All too often, patients who suffer from chronic and debilitating pain are not as forthcoming as they should be with their doctors, friends, and family members. For many who suffer from chronic pain, it is an invisible disease or illness. That makes it easier for some chronic pain sufferers to suffer in silence! Why would anyone want to suffer in this way? Well, on so many occasions, patients have not been believed when discussing, explicitly, the level of pain they experience daily. When this occurs, one is more likely to retreat to their safe place within themselves, bottling up the tears, and the truth of the matter. In one of the videos I will be sharing in this article, this type of behavior is referred to as, “toughing it out.” Rather than explaining to physicians and loved ones, fully, the severity of pain levels, some patients will make light of their pain, because they fear being labeled as someone who is simply seeking drugs, a pill popper, or an attention seeker. This should not occur at all! However, it does occur, time and time again! People who suffer from chronic pain deserve the same level of quality treatment as anyone else who is suffering from an illness!
Another way patients try to mask their pain, is to act as if they are feeling okay in the home, in the workplace, and otherwise. To their own hurt, individuals will push themselves into doing all kinds of housework and assignments on the job, as well as push themselves to socialize with their family and friends, when they are physically and sometimes emotionally not up to it. What is the result of these behaviors? They become stressed out, which increases pain levels, they set off triggers of their pain, and often end up flat on their backs for several days at a time! Asking for help is extremely difficult. I understand, because it is very difficult sometimes to accept help when one is accustomed to being independent and self-sufficient, even when desperately requiring assistance. However, we need to learn to look at the glass as half full. We need to be thankful we have individuals who are willing to help when we are in need of assistance. There is also a lot of denial going on, which needs to be addressed. Then, when the pain becomes unbearable, patients must once again retreat into a quiet area inside of themselves, to attempt to regroup. Friends, family members, and coworkers will simply not understand, or trust what they are being told, and become even more suspicious and confused! I cannot blame this behavior on patients alone, because if this culture of disbelieving individuals who are in dire pain never existed in the first place, patients would feel safe when talking about their pain!
If you suffer from chronic pain, tell physicians and family members how limiting the pain is physically and otherwise, how severe the pain is, how progressive it has become, and how life-changing the pain actually is! Chronic Insomnia, fatigue, depression, lethargy, and moodiness, are telltale signs of a life marred by chronic pain! If one doctor does not listen, by all means go to a different doctor, and continue to do so until you find a doctor who understands your pain, and who wants to do all that can be done to help to alleviate your pain. Retreating into the darkness, the black hole of chronic pain alone, is not going to help! Shout it out if you must! Keep on talking until somebody listens to you! Remember: No retreat, and no surrender! “Pain Patients Shouldn’t Tough It Out!”