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Does anyone here complain about their pain?

Allie KAAllie K Posts: 33
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:21 AM in Chronic Pain
Hi everyone,

I'm in a really bad situation right now: my parents just yelled at me and told me they are sick of me complaining about my EXCRUCIATING 10+ level pain, and they gave me so many examples of people they know who "suck it up and deal with it". I'm so angry at them right now. I suppose I shouldn't complain as much as I do but with the amount of pain I'm in , I can't think of anything else. I just hope they don't kick me out of their house.

Anyway, I was just wondering if anyone else can admit that they do complain about their pain, and if so, how often and do any of the people you complain to get angry? Thanks.


  • I tend to keep my pain to myself,unless one of my parents ask me how i am doing then i will tell them how i feel,Do you parents have a chronic pain condition,sometimes family members will never understand the pain someone has when its chronic...take care.
  • Thanks for your response bigcat. I really wish I kept my pain to myself too, but it's just been hard for me because I'm in such despair and the pain is soooo bad. In reality I know complaining doesn't help but I still do it. I despise myself for it.
  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,730
    Allie K,
    You have every right to be angry. But if a person hasn't been there, they have no clue and we can't really blame them. They just can't understand. and yes as a long time chronic pain sufferer I can tell you people do get tired of hearing about it. And unfortunately they compare us to someone else who probably doesn't have the same problems.It's hard to think of anything other than your pain when it's right there in front of you and controlling your every thought. But that was something I had to work very hard on. because people just get burnt out on hearing it. Heck, I get tired of saying it! I found if people ask how I am, I lie and say, just fine. and they can read the pain in your face and eyes. and realise your trying to suck it up. I hope you get over your anger, because that just exacerbates your pain.
    Good luck, Jim
    Click my name to see my Medical history
    You get what you get, not what you deserve......I stole that from Susan (rip)
    Today is yours to embrace........ for tomorrow, who knows what might be starring you in the face!
  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,730
    Please don't despise Yourself, just work on it.
    Good luck, Jim
    Click my name to see my Medical history
    You get what you get, not what you deserve......I stole that from Susan (rip)
    Today is yours to embrace........ for tomorrow, who knows what might be starring you in the face!
  • Allie,
    This is always a personal thing and with experience I choose who I tell, that is more to do with them than me, I have in the past told people who do not understand, it is not your job to change the concept of others. It is always a balance between disclosure that will benefit you and as you say taking about it all the time. It is understandable when you are in constant pain to always be an issue, some distraction for you own benefit is good.

    Although as with Bigcat I sometimes decide not to tell certain people it does not mean that the pain has subsided or gone away, thinking and talking about this all the time takes great effort and your skills would be better target towards yourself, to be fair you are teaching them about themselves and that is not your role, the important thing is you and your coping.

    My sister who was ill made the mistake of divulging this to many, this they thought gave them some right to say insensitive comments and on that basis would have been better saying nothing, if I had a dime for everyone who had a cure for a bad back I and you would be richer. Find people who will help you and surround yourself will the positive element to continue. Much has been written about conveying that message to “normals” and although the motive is legitimate some ignorance will always abound wherever it may be. We need to help ourselves in that those who do not understand are in each sphere of medical condition and we should concentrate on helping each other and not worry too much about the minority. They may not change and see the things that we can do despite the pain that we live in constantly, at 22 you have the fullest of opportunities before you, take the chance within your realistic capacity, here is the mode of best practice for coping, much pain sadness and tears have been used to develop it and you will also help us to help ourselves.

    Take care and be kind to yourself.

    My boy of 19 is disabled he has that just do it attitude, and I admire his tenacity.

  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,842

    I follow much what Cory does. Dealing with chronic pain now for over 30 years, I really dont discuss the pain with anyone.
    My wife knows how I feel (as do other's close to me) by just looking at me. Words are never needed.
    In fact, I go to the opposite extreme, when people ask me about my back and neck (most never heard of the thoracic area), I just tell them I doing the best I can at the moment and change the subject.
    I remember since I was a little boy, I always dealt with pain in my own quiet way. Never told people, and for me many times the best medicine was being around people. Sort of got my mind off of it.

    I have also found over the years that so many people do NOT want to hear about your pain. If you tell someone more than twice they might start to ignore you, get angry with you, tell you that their problems are worse, etc.

