I have yet to come across a thread addressing this (feel free to link to one if it's there) but it's something I've been having to deal with frequently, especially lately.
Spinal conditions, as I've learned, are confusing and hard to explain to someone who knows nothing...
How do you guys handle explaining your condition to others when necessary?
My personal experience is from being fairly young, 23, and working full time at a fairly physical retail job where my customers are of the older (45+) demographic. There are times when I'm trying to assist my customers and am suddenly plagued by an intense muscle spasm or sudden excruciating pain somewhere. When I cringe or groan in response to it, I get a lot of weird looks. It sometimes gets to the point of where I actually have to stop everything I'm doing to go sit down and wait it out...leaving my customer unassisted and confused.
I find it very difficult, especially in the midst of such an episode, to try and explain whats going on. I usually chalk it up to something they might understand like "sorry, muscle spasms" and try to continue as normal the best I can. I wear my corset lumbar brace at work, which really restricts my ability to do certain things with ease, which doesn't help matters.
There are a few of my regulars that are well aware of my issues and are very accommodating. Though there are some that like to make jokes about it, which is pretty self-defeating for someone that already suffered from depression and anxiety before the pain and neuro symptoms.
The usual is people older than I that blow it off and tell me "you're too young to be in pain" or "oh, you don't know what real pain is like- wait until your my age" or "you don't look like you're in pain" or some sarcastic remark when I have to tell them I can't lift something for them. Now I understand, pain gets worse with age, but I feel like it's inappropriate to judge someone else's condition based on age, let alone make (what I feel) are sarcastic, dismissing comments towards it.
I suffer from a fair amount of conditions that aren't visible on the outside and find it very frustrating to try and explain why I'm tired, out of breath, frustrated, or down to someone who doesn't understand. So I guess my question is how do you guys deal with having issues that people can't "see"?