Correlation: Chronic Pain and Suffering

When a patient is suffering from a condition that cannot be cured or causes long term pain/damage we often refer to that patient as a chronic pain sufferer. I rarely use this label for myself, as it has such a negative connotation; the term chronic pain sufferer makes me imagine terminally ill individuals or individuals fighting a horrible ailment like cancer.

Irony has always been apart of my life: working in a town I always believe I’d never work in, teaching sped. kids with anxiety when I was a kid with anxiety, etc. For some reason, this level of irony always catches me off guard because I never expect it. It’s almost ironic in and of itself that I always find myself stuck in unexpected ironic situations.

Therefore, when I realized the next treatment plan that I’ll be beginning is a drug used for cancer patients, I once again found myself in an ironic situation: I’ve always tried to avoid terms like “chronically ill,” because I felt guilty about labeling my pain as such when I know there’s others dealing with far worse. Yet, it is kind of “fitting” that this is where I’ve ended up, being it given that I now have to use cancer treatment medication to suppress my pain and suffering.

Pain and Suffering

Pain and Suffering: Two terms used rather frequently together. As noted above, patients can be called chronic pain sufferers or one can be dealing with chronic pain and suffering.

I don’t know about you, but when I first heard these two terms together, I pictured someone suffering from chronic pain, as if there bodies were rejecting them. Yet, what I never stopped to consider is the pain caused by the chronic condition. And I don’t mean stomachaches or migraines; I mean the immense toll that these conditions take on us socially and emotionally.

I’m not sure that anyone will ever fully understand how I’ve suffered emotionally from my chronic pain. The loss of hope, the loss of trust in medical professionals, and the loss of self are just the first three that come to mind. It’s taken me almost my entire life to overcome these losses and take back parts of myself that my chronic suffering has taken from me. Every time I face a new defeat, a part of my strength emotionally has also been taken. When I am able to build myself back up and find new light, I still can never fully gain all that has been taken.

One thing that I want to take back is control. I want to make choices based on my needs/preferences instead of my chronic pain dictating. One way I am doing so is by trying this new medication. If it works, I’ll be able to take back and build up more of my strength; if it does not work, then I may fall deeper in to the darkness. Only time will tell but I do know I have to do something. Because as hard as it is to find the courage to try another medicine and treatment plan, it is even harder to live with this pain and suffering.

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