    Allie, dont be angry at yourself or think any less of yourself about talking about your pain. Chronic pain is not an easy thing to deal with, my one wish is that since you are so young is that you will not have to deal with this for a long time.
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • Ron,John,Bigcat
    Thankyou, Im starting to see and feel things differently,

  • Pain is a personal thing I think. Parents, WIves, Husbands etc, really don't know how those of us deal with chronic pain. But if you dont egt support from a family member, then I would look elsewhere for support. Just a thought

  • Since my pain began in the last few months, I have been vocal and have received the others hurt way more than you do lectures.I know that is true, but I have dealt with the pain of my depressive side for over 16 years already and this new addition has really pushed me over the edge.I try now to keep it minimal or just hide on the really bad days now.My silence seems to make my family realize that is a very bad day without me telling them.Probably not healthy but I pain isn't either.

    You are truly too young to have this happen and hope that the pain subsides for you soon.Your parents no doubt love you and feel helpless and thats maybe where that anger is really from.Pain is a non tangible entity and harder to comprehend.
  • Hi Allie,

    Welcome to the group, like you I am relatively new to cronic pain at this level, however I am 53 and have lived a lot of life, while you are just starting out. Find something you are able to do and you realy want to do and go for it, you have many tomorrows ahead of you.
    I know what you mean about others not understanding, for you this is more difficult as you are at an age where you still depend on your parents for support. It is very hard for them to understand your situation and I am sure they are trying hard to offer you support, even if this is in the form of tough love.
    For me I tend to get my support here having been with the group prior to moving. On realy bad days I have posted about my feelings and recieved support. Often I cannot post as my hands are too sore, hownever still feel supported reading the posts on the forum.
    I hope you feel that the group here offers you support and empathy for you situation.
  • Miss Allie ime sorry for your distress, and that you should have to go through this on top of what youre going through.
    I think your wonderfull and brave to make a go of school and pain issues at the same time! I hope this blows over quickly and that stress is kept low for you in your life. There may be other issues or maybe not going on,do they feel helpless at their beloved daughter in pain?
    As the others have said there is no stigma in reaching out, it is the most natural thing to do when a person is in need, dont feel bad for doing so..Please, your a good and worthy person who has the right to the dignity and sanctity of their person. Dont be afraid of reaching for help,
    Holding sorrow in may be akin to having a poison in their system,it builds and bcomes malignant , dont let it build up and beyond to become a greater problem.

    Keep that chin up and dont give in to sorrow, once it sets its claws on your heart it wants to grow,and it will if you let it!
    Never forget that you have value and are worthy of all the respect afforded any one else. Dont be afraid to rreach out in your extremity! You hurt theres no denying that,and at those pain levels there is no quick relief, Everyone is different in the way they take pain, sucking it up is an avoidance defence represssing the idea leads to other issues ultimatly.
    I wish i coud take some of your pain for a day. i wish i could put the sorrow into words to make people understand this slavery to our bodys we have to endure..every day.
    I hope your blessd soon with a pain free day,or at least less than 10! and remember you dont have to bottle up a natural emotion of sorrow and pain,let it out and dont let it eat at your soul. Come and talk awhile K?
    William Garza
    Spine-Health Mod

    Welcome to Spine-Health

  • You certainly have a way with words! I am always so uplifted by your encouraging words and the way you try to bring up the spirits of those who are feeling down... not to downplay any of the other posters, but your words seem to just be so beautiful! God bless you!
  • Hi Allie, this is a good question, and I'm sorry to hear about your high level of pain. I know how it just takes over your life and all of your thoughts.
    With your approach to this forum it shows that you still have thoughts about how to improve your relationship with family, so you are not being just self obsessed.
    I would say that first of all they need to know about your pain-how strong it is, how long it lasts, how it makes you feel, how it affects your sleep and so on. Perhaps you could write it down in a brief note? This would avoid any arguments and misunderstandings as they would have it in black and white.
    Once they then understand where you are coming from, you will need to ask yourself what you expect them to do when you start to verbally complain about your pain. If they were to quietly ask you this question themselves, what would you say?
    This might help you to understand yourself a bit better, and how to cope. You may well alienate yourself from family if you are putting them in an unreasonable position.
    If there is nothing that they can do for your pain, then why constantly tell them about it?
    From my experience, anybody in severe pain has that look about them, so they don't need to say anything.
    Most people have an ailment or problem of one sort or another, and I think the general rule is that you don't mention anything unless asked, and then answer only briefly if there is nothing that they can do.
    You have to ask yourself: Why am i telling them this? What do i want from them?
    Best wishes, and I hope you get it sorted out.
  • Thank you so much everyone for your kind, informative responses. I have since committed to myself and my family that I will try my hardest to not complain or even mention my pain to my family members. Today was Day 1, and I think I did pretty well. This is definitely a long-term process that will take a lot of work, at least it is for me. Thanks again folks!!

