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  1. tierney

    I haven’t been keeping up with my reading as I used to (I can thank work for that), but I’m happy I stopped in to catch this post. As you know, I’ve suffered long and hard with chronic pain, much like you, and have little relief despite the medicine and therapies. Even though chronic pain in itself isn’t necessarily “rare”, the various forms of it are. Mine stems from scoliosis and multiple surgeries to correct that. Nerve damage up the ying-yang and all that other fun stuff. I currently have a teaching position where I hide the majority of my pain. I work in a dangerous classroom with dangerous students (behavioural ASD) and if my principal was aware of just how debilitating my pain was some days, I’m certain I wouldn’t have been able to keep my position. When I was first hired, my union tried to talk me out of keeping my position. I mostly kept it because I’m tired of letting pain take over my life. I want to be capable and able of doing things that I would have been able to do if never having pain at all. Lucky for me, I have 5 amazing EA’s in my room that are well aware of my pain and limitations. I tell them when I’m having a particularly “bad” day and I am not put in situations where I need to restrain my students. That doesn’t mean I don’t get bit, slapped, scratched or kicked from time to time, but being able to do a job I really, really love, despite the pain and the setbacks, is worth it. My boyfriend/family may not always agree when they see me get in bed at 6pm after a long day or bail on a weekend plan here or there because I’m simply too exhausted, but part of me pushes so hard to seem “normal” because I’m really just tired of letting pain win. I continue to enrol in courses or sign up for webinars or tutor after work and I do all of this, pushing through pain and popping pills, because I’m just so tired of being someone that “can’t” because of my disorder. I’m proud to say that I’m busier and more productive than most people I know that don’t live with a debilitating disease. I’ve decided to use this pain to get ahead. The flip side of this is that I need to learn to listen to my body. I’m absolutely exhausted at this point because I “can’t say no” and have taken on too much. I’ve never needed March Break like I do now. I need to do better at listening to my body (which I did this week, I cancelled 2 evenings worth of things to just relax), but still do the things that are important to me. Ah, anyways, long rant over. I’ve had a tough go lately and your post stuck out to me. I had someone recently tell me that they don’t ask me how my day is because “I’m always in pain” and that crushed me. I’m still a person despite the pain. I still have a million ups and downs in a day that truly don’t revolve around pain. To think that that’s all someone hears when they ask me about my day crushed me. We need more people that “get it”.

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