Chronic pain. Did you know that there are about 50 million people that experience chronic pain everyday? I had no idea. That is a lot of people in the USA!! I used to think pain came ONLY from old age or genetic dispositions. But that is not necessarily true.
Pain can come from different situations too. My chronic pain came from a car accident that was not even my fault. Every time I think of this, it makes it extremely hard for me to express and talk about it. Trauma is a common way for chronic pain to develop. People with chronic pain can also get it from underlying disorders such as diabetes, fibromyalgia, arthritis, and cancer.
It is difficult to just see someone and realize that they have chronic pain. Especially a 33 year old woman like me. The hard thing about chronic pain is that it is invisible. It is not a missing limb or a visible illness to the eye. Some do not even believe chronic pain to be real. When I walk around in the store, for example, most people have no idea that I am suffering in pain. My neck and upper back constantly hurt. I also feel isolated from this.
The car accident that I had 16 months ago has definitely impacted my life. I often think about those around me and feel so invisible. I am isolated. No one would be able to know that I experience chronic pain if I did not tell them. This is why I try to be open about having chronic pain. I want others to know. I do not want to feel alone.
One night, when I was at work – I openly expressed that I experience chronic pain everyday. My coworker next to me said, “Oh, you do?” I said, “Yes” while suddenly looking down at my keyboard as I was charting. As she was looking over at me, probably investigating, she said, “I had no idea that you have chronic pain.” I looked over plainly and said, “I do, everyday.” I guess I hide chronic pain so well.
Looking back, I am sure many of you out there have no idea that the person sitting next to you suffers from chronic pain. I hope that with this message, I am able to let you know this. Just because someone is young and looks beautiful, does not mean that they are not suffering from chronic pain or going through a difficult time. You never know what someone is going through, young or old, short or tall. You just do not know. It is better to ask and get an answer than assume.
Thank you for reading!