    ~Allie :)
  • Allie, what I've found through my experience with this experience of injury, surgeries and chronic pain is pretty typical. My friends and family simply don't know what to do so they stopped really listening. Yesterday, I was talking to a friend of mine from my dog show days and, while we were talking dogs (which I am no longer able to do) all was well. As soon as the conversation turned to me I could feel the blank stare over the phone. I turned the conversation back to dogs and all was fine again. It's not that they don't care, it's that they feel helpless. What they fail to understand is that this is my world now and talking only about the things I can no longer do is hard for me, just as talking about what is wrong with me is hard for them.

    As far as your parents go perhaps you should take them to your doctors appointments with you so that they can better understand what you are going through. My husband recently went to the pain doc with me (we went to see him about an SCS trial) and it was a real eye opener for him. He had only been to the surgeon's, who all think that their magic hands cure us completely LOL, and really thought that I would get "better". He has a more clear picture of what life will be like now and, even though it's not easy, it's realistic.

    I'm not a complainer but I understand how hard it is not to be. We spend all our time like this and every thing we do reminds us of that pain. I just try to remind myself that there are so many that are so much worse off than myself and thank God that I'm able to do the things that I can. It doesn't happen overnight but you'll get there.

    Hang in there. You're on a good path :)

  • Hi Allie,

    Some great things have been said in this thread. You are very lucky to have a place like Spine Health to come to and complain about your pain. I believe that we have to find a way to release it or like anger, it will eat us up more than ever! Coming here gives us all that outlet that we can't afford to have in our normal day to day lives.

    I don't believe that we are "sucking it up", I believe that we are shutting off a part of ourselves. When we can't deal with it anymore, we have to baracaide it behind a wall. That's when our lives change from chronic pain. That's when the world as we knew it ceases to exist.

    Hang in there. We all understand, and we will all listen. We will do our best to allow you to maintain that life, that part of you, that you would otherwise push behind a wall.

  • with hagland. Come here and vent with others that can relate. I can go 3 weeks w/o saying something of it to a family member and when I slip up and do say something, I see the "look" come over their face. It's not that they don't care but that blank stare i get speaks volumes.

    Thanks All
  • was that my husband was hospitalized a couple of years back with a very painful kidney stone. Although he tries hard to I knew that he could not really grasp what I was going through. One day I said to him, remember that large kidney stone that you had and were in all that pain with? Well just imagine if the only thing that could have been done was to give you meds that barely took the edge off and said see ya have a nice life. I swear from that day forward I think that he truly does somewhat understand. I could tell that he really thought about what I said for awhile. But there are lots of people out there that have never even experienced acute pain. For them it would never be possible to understand. I also keep my pain to myself except when I need my husband to help me get up or down. Others even loved ones will be frustrated at their lack of ability to help us and I think that is probably what your parents felt. Also nobody like to be around someone that is constantly complaining as that can put a real damper on their day as well. Good luck, Allie and try to be as understanding with your parents lack of understanding as you would like them to be with you.
  • There are very, very few people that I can talk to about my pain, my family being one of them that I CANNOT...You would think that since my mother has had a 1-level lumbar fusion she would be understanding, but negative...She's able to receive the treatment that she needs to feel like a human being while I cannot at the moment.

    But that's what we're here for, to vent and scream and cry, which I am about to do ad nauseum.

    I'm so sorry you're going through this hon, but if you need anything then just PM me and I'm glad to chat!
  • I love this thread because this is one of the few places where people truly understand what we deal with as chronic pain patients.

    I know that I am very lucky because the people I work with have seen me from the beginning of my chronic pain and are very thoughtful about how I am feeling if I am having a bad day. They are a kind a loving group and I don't know what I would do without them.

    As far as my family goes, only my husband and my sons know how I truly feel. I know that I can be open with them if I have to, but most of the time it goes without saying. The rest of my family has no idea and even when they ask, I don't really tell them anything most of the time.I think the reason is that I become very emotional when I talk about it and I hate that I do that. My sister began to experience back problems so we could commiserate for a while but luckily her problems seem to have resolved.

