Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Loneliness Of The Chronic Pain Sufferer

Most chronic pain sufferers often feel separated, or detached from the mainstream society. Their condition, though personal in each case, has the “power” to change them from a once happy-go-lucky, carefree individual into a grouchy, seemingly uncaring, complaining crank.
Now, in only two sentences I summed up what some people write pages about–I have to: I’m a chronic pain sufferer, and I have to be short and sweet with my point because I’m in extreme pain as I write it, and I have to get back into a reclining position.
But, let’s look at the two sentences, the second one first: ‘Their condition, though personal in each case, has the “power” to change them from a once happy-go-lucky, carefree individual into a grouchy, seemingly uncaring, complaining crank.’ The words ‘their condition’ clearly states that there is something more happening than a mere pain episode or any type of acute pain discomfort. A condition is a strong word here because it describes an ongoing legacy of, here, trauma, and, that terminology is further supported by another that bears reference to a “power” to change an individual. That’s strong! But even before those words, I stated that the condition is ‘personal in each case,’ and it is. Every chronic pain sufferer experiences pain in a totally different way. It’s like a fingerprint; no two suffer the same way. There are similarities, but individuals suffer in a very distinctive ways, and therefore apart from others, and alone.
The remainder of that second sentence defines the sufferer to be something that he/she most probably doesn’t want to be, but is usually accused of being–a complaining crank. I know this to be true from past personal experiences, and because I often get correspondences stating things like: “My husband doesn’t understand me,” “everybody hates me,” I know my wife loves me but she doesn't understand what it’s like, and I don’t know what to do,“ and, of course, the old standby, “I can’t take it anymore, I’m going out of my mind.” If all these things were believed to be true, they could transform the chronic pain sufferer to a very defensive existence, ironically resulting in what we hate to be–complaining grouches. Most will initially deny such accusations, but think about it: aren’t we all cranks at some point, especially when the pain is at its worst? We are, and it’s pretty normal to be so; it’s a fact of our natural being. But that doesn’t give us liberty to abuse those attributes of our ‘conditions.’ And ‘complaining’ is the act of a frustrated person trying to communicate the desperation of what he/she is going through. Any semblance to being an ‘uncaring’ person is conditioning from our ‘conditions,” another natural occurrence–our main focus of attention is on the intensification of the pain. If the average, pain-free person was being stabbed in the heart, their main focus of attention during that time period would not be about doing good deeds!
With a clear understanding of the second sentence, we can see justification for the first sentence, ‘Most chronic pain sufferers often feel separated, or detached from the mainstream society.’ How can we possibly introduce our baggage to a society that doesn’t have a clue about continual pain? Thus, the chronic pain sufferer lurks in lonely coves of self-imposed exile–detached from the mainstream.
Chronic pain is a personal thing, but each of us can bring a piece of the puzzle to the floor, and maybe with as many pieces of that great and unholy puzzle exposed we can find some resolve. But, as I already stated, I’m a chronic pain sufferer, and I have to be short and sweet with my point because I’m in extreme pain as I write this, and I want to get back into a reclining position. We can discuss this on the forum located at http://www.ccpcorganization.org.

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