A Day in the Life of a Person with Chronic Pain

A Day in the Life of a Person with Chronic Pain

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dilauro
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A Day in the Life of a Person with Chronic Pain

Ever look back and try to 'map' out a day you have had?

Early Morning You start to wake up, though its a bit later in the morning than you used to. When you first open your eyes, there is some grogginess (from your previous nights meds) and your head hurts a bit. You slowly move your feet over the bed and onto the floor. That takes about 10 minutes. You then get enough courage to stand up. That might take 4 or 5 tries, but you finally succeed!. Ok, now that you are standing, whats next? You try to take a few steps. The first 3 drive pain all over your body. You just want to stop and dive back into bed. But you keep thinking to yourself, If I can only make it to the shower, then I will feel better You do shower, but towel drying is hard because you cant move the towel that easy.

Morning You are up, start to get dressed. Gosh how difficult is it to put on socks. Then you try to put pants on. If you are standing, you almost fall because one leg gets stuck. If you are sitting, you get both legs on but then realize you cant get up without falling. Shoes, for now forget them. You have some coffee (or tea) and find something that will calm down your stomach.

Mid Morning On your way to work, or like many of us, cant work, but have some errands to run. You get into your car. Now that is a feat in itself. You never realized how difficult going from standing up to sitting in a car seat is. You plopped your butt on the seat and try to get your legs to swing into the car. Now you are set, heading out. Five minutes on the road and road rage erupts.... (well for me at least) Why are there other people on the road? Doesnt everyone know that when I go out in the car and have to go someplace, no one else should be on the road!

Noon You are exhausted, you hurt, you are waiting for the recent dosage of pain meds to kick in. Lunch time comes and you have no appetite, you skip it.

Afternoon Gosh, isnt the day over yet? but its only 2:00pm. You try to smile you way through the afternoon. But all the while you just wish you could be laying down, sitting in a hot pool or anything to give you some relief. The phone rings one ring, two,,,three... guess thats why there are phone machines.

Early evening Day is almost over for most, but for you its been a century. People start coming home from work, getting ready for dinner. You want to sit down, you really cant think of much except you are hurting and want to be alone. Dinner comes, if its a good day, you muster up strength and act normal for everyone.
Evening You try to watch TV, but your legs are burning, you have tingling in your toes and are just uncomfortable. Sometimes family and/or friends join in to make it a good night. You get a few "Oh you look good, are you getting better?" You do everything you can to not jump up and attack that person... Instead you mutter something or just look the other way.

Night You get ready for bed. For a second you wish things were so different. You cry a little and realize that you will have to go through the same thing tomorrow!

Chronic Pain is no FUN!

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downinmyheart
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Speaking of later

Instead of making me sleep better, my new meds seem to be keeping me up. They are both downers though so I don't get it. Lortab and Flexeril. Anyone else having that problem.

I have so been wanting to stay in the bed all morning which is not normal for me.

jkgates (not verified)
Title: Member
impressive

Your story about a day in the life of someone with chronic pain. I truly believe that only someone who has actually experienced it could write it so clearly. It is such a frustrating problem that is very physically & emotionally draining.
good job!

downinmyheart
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I just realized

that my reply had little to do with your actual post. I am no hijacker. I will blame the medication. It makes me forget what the h3ll I am trying to say at times.

manalerie
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My Day

Morning: I hear yells coming from the crib... "MOMMY!!!" I start to wake up, though its a bit later in the morning than I used to. When I first open my eyes, they are dry and scratchy. My head hurts a lot. I get up, pull my son out of the crib, and head for the eye drops.

Time to head to the dreaded kitchen, to make breakfast for little man. Gosh how difficult is it to pour cereal. I have some coffee and my stomach is too upset for much of anything to eat.

Mid Morning: In the living room looking at the laundry I didn't fold last night. The dog slept on the couch, and snuggled into some of them, kicked the others onto the floor. Both piles will now need to be re-washed because they have dog hair on them.

Noon: I am exhausted, I hurt, I'm praying for the recent dosage of pain meds to kick in. Lunch time comes and I have no appetite, I skip it.

