. Sometimes my smile falters and friends grab me a comfy chair and tell me not to worry. I can let my guard down. To these friends I say Thank You I Love You To The Moon And Back.

Sometimes pain is only a minor annoyance. Other times pain breaks down the door like a vile monster and demands my ultimate attention.

Sometimes I take medicine and escape from the pain for a few hours. Sometimes I suffer through because I don’t want to escape from my family and friends too. Mostly I just want to stop thinking about it.

Sometimes the pain goes away and I’m reminded of how good it feels to feel good. Sometimes this lasts for a few days, sometimes it lasts mercifully for a few months. I run, I skip, I play. I live these pain-free moments to the fullest.

Sometimes I think I’m ok, so I do something like play too hard with my kids or jump on a trampoline and the pain comes roaring back. (Stupid trampoline!)

I know my version of chronic pain is mild compared to many others. But this is my story. And the truth is, chronic pain is tiring, no matter what version you’re dealing with.

I don’t have a neat and tidy way to wrap up this post, I simply wanted to share my experience. Maybe it will help one of you feel understood and not so alone. Maybe it will help you understand what a friend or family member goes through.

This is my story, and it’s all I’ve got. What’s your story?

  • Becca October 7, 2014 at 12:44 pm

    Thanks for this. I think so many people deal with it, and we all deal with it differently. It’s important to put a face with chronic pain to let others know that even though we don’t always talk about it, it’s always there.

    • InspiredRD October 8, 2014 at 9:20 am

      Thanks Becca, I’m sorry you have to deal with this too.

  • amy cornwell October 7, 2014 at 1:15 pm

    I hate hearing this about you. I’m so sorry. Praying that you’re able to find relief. (Side note, since I know you’re doing Whole30 – has it been recommended to try AIP paleo? I’ve just been seeing so much about that lately). Thanks for sharing your story to help us better understand!

    • InspiredRD October 8, 2014 at 9:20 am

      I have looked into it, but I’m not convinced the pain I am currently suffering from is autoimmune issues.

  • Erika October 7, 2014 at 2:39 pm

    I totally and completely relate to this. Thank you for writing this. I think it’s hard to have an invisible illness and not have people understand just how much energy chronic conditions require to manage. It can be isolating and even depressing at times!

    • InspiredRD October 8, 2014 at 9:21 am

      Isolating for sure. That’s why I wanted to share this.

  • Sharon October 7, 2014 at 11:33 pm

    Ive been Dx celiac for almost 5 years and I too suffer from unexplained bouts of pain. It’s an all over joint achey flu like pain that comes and goes for days or weeks at a time and it’s awful and draining and I too question myself if it’s all in my head. But then it’s so severe I think, wow even I couldn’t conjure that kind of pain! I just recently have been experimenting with my diet and noticed that the pain is much less severe and almost nonexistent if I stay away from gluten free oats. I’ve been oat free and pain free for a few weeks now. Still not 100 percent sure if that’s coincidence or not but it could be worth a shot.

    • InspiredRD October 8, 2014 at 9:21 am

      I cut out oats last year and it helped so much with the achey pain. I hardly ever have that anymore!!

  • Alece Ronzino October 8, 2014 at 11:18 am

    You found just the right words for this…

    i love you huge, my friend.

    • InspiredRD October 8, 2014 at 5:04 pm

      Thank you. Love you tons.

  • Debra October 8, 2014 at 4:10 pm

    Mostly, I just want to stop thinking about it. My sentiments exactly.

  • Chad Jones October 8, 2014 at 5:55 pm

    Thanks for writing this! My wife has a number of chronic conditions that folks don’t always grok–because they’re invisible: fibro, diabetes, spinal cord compression, potentially life-threatening food allergies, painful muscle knots, and the attendant sleep issues.

  • Aspen October 8, 2014 at 7:15 pm

    Have you tried Autoimmune Paleo? I have several autoimmune conditions, celiac, and no gallbladder. AIP and finding a FODMAP sensitivity has given my life back.

  • April October 7, 2015 at 1:21 pm

    This popped up on timehop from last year. It resonated with me a year ago and it still does today. Thanks for making me not feel crazy, alone, or like a wimp.