I want to tell you that living with chronic illness my entire life has given me a grand insight into life and suffering. It hasn’t. I am not a guru; I can’t make my pain go away through positive thoughts. I can’t rely on modern medicine to always come through for me. Some medications don’t work for me; some cause more issues than they help. It is all a game of trial and error.
I have yet to manage my pain. It does what it does, and I do my best through a protocol that I have finessed over the years. You can’t manage pain. Have you tried asking your pain if it got the memo on the TPS reports? It just ignores you, or worse yet – you find fish guts on the printer. (*shameless Office Space reference)
I cope with it and the rest of the symptoms that come with my illnesses as best as I can. This isn’t as straightforward as it seems, either. The symptoms and degree of pain can vary from one day to the next, and even with sharp changes within hours. I try not to plan too far out in advance.
Managing my days with illness has become a bit of a dance. It can be a fierce and fiery tango or a bit of a left-right foot shuffle.
I can’t tell you how to manage your pain. Pain is fickle. Pain is subjective. Pain has a life of its own. Unchecked chronic pain can rewrite our nervous system. Pathological changes can increase our pain; it can damage parts of our brain. Cognition can suffer because of pain. Pain can affect mental health in a legitimate and proven way. When our serotonin levels decrease because of the pain, the system that keeps pain in check is weaker, causing depression, anxiety, and increased pain. Chronic pain can cause a decrease in the grey matter of your brain. Pain affects everything in your body and your life.