How has the Coronavirus affected you? It has definitely been affecting everyone. Of course, it does not matter if you are a pain free person or chronic pain sufferer (as well as someone who has a chronic illness). In the end, the Coronavirus can affect anyone. But this is not what our article is about today. We will be comparing the Coronavirus with chronic pain. So here it is. Six similarities…
Isolation – This one is probably the most important one of all. This is the foundation of all the other similarities. Being separated from other people is not humane of us. We need that social contact and it is what brings us together. Some of us do not have a choice in this matter though. Although we want to socialize and be part of society, some situations stop us from enjoying this side of life. In this coronavirus situation and for chronic pain sufferers (CPS), they both become isolated. Even before this virus, I was isolated and would stay at home. It was not because I wanted to but I had to. I really had no choice. When you have pain it is very difficult to just go out and do wherever you want for however long. Pain has its way of making you feel apart from your normal routines. This is very similar to the coronavirus situation. You could risk yourself and go as you please, but staying home is the safest place from catching any sickness. On top of everything, social isolation can have a negative impact on your physical, mental, and social health. I know I have experienced a few of these. Some mental health conditions are depression and anxiety, having low energy, and having negative feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness, and thoughts of suicide. I really believe having chronic pain increases all of these mental health issues. I know from experience. I still deal with depression, have low energy, have feelings of worthlessness, and thoughts of suicide. It is no fun! There are ways to overcome isolation especially with the power of the Internet and having social media. I love to connect with friends and family through technology, but I miss personally hanging out in person. This is why I get involved with support groups to help distress being isolated. Also if you have a pet, this will help decrease loneliness too. I really love the part of having an awesome Boston Terrier and Siberian cat. They both provide me with support and company. No one likes being isolated but it is a must when it comes to the coronavirus situation and comes with having chronic pain.
Loss of Work & Pay – This one can cause so much stress. We all have bills to pay for and work is an important part of our lives. The coronavirus has affected those and some have lost their jobs over this tragedy. Many people now have the option to work at home but some don’t. For chronic pain sufferers, they lose their job and none of it was being spoken of. How ironic? I recently quit my job as a registered nurse because of pain. It was absolutely one of the hardest things I had to do. Not only am I missing out on great income, I am also missing out of having meaning. My career of being a nurse was so important to me, that it defined me. I had to redefine work and now as a Youtube and a blogger, I have found a new career. I still hope to go back to nursing, but need to heal and have less pain before even doing that.
No hangouts with friends and family – It is hard not to visit with people you love. With the coronavirus, it is better not to hangout with friends and family and because you love them so much, it will be better to be safe than sorry. As for someone with chronic pain, it would be so hard to hangout and have a good time with friends and family. The good thing is that they would be understanding, or at least you think they would be. Even if they are friends and family, if they do not experience chronic pain (and if you do, you are lucky), they will not completely understand and this makes the situation hard. This is why the importance of chronic pain support groups, both in person and phone call are vital. Regardless of this, I have experienced not spending time with friends and family due to my chronic pain. The past two holidays, I was unable to see my loved ones on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas. This makes me sad and I cry during the holidays because I cannot drive five hours north to see any of them. I do not live nearby and will not live near them because the weather is not very nice. I love my warm weather.
No indoor/ public activities – This one is the scariest and hardest things. Viruses love living in closed areas and places. This is not only bad for the coronavirus situation but also difficult for chronic pain sufferers to enjoy most indoor public activities. Imagine going to a vineyard and having a glass of wine. Most chronic pain sufferers take medications, and medications and alcohol do not mix. I have not had a drink in a long time and plan on not drinking until I am completely well. It is difficult to do indoor public activities when you have pain. Standing up and moving around are not easy tasks to do. I have to lay down frequently with heat or ice to help control the pain throughout the day. I wish I could just spend all day at an arcade but that is not doable for me.
No outdoor activities – This is probably the safest one out of all of them. You can easily walk to the mailbox and come right back home. You are outside and typically away from people. Viruses flow away in the air and disintegrate away from you quickly. Even for a chronic pain suffer this will take some time for them to do this. Having the energy to walk or take a hike takes every part of a chronic pain person’s body. This is definitely not easy and can happen when there is no time pressure. I have a hard time with this one because I can walk to the mailbox and get my mail, but then I am out of energy and hurting, and need to lay down to recover for the next thing.
No traveling – We would not want to go traveling while the coronavirus is happening. This is a huge risk of infection and quite obvious. Same goes for chronic pain sufferers. We have a difficult time traveling for even short distances. I know I have trouble driving short distances for even 15 minutes. I have the toughest time driving 15 min away from home. Not only is it painful to sit for long periods but it is hard to be stuck in one spot especially in a car chair or desk chair for a long period of time. My body needs to lay down to remove that tight pressure and relax those muscles with heat.
One huge difference between the coronavirus situation and chronic pain sufferers is that chronic pain people suffer from pain everyday. When you look at all six similarities, one must say that chronic pain sufferers have dealt with this way before the coronavirus. In a way, I have been used to all these things which had made me into a strong minded person. Any chronic pain and chronic illness suffer are strong and have dealt with all this before the coronavirus situation. What is interesting is that the term “isolation” for example was really ever spoken of until the coronavirus hit the world. Now that this coronavirus thing hit the world, now isolation is an important topic.
I just want to say to pain free people that if they need direction or resources, I am your girl. Thanks for reading!