Living with chronic pain poses many challenges. It makes life on the homestead a hardship. Even with the increased press and new medications for chronic pain like Fibromyalgia, many still do not believe it is real. One may even face such denial from family members. A person with chronic pain may look normal and it could be hard to tell just how bad the person is feeling.
After ruling out other diseases such as Lupus and various other things, I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia around 12 years ago. I am not sure how accurate the diagnosis is, but I know that I am in pain everyday. I have also had it suggested that I could have MS, but that has not been confirmed. Life with chronic pain is not easy. This is my story.
It has been a tough road. I never feel good. Even my clothes like a heavy coat can feel so heavy and make me feel miserable. Some days the pain is less. I have pain all over my body, get fatigued easily, and have chronic stomach issues. I have a lot of pain if I stand for very long, so I sit every chance I get. I bought a chair/cane that I take everywhere. This is a great help when going places such as the grocery store or the airport. If I worry about waiting in line, I take the chair with me. The chair can be found in the golf section at many sporting good stores. This has been a real godsend. Sitting can be a challenge as well because it seems chairs in most places like churches and such are not that comfortable either.
I really believe the disease has an effect on how others view me. Because most people cannot see how bad I feel, I fear I come across as either shy or anti-social. Neither one is true. I stay home a little more than I would like because of how I feel. However, I do not want this disease to rule my life. I have learned to appreciate little victories concerning this disease.
Exercise has been a major challenge because of feeling so bad, but when I am able to achieve a workout, I consider this a success. I am thankful for the small victory. Sometimes I push myself to go out even when it is much easier to stay home in bed. This too is a small victory. The mental aspect of these small victories makes a major difference in my life. I want to be in control of my chronic pain story.
Now I have chickens to take care of so I have more reasons to push through the pain. It is certainly not a hands off venture raising chickens. I have a small homestead, but it needs care and nothing will happen if I just stay inside in bed all the time. I really have become accustomed to living with this chronic pain. My life can’t stop because of it.
Depression is often listed as something that chronic pain sufferers face, and it makes sense. Feeling bad and not being able to lead a normal life is depressing, but relishing in the small victories can help with that. It also helps to know I am not alone. It is good that chronic pain is getting more press. Families and friends need to try to understand the hardships that come with the chronic pain and associated symptoms. A little understanding can help so much.
I would just like to encourage fellow sufferers to do what you can so it does not take over your life. Some of the best advice from my perspective is good diet and exercise. Even minimal exercise is better than not doing anything. I also use supplements like magnesium, willow bark, and fish oil. Seeking out support groups on the Internet may be beneficial for some as well. I hope all of us out there can find some relief and much understanding. I pray the story of my life with chronic pain provides some encouragement. If nothing else, know you are not alone.