10 Things We Would Like Our Pain-free Friends to Know About Us

10 Things We Would Like Our Pain-free Friends to Know About Us

This is an open letter to all of our pain-free friends and family. These are things we would like you to know about, that we go through and how we would like to be treated.

1. Looking Good On the Outside, Feeling Lousy On The Inside

Just because we look fine on the outside doesn’t mean we feel good on the inside. You wouldn’t believe how much energy it takes to put on a good public face. We may smile or laugh at your jokes but often it hurts to laugh. Please understand how much energy and effort it takes us to get out of bed in the morning, let alone get ready to go somewhere outside our home. We miss our past social life and yearn for the time we could do “spur of the moment” activities. Don’t make us feel worse about ourselves by pushing us to “do just one more thing.” We have to plan our social life and required activities by making sure we are well rested and properly medicated.

2. No Medical Advice Please

Please, no medical advice unless you’re a health care professional who really understands what fibromyalgia and other chronic pain illnesses are. Please don’t push remedies on us that you got off the internet or from your herbalist. We have researched and read till our eyes are tired looking for the optimal therapy for our type of chronic pain. We do welcome all the sincere empathy you have to give us.

3. Just Because We look Fine Doesn’t Mean We are Fine

Even though we may not look sick and are fully clothed doesn’t mean we don’t hurt on the inside. It can be tiring to look good and be out and about. You may not see us go home after being out for an hour and collapsing in our beds or recliners exhausted from the time in public. First looks can be deceiving. If you see us in a motorized cart at the store don’t judge. It may be the only way to can do our shopping.

4. It Is Not In Our Heads

We’ll in some cases it might be. Some chronic pain illnesses such as Fibromyalgia is an illness of the brain and spinal cord and the whole CNS. But other chronic pains originate from other areas of the body.

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4. Regardless of how long we are afflicted with chronic pain, it still hurts. Some chronic pain illnesses like fibromyalgia will be with us forever.

5. Various Energy Levels

Chronic pain sucks up your energy no matter who you are. But it is even worse if you have chronic pain. We just don’t have the energy we once had.

6. We Are Not Lazy!

Lacking energy and being lazy may look a lot alike, but they are two very different things. We are not lazy, because that is reflective of an attitude. We lack physical energy which is disabling and can affect whether or not we have a job.

7. We have Good Days And Bad Days

Sometimes each day feels like the one before. Other times we have a great day, which is almost a curse because when we do have a good day we tend to overdo it. If we overdue it, we pay for the consequences of overdoing it by being extra sick for a day or two or three. Even though most days run into each other they are typically not good days, but every so often we had really bad days, sometimes they are so bad we call it a flare up.

8. Please No Personal Opinions Unless We Ask You

Not to be rude, but if we want your opinion we will ask for it. Until we do, please keep opinions, good or bad to yourself.

9. Judge Not, That Ye Be Not Judged

Don’t judge what you don’t know. Even in chronic pain circles, because chronic pain illnesses can vary so much we are thoughtful to not judge others because painful maladies vary greatly from one patient to another.

10. We Are Not Drug Seekers

We are pain relief seekers. Sometimes our medical treatment does require the use of opioids and other controlled substances to keep the pain under control and help us resume to as close to a normal life as we can. We just take it like any other medication. We dislike the side effects just like any other medication.

If you know someone with a chronic pain illness tell them you understand, and mean it. Is there anything else we should tell our friends without chronic pain?

Troy Wagstaff ©

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