I sat and watched my cursor blink for a few minutes before I started typing this post, not really sure where to begin, and finally the words start to come to me. There are many of people out there who suffer from chronic pain; in other words you hurt all the time. It’s becoming an epidemic…my question is why? How many people are truly suffering from genuine, long time,long term pain?
My experience started almost 10 years when I did a Wiley Coyote off a set of concrete steps and sat up on the ground wondering what the hell happened. I suffered a year or so before I took action and finally sought out medical help for the pain I was having in my back and hip. It just increased over time to the point my pain just laughed at the 2000 mg of Ibuprofen I was taking a day. I had ruptured a disc in my lower back which was putting pressure on my sciatic nerve. It was great stuff.
In 2007, I ended up having surgery for my back issues. It was a horrible experience and over the course of recovery became very sick. Long story short, I will share more of my story as time goes on, here I am almost 10 years later living with pain every day. Most often, I just deal with pain in my lower back, hips, and knees. I have tried so many things and have had a regular prescription for pain medication for the last year. Recently, in the last two months I have begun experiencing pain in my shoulders, elbows, and wrists. Bonus!
Thank you for staying with me so far and I am now getting to the point: The Chronic Pain Experiment. Over the years, doctors have told me the following – let me know if you have heard these too:
“Your pain is over exaggerated.”
“You hurt, I get that, but let’s face facts: you are overweight.”
“IF you lose weight and quit smoking, you will stop hurting.”
“I think you are making more out of the pain you are feeling than what is really going on.”
“Quit smoking, lose weight, stop drinking caffeine and the pain will stop.”
And here is my personal favorite:
“The pain is mostly in your mind and I really think you need to stop seeking stuff like medication to solve the problem when you could just lose weight and exercise. This would all go away.”
These are accurate statements from medical professionals. I could even give the names but I won’t. I remember them all, the doctor’s, P.A.s, and N.A.s, that have doled out these words of wisdom to me. Those words hurt as much as the pain hurt and at first I was very bothered by them. Could they not see the pain I was in? The answer: sure they could but they believed what they were saying is true and probably see hundreds of patients where the excess weight, the defiling of one’s body with foreign chemicals, and poor nutrition are hurting their patients. Okay, touché medical professionals, touché.
Please read the next “CHALLENGE ACCEPTED” post. I hope you continue to follow my progress on my Chronic Pain Experiment Challenge.