    You can always tell when you talk to someone else who has chronic pain. The look in their eyes is much different from someone who is not in pain. And even when you do, there is not much you have to say. The eyes say it all.
  • allie- I have dealt with chronic pain for many many years. I do try to bear up under its weight as best I can. I know that family members are aware of my chronic pain. They love to point out to me how well I seem when I can do some normal activities with them. I have to remind them that just because I did not complain of my pain does not mean it went away. :/ jade
  • Even though we're all in the same lousy boat, I'm relieved to hear I'm not alone. My mom has had 2 unsuccessful fusions and lives with terrible pain, I know she understands, I don't even need to say a word. Even on the phone. My partner is incredibly supportive, though he has not been through anything like this, he just knows I'm suffering.

    Friends, they sort of give the blank stare, coworkers, forget it. I just try to keep my mouth shut. Sometimes I just want to SHOUT at them, "you don't know how good you have it!!" but what good would that do... you don't always appreciate what you have until you don't have it. I feel blessed to have so many other things in my life that are wonderful and are working. My health, however... work in progress...

  • but I've found it doesn't do any good. If anything, it alienates others that have never had severe chronic pain. The worst is when your own doc doesn't want to listen! :( We just need to suck it up sometimes and stick together!
  • :) believe it or not i don't complain here on the board because i don't get any support. i get support for supporting others and feel that is where i must keep myself. no feelings let out but goodwill for everyone else. i am sure i put myself into that situation so that is where i will stay. no complaining at home so i really have no one to complain to. wish there was someone!! it would be nice to have a kind loving ear listen to how i felt and really care back. i have written posts asking for concern but usually noone answers. the mods will put in a kind word but that is their "job!" well, i appreciate them anyway!! Jenny
  • i don't talk about pain because people don't want to hear it and don't understand what is going on. if i bring up the subject, friends, work etc, they look at me like i cut a fart in church. if someone is understanding or who is having chronic pain then that is different. people just don't want to hear or know and they for the most part don't care especially at work.
    jon :D
    I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
  • I'm really sorry you feel that way. Often, when I get to read posts - it's impossible to keep up with them all - I can only pick a few to respond to. It doesn't mean I'm not thinking about what someone has said, nor does it mean that I don't care or support them, I just can't respond to everyone.

    Anyways, I think people here do care and I'm not sure why you think you did something to make it otherwise.

    Also, I disagree about the mods and it being their "job". None of them are getting paid and it is not "their job" to respond to people - they took that function on b/c they are caring and giving people who spent their time supporting others.

    Take it easy.... :)
  • I don't volunteer any information about my well being. If some asks how I'm doing my response usually is determined by who they are to me.

    My cousin has been thru this, so I open up to him because he really understands. My wife suffers from migrains (hereditary) so she somewhat understands (and now I understand her issue better too, since getting daily migraines is part of my new self (post car wreck)).

    I haven't run into an issue of someone lecturing me or such yet though. My boss likes to tell me to "lift more weights" "hit the gym" or "my brother went to this chiro place where they stretch you out over the course of 6 months...". Then when I tell him that my doctors have told me to stay away from chiros and new advancements that you see on TV, he tells me he has a bad back too, I push it more than I should by asking him if his back pain runs down his butt, leg and into his foot and which point he repsonds with "Well no, but what does that have to do with anything?" 8|

    Anyways, I've always kept to my self how I've felt (except to my wife and cousin). Just because I don't like being told that I should do this or that. When people ask how I'm doing now my typical response is "Good, all things considered." and I leave it at that.

    I don't even say much to my parents about it.

    Good luck and I hope all goes well. :)
  • :) Hopey, i really only have kind words for the moderators. they have shown true concern for me and i can never say how much that means to me. i never meant anything other than that!!!!! Jenny
  • my favorite at work is well you look good. grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr X(
    jon :''(
    I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
  • I do not think that the people we live with can truly understand the amount of pain that we deal with day to day with a back injury. At first I played it off as being a little sore, as I have done in the past to not make my wife worry. But after 5 years trying to get treatment, I would bet that my wife has forgotten my complaints more times than she wants to remember. Family support is critical during an injury. Being young as you are, I would bet that your family is worried as much as you are. It is hard to see someone they love in pain, and they are probably frustrated by not being able to help you get better. Hang in there. But don't do anything without a second or third opinion. I am finally pain free after five years. Steve
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