From The Outside, Looking In

Recently, I had a very rough day. It was one of those days where nothing worked correctly or as easily as it should have. There were many people involved that day as well. People who should NOT have a driver’s license, or people who needed better training for the job they held. I was aggravated but I was happy and relieved when I arrived home; safe a snug in my own little world.

Someone asked me, “Are you getting old and cranky?” My answer was, “No, just sick to death of imbeciles.” Well, maybe I am getting old and cranky. Maybe I’m not. From the outside looking in, it may appear that I am ‘old and cranky.’ It may appear that I am hateful or judgmental. It may appear that I am ungrateful or self-absorbed. It may appear to be many things, from the outside looking in.

The truth of the matter is, I have chronic pain. That doesn’t mean I have a little pain sometimes. It means that I have severe pain every single day; every hour of every day, with no relief. It’s 24/7. Even during the few hours of sleep I get each night, I am NOT free of pain. When I sleep however, I am free of the depression that comes with pain. I am free of the thoughts of the things I can’t do anymore or the things I have trouble doing. I am free of the constant struggle of trying to live my life like other people. I am free of the guilt of not being able to go to my grand children’s ball games and school events. I am free of the guilt of not being able to drive to see my sisters and their families. When I wake up however, it’s a different story.

Chronic pain changes a person. I use to be the person who could see the bright side of things. I laughed at things that others didn’t even think were funny. I had been accused of being “immature” so many times! But I digress. Chronic pain takes over a person’s life. That’s all you can think about. Everything you do is planned around your pain. You can’t keep up with friends and family so relationships are either lost or have drifted far away. When you can’t clean the house properly or cook full meals like you use to, it messes with your mind. When everything is a struggle: getting something out of the cabinet, putting dishes away, making a sandwich, feeding your furbabies, taking a shower, getting dressed….everything! Even little things like rolling over in bed, bending over to pick something up off the floor, getting out of a chair, putting on shoes and socks, become very painful and difficult. Those things an able-bodied person doesn’t even think about, are things that I struggle with.

So, when you only have a few ‘good’ hours each day to live your life, it tends to change your sense of self and when you go out to run a few errands, you pretty much want to be able to get done quickly, because the pain is screaming at you to get done/sit down/take a nap/rest your legs!!! When you have to deal with incompetence and stupidity when you are in pain, it tends to make you freakin’ crabby!

Now I didn’t write this to make anyone feel badly. I just want people to understand that I did not choose this life with pain. From the outside, you may think one thing but it’s seriously something else….