Monday, October 15, 2018

Day 3281 - Being in pain is a pain

I'm one of those people who is always in pain ...

Being in pain is my normal. As with many people I live with chronic pain that is hidden beneath my smile.  The smile becomes a way of masking what's actually going on. When the mask comes off, the frown lines appear.

Pain comes in all forms and can be mental and physical.  One often turns into the other with a very strong link found between pain and depression, which is why doctors will often prescribe antidepressants for the treatment of conditions such as fibromyalgia.

Pain can have flow on effects which have flow on effects which have even more flow on effects.

Pain can cause sleep deprivation, which can lead to fatigue, which can lead to a lack of tolerance, which can lead to feeling cranky, which can lead to strained relationships, which can lead to psychological battles, which can lead to mental health issues, which can lead to focussing on the pain, which can lead to more pronounced pain.

Pain hurts.   The pain causes the body to tense up in self preservation which puts added strain on muscles and increases the fatigue which then leads to more pain.

Pain can be in the body or can be in the form of headaches and migraine.  Sometimes the pain in the body and the aforementioned muscle tension can refer pain to the head. For many chronic pain sufferers, all roads lead to migraine** eventually.

Everything I just wrote relates to me.  It relates to friends of mine.  It relates to people the world over.  It's our normal.

But there are ways to live with pain.  When it comes to fibromyalgia I can usually live  beyond it as I know it's not life threatening and I know it's my normal.

Of course there are days when I collapse in front of the doctor asking for more tests to ensure it's not something more treatable.  At least once a year the fibro exhausts me enough to want to find more answers.  But there are no more answers.  It is what it is.  It's a pain.

How I live with chronic pain:

  • Have regular massage
  • Get a minimum of 8 hours sleep each night
  • Invest in a quality mattress and pillow
  • Smile often to release dopamines, endorphins and serotonin
  • Keep busy and active to ensure I always have something to look forward to
  • Focus on the positives in life
  • Find something to love in my every day
  • Personal development and personal awareness training
  • Scenic walks 
  • Rest periods
  • Healthy diet
  • Annual doctor's visit for thorough testing to appease the mind
  • Continual knowledge to know I'm doing the best I can for the condition I have
  • Pain killers when necessary
  • Don't focus on it or give it too much energy
Everybody's journey is different.  Everybody's pain journey is different.  

How we manage our pain journey is up to us.  

When it's all said and done we decide on how we're going to live within the normal we've been given. 

Being in pain is a pain.   I'm one of those people who is always in pain. But that's OK. It's my normal.

Do you experience pain?

How do you deal with it?

Do you know people who are hiding pain behind their smile?  

** For the purposes of this post I have not focussed on fibromyalgia as my point of pain reference. Migraine is a different beast all on its own and when it's all consuming it is very difficult to live with.   I'll leave that post to another day.

This post also focusses on a pain that is not life threatening. It's a condition rather than a disease. It's how I handle MY journey.  Everybody's journey is different.  


  1. I get migraine - but it has a pattern - small one and the next day a big one. So I know I just have to ride it out. I have in the past had chronic back pain and it was so debilitating I went to the doctor because I thought I was depressed (she laughed kindly and pointed out I was just in a LOT of pain all the time and that was stopping me do all my usual things). And then it vanished. I can't get over how overwhelming it was. I always try to remember that when dealing with others in a more serious situation.

  2. One of my aunties and another of my uncles have dealt with chronic pain for years. I can't imagine how so many people cope with chronic pain.

  3. So sorry to hear you're always in pain, Leanne. You have good strategies on how to handle it. Sending you positive thoughts across the miles. #lifethisweek

  4. This must be exhausting to live with. I'm glad you have ways to manage it. I get a lot of headaches and seem to always taking headache tablets, I also get the odd migraine. Pain is the worst!

  5. Thank you for sharing about your relationship with chronic pain, Leanne. I admire how you've made your peace with it in your life and refuse to be defeated by it or have it prevent you from leading a full life.

    SSG xxx

  6. I do not struggle with constant pain & I am grateful for that. My Hubby does and it is pretty exhausting for him - often this is something I forget too. #teamIBOT

  7. Thank you for sharing this, I'm sure there are plenty of people who will benefit from this insight.

  8. All of your coping mechanisms including your attitude to long term chronic pain are spot on. My husband has been through the medical rounds for decades relating to pain from his crushing spine, surgeries x 3 to his gut and surgeries x 3 to his neck. He is on some meds now that make his life tolerable most days but more than anything he is a role model for me on how to manage pain. As you are too, Leanne. Thank you for joining #lifethisweek. Next week's optional prompt is Easy Meal Ideas. Denyse

  9. It's so true when you say that pain has so many flow on effects. We are in desperate need of a new mattress, so much so that Dave has taken to sleeping on the spare bed in my office on his days off because his back & neck pain from our old mattress has gotten so bad. I'm starting to notice it too, particularly in my neck and I'm sick of having to take Nurofen every other day to take the edge off. We are in the process of finding the right new mattress as we both realise how important the right one will be as we get older.


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