Today is Good Friday, and for the #AtoZChallenge I allocate the letter P to pain. I was going to talk primarily about postnatal pain, but decided instead to be more general. Chronic pain is something that almost everybody has to live with. I was listening to a feature on BBC radio 5 Live just yesterday on this topic, and some of the callers that were interviewed moved me to tears.
Living with chronic pain is something I am very familiar with. To look at me from the outside, so to speak, people would not see a problem. I have never been classed as disabled, never needed any special treatment in daily life. I rarely see my GP, and actually would not recognize my registered doctor if I saw him out on the street. And yet, I have this condition.
The chronic pain condition that I live with is related to two eye disorders that work in tandem. I have a condition called Lymphodoema Distichiasis. Basically, I have two rows of eyelashes in each eye, one of which grows on the inside of the eyelids and subsequently scratches the cornea. I have scarring on both eyes that was sustained in childhood, since it took a while for me to be properly diagnosed. This included multiple surgical procedures and various medicine trials. As a teenager I developed Dry Eye Syndrome, where my eyes do not produce enough natural tears for lubrication. It leaves me with a permanent feeling of tiredness, and hot, sore eyes. Some days I literally want to rip my eyes out because I feel that would be the only cure.
More recently I have developed chronic pain symptoms that might be sciatica, but they have not been properly checked by doctors and so I don’t have an official diagnosis. I began to have severe leg and lower back pain during my first pregnancy. It eased off and then returned when my baby was about 8 months old, and has since returned on regular occasions with my second child. The leg pain leaves me crying out in agony and unable to move, and it is very distressing. I had a brief programme of physiotherapy when I first went to my doctor, but was told the pain should ease after a few months. I was left feeling frustrated and alone. My doctors dismissed me as an unimportant case.
I know quite a few people who also live with chronic pain. It seems to be something of an accepted condition in my social circles. Our cultural norm for dealing with such a problem is to throw medicine at it. I personally believe that we need to go deeper. For myself I feel that a good programme of emotional and psychological therapy would go a long way to help ease my pain symptoms, and subsequently leave me refreshed and happy. At the moment I can’t afford such therapy, but I will investigate it anyway, just in case… I wonder if this might work for other people? Please do share your stories, and any links for organisations that might be useful.
Thank you for stopping by, now why not check out my fellow writers on the #AtoZChallenge? See you tomorrow!
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