|Chronic Illness and Pain
||[Jan. 18th, 2008|09:24 am]
I wanted to write something for those of you who also might be struggling with chronic illness and/or pain. It's now been 12 years of being in chronic pain for me. The pain started just in my knee. We thought it was minor arthritis. I also had sharp pain in my pelvis on and off, but everyone dismissed my concerns and blamed my weight for both issues. Now at a normal BMI, we have conclusive evidence that I have Endometriosis, severity 3 out of 4, and also a nerve function issue in my right leg that comes from the nerve itself. The cause and cure of the nerve problem is unknown, but the fact that it exists has been proven. It has so much impact on my life that it is priority one to work on my health and keep my pain under control.
Mentally, it impacts most things I do, including my career, my relationships, and how I feel about myself. The one way I've found to be more positive, all the way deep inside, not just how I appear to the world is the remember this one thing: The pain is not me and it is not my identity. It is only the biggest obstacle I have to face. It is NOT me. Lanette is something else. Also, I'm a better and stronger person for having faced over a decade of nerve pain. When I have those terrible days, I don't think that I'm weak or terrible, nor do I stay in that place of a pity party for long. I just try my best to realize and accept that for now, this pain is something I have to do my best to both fight, contain, and work with. I'll never give up hope that it can be cured. It may not be today, but I believe it will happen.
Separating myself from the pain helps when I have the worst possible days. I used to feel like my life wasn't worth living if I was going to spend it in misery being a useless burden to other people. Now I realize that because I have a terrible day painwise it doesn't negate everything positive I am or have to offer. I no longer wish my life would be over due to pain. I get weary from dealing with it sometimes, but now I just want the pain to go away, not my life.
Those of you not in chronic pain may think that this is crazy or there is something wrong with my mind that I ever used to wish for my life to be over because of pain, but I promise you that I'm not the only one. If you have your basic health, realize what a gift it is. It offers you freedom to deal with any number of things. I think I appreciate my life more than I would if I never was faced with feeling so badly that I couldn't enjoy conversation with my friends and family, and being on such bad medication that I wasn't myself and had no personality.