I was wondering how everyone copes with family and friends who don't understand chronic pain -- for example, if: (1) you have a "good" pain day, that means you're "healed," (2) if you move a box, that means you're "better," (3) if you say you're frustrated that there's not much that can be done medically because you've exhausted options, then you're "exaggerating and being negative."
I look "ok" since I can walk, make it through the work day (though I don't do much in the evenings), etc., but people can't see the pain down my legs or the sides of my hips, how hard it is to sit for long periods, how bending over is painful, how I grimace when going to the bathroom, or the constant stabbing/scratching pain in my back.
From the outside I might look like me, but I can't do what I used to do. It's not that I don't want to or that I won't "push" myself, but my spine has changed for the rest of my life.
I hate trying to pretend that I'm happy when I'm not.