Sitting in my bed tonight, I am hurting. Watching Netflix, I am hurting. Reading a book, I am hurting. Doing my school work, I am hurting. Spending time with my family, I am hurting. Walking. Breathing. Thinking. Functioning in any way, I am hurting.
That’s the thing about chronic pain, you can never escape it.
I once had an interesting time trying to explain exactly how much chronic pain effects me to someone. I typically walk with a cane and knee brace. Occasionally, I will need less or more walking assistance. In this case, I was rolling around in a wheelchair attempting at being productive. A friend saw how fast I was, and how well I moved around in the wheelchair. In an attempt at a joke they mentioned that if we raced wheelchairs then we would be on the same playing field. We would be even. The thing about chronic pain is that I will never be on the same playing field as an able-bodied person. This is not to say that I can’t achieve as much, if not more, but I will always have to fight my own body to even perform the most basic actions. Most days it takes twice the energy to perform the same actions as I did before my injury. I have to be innovative, crafty, creative to find new ways to get things done. Even in order to attend classes on campus this semester, I had to arrange accommodations that allowed me to stand up, stretch my leg, elevate my leg, and get from one class to another.
Mind you, I am happy to do that. It means I have taken steps forward. I have made progress. I am no longer in the stasis of self-pity, but I am taking action in order to continue with my life. That is big.
Yet, in order to do all this, I have to surround myself with the right people. Push myself when I am weaker. Allow others to express frustration, because trust me it is frustrating. And, attempt at educating those people who don’t understand.
If you don’t understand, think about this.
It takes less than one minute for my pain to go to from a good day to a bad day.
In 1 minute there are
and on and on and on.
To anyone else, that minute may seem like a short period of time. But, to me, each and every one of those fractions of a second drag on. Trying to pull my body backwards. Trying to convince me to give up. Trying to make me feel lesser than those around me.
All the while, these picoseconds send pain signal after pain signal after pain signal pulsating down into my leg.
It is exhausting.
Some days, it is simply a success to get out of bed and get dressed.
Some days, it is simply a success to wake up.
And some days, I don’t have the energy to even move.
It is simply exhausting to live with chronic pain.
But, no matter what, no matter how difficult, I never give up.
The spark inside of me will never blow out.
The battle in my heart will never stop.
I am still me, and I am still fighting.
I think that’s all that truly matters.