September is chronic pain awareness month. Chronic pain is defined as pain that lasts 6+ months. For some, this may be in one area of the body, often started by some sort of injury but then continues well past the time it should have taken for the body to heal. For others, like me who live with Fibromyalgia, is throughout the body.
My chronic pain isn’t due to any injury which is called acute pain. The intense pain that draws my focus happens, seemingly, randomly. One day it’s my entire left side of my body (from temple to my foot.) Then, it moves to just my shoulders. The next day, it may be all down my right side or my hips and thighs. I’ve joked that it seems like my nervous system is controlled by a remote control in the hands of a toddler.
However, lower-level of pain is in nearly every area of my body all the time. It’s been difficult to explain to those who don’t experience this type of pain, especially because chronic pain has gummed up my communication ability. It’s more than what I used to have after an intense workout or a twisted ankle.
This month, I, along with others living with chronic pain due to various reasons, will be shedding light on what it is like to live with chronic pain every moment of every day. I will be sharing experiences, insights, ideas for management, and encouragement as often as I am able both here and on my other social media outlets.
You are Invited
If you are living with chronic pain, have someone you love living with chronic pain, or are just interested in learning more about what it means to live with chronic pain, I invite you to check in with me each day. I won’t be writing as long of posts each time and will also lean on sharing other’s insights because each of us has our own unique journey. I have found that as I learn of other’s experiences, it has given me better understanding and perspective to my own situation.
Well Meaning Pain
I believe that my chronic pain stems from years and years of living in the fight/flight zone. On reflection, I can see how it began to nudge me, only to be ignored and pushed through. Finally, it took drastic measures to get me to address its underlying issues, and that is what I continue to work on to bring myself to the healthy balance that I realize I have never had.
Understanding the reason for pain helps me deal with it and myself in a kinder, gentler way. However, it is NOT easy. The journey has been one of self-discovery and growth. There are days when the pain is in the background and I can go about my day without giving it too much consideration. Yet, I find that there are days I am completely defeated by it. I have recently realized that I need to work on pacing. Even on the days that I feel relatively free from pain and its other symptoms (yes, there are other symptoms that chronic pain brings with it), I need to do my self-care, pain-management protocols. Sounds easy, right?! Unfortunately, it’s been the hardest part of this journey for me to date.
Being I’ve been in a flare the past few weeks and because I would love to share out others’ chronic pain journeys and insights, please, share your experiences in the comments below or send me a message with links to what you’d like for me to share for you. I will be sharing using posts and social media shares via the groups that I belong to as much as possible.
My granddaughter says, “Sharing is caring.” 🙂