Afternoon Gosh, isnt the day over yet? but its only 2:00pm. I try to smile my way through the afternoon. But all the while I just wish I could be laying down, sitting in a hot pool or anything to give me some relief. The phone rings one ring, two,,,three... guess thats why there are phone machines. My sister hates that, and will call again, and again till I answer... she knows I'm home. Time to take little man outside for some fresh air and exercise. Its raining again, so we go to the neighbors house to play for a little while.

Early evening: Day is almost over for most, but for me its been a century. I've spent the last few hours trying to plan dinner. I should have taken the hamburger out last night, but I don't think I can cook it anyway. I don't think I can stomach that chicken place on the corner even once more. I really need to eat something NOW, because I haven't eaten all day, my stomach is turning, and my headache is back. TV dinners again?

Night: I get ready for bed. I spend more than a second wishing things were so different. I cry a little and dread falling asleep because I realize that right now is the best I have felt all day, and I will have to start all over again tomorrow!

dilauro
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Thank you j-bird

I appreciate your comments. There is one thing about writing about what chronic pain 'should' feel like vs living what it actually does to you.
Chronic pain can come in some many forms. For us here, its generally spinal related. But think of all the others that live in chronic pain every day. Those that suffer from COPD, Cancer and other life absorbing problems.

Thanks again

Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Moderator
Dont laugh at me

griff
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Lortabs

They keep me up too. Not that I sleep much anyway but I know that days when I take them for breakthrough pain I can stay awake all night. Not a good way to start end?) a day!

I'll often go back to bed after I feed the dogs just to "come down" from them.

Griff

(I don't think that Ron minded that you mentioned this. He's a pretty cool guy most of the time LOL)

agriman (not verified)
Title: Member
well, if I had

never had back problems/pain, i would never have met any of you wonderful ppl. ?????

Mitzi (not verified)
Title: Member
Great post Ron

I so wish that the Oprah's and the Dr. Phil's of this world would read this and show "our" side of the story. I get so angry, hearing about "Soccer Moms who are Addicted to Pain Medication"!!! I know it probably wouldn't come across as "good TV", but I think more people would have a better understanding about the difference between someone who lives (or trys to live) every single day of their life with some sense of normalcy, while in constant pain, vs. some housewife who has too much to do and needs that "boost" that she gets from an obscene amount of opiates.

I once heard Dr. Phil say that "nobody, including people with legitimate chronic pain, should be taking prescription pain medication on a daily basis". And according to his "extensive resume'", he was supposedly a counselor for pain patients. Glad I wasn't one of them!! Could you imagine being berated by this man on a regular basis???

I saw a woman on his show one time, who had legit pain, and took only her prescribed doses of meds, and he treated her like some junkie off the streets. He sent her immediately from the show to a detox/rehab facility, all the while warning her that she better comply because he was doing her a huge favor! Sickening!!!

Sorry, I'll get off my soapbox now. I just get my knickers in a twist when it comes to pain patient advocacy. (or the lack thereof) Your very accurate and poignant description of "a day in the life...", just brought out the activist side of me, I guess. Thanks from the bottom of my heart, for putting it into words. Maybe someday, the world will listen and understand. It's something I pray for every day.

Hugs and gratitude to you Ron, Mitzi

dilauro
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Mitzi, thank you

for your post. I also agree that too many groups/organizations/etc do not really understand what chronic pain is like. We are all not a bunch of junkies trying to forget the day, instead we are just trying to get through the day the best we can.
I am a fortunate person, I wrote that almost a year ago when I was dealing with the pain that made me a different person.
Different ? Yes, because as much as I wanted to be like everyone else, I couldn't be
Today, I am so much better than back then. Sure, I still have to deal with chronic pain, but it hasnt sapped me like it did before. Will there be a time in the future when this happens again? Could be, maybe, and I think it will be.
Will I know how to handle it better? I dont know. But I will understand what it takes to get through every single day and face the next one

Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Moderator
Dont laugh at me

agriman (not verified)
Title: Member
get back

on the soapbox......i'll listen!.!.!

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