September is Chronic Pain Awareness Month

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.

I am the pain that finally forces you to take care of yourself.

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.

Read my post on pacing and join me in learning what works by sharing in the journey together.

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.” 🙂

6 thoughts on “September is Chronic Pain Awareness Month

  • September 1, 2020 at 9:00 am
    Permalink

    Katie,
    Reading your pain chart, I realize I probably have been under-reporting my migraine pain. What struck me most though, is your discription of why you have pain. The mechanisms for FND are similar (flight/fight/freeze in overdrive). FND just impacts whatever system is easiest…so in my case, my symptoms primarily have been movement symptoms, but have expanded to include numbness, incontinence/urinary urgency, and smaller muscle groups (originally movements mostly centered on the trunk of my body, now it can be as small as my jaw muscles, fingers, or toes). What fascinating things our bodies are!

    Reply
    • September 1, 2020 at 10:08 am
      Permalink

      My chronic pain started 15 years ago with Interstitial Cystitis. I didn’t know to call it that, but now I do. It never got under control. I wonder now if that sent me into Fibromyalgia? Our bodies are fascinating, and I believe doing their darndest to protect and heal. I’m hoping that I can be its partner rather than it’s opponent which I had been for most of my life. After pacing better yesterday, my pain level is a lot less this morning.

      Reply
  • September 1, 2020 at 1:16 pm
    Permalink

    I love your description of toddler with a remote – it’s a very naughty toddler that’s exploring all channels!! I sometimes feel like a ship with holes – as I plug one, another needs my attention and as I go round plugging holes and I’m back at the first which has popped open the plug again! A dizzying cycle of pain.

    Reply
    • September 1, 2020 at 2:36 pm
      Permalink

      Ah, yes. That is a great metaphor. When I give attention to the pain that is calling out, I find it leads to the next and to the next!

      Reply
  • September 4, 2020 at 3:23 am
    Permalink

    Thanks for using your spare energy to raise awareness this month! I hope your pain is low today and sending much love my friend.

    Reply
    • September 4, 2020 at 10:50 am
      Permalink

      Thank you, Sheryl. I had a better day yesterday and starting today. Did some pain awareness work on the computer this morning. Now for some gentle yoga and meditation before I go on with my day.

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.