“Pain Is Not A Terminal Illness”

“Pain is not a terminal illness.”

How many times have we faced this attitude?
“It’s ONLY pain!”
“It can’t be *THAT* bad!”
“You just have to be more positive!”
“Stop being melodramatic.”
“You are just exaggerating your Pain.”

Over the last three months alone, I have experienced those and variations of those many times.  It pervades every sector of both our medical and psychological professions.  They simply have little or no understanding of pain!  None.  Because we, as human beings, tend to evaluate things based upon our own experiences, they equate what we tell them with that time they sprained an ankle or hit their thumb with a hammer.  They simply cannot comprehend that *those* things, while painful, don’t hold a candle to *real* pain.

Everyone has pain.  It is an integral part of life.  From the moment we are born, until we take our last breath, pain is our constant companion.  For many, it only makes an occasional visit, stays a few days or weeks, then moves on.  For some, though, it moves in and never leaves.  Like a terrible invader, it slowly destroys the enjoyment and wonder of the world around us, leaving nothing but broken hearts and souls in its wake.

I want to be clear here. I do NOT denigrate or discount Anyone’s pain.  Pain is pain.  But some of us live in such levels of agony that it is like we are on a whole different playing field.  Different stadium, different set of rules. Harder, harsher, and less yielding than the field most others must play on.  It is like we are in the Major Leagues of Pain, and are subject to the terrible rules of that position.

Most people can relate to a toothache or a sprained ankle/wrist. Those are painful.  For most people, on a scale from one to ten, they would rate it an 8 or higher.  For a Pro Pain Sufferer? It’s a FOUR. Maybe. On a BAD day.  Kidney stone? 7. Broken bones? 8 or 9.  Unfortunately those of us that have experienced “Real Pain” have a difficult time conveying to those that have never done so just how *HARD* the pain is!  It is like trying to describe the color green to someone without sight.  There just aren’t the points of reference to do so.

That works the other way around as well.  Because they haven’t any *idea* of how badly we are broken inside, because we strive to be as ‘normal’-looking as possible, they deduce that we *must* be lying.  Or at the very least exaggerating.  If we entered an ER or Doctor’s office with broken bones sticking out of our skin (a solid 8) they would rush in trying to comfort us and treat our pain.  We who are broken don’t get *THAT* kind of experience.  Instead we get the sideways glances, the whispers, the accusations of being a junkie or addict just seeking narcotics. And we are left in our agony for HOURS, until we are grudgingly given a mere pittance of the appropriate and medically necessary medicine we so sorely need!

Over time, the Pro Pain Survivor learns that Emergency Rooms and new doctors are nothing more than an exercise in futility. More pain. More accusations. More public shaming and ridicule.  All because they hurt TOO badly. They are an outlier. An enigma. Doctors cannot find the reasons behind such agony, so they figure there must NOT be one. *Facepalm*

Even if we *do* find a doctor willing to treat us, we are then extorted into signing contracts which completely favor the doctor because the alternative is no treatment at all. So we sign, and hope to hell that we don’t accidentally break some minor clause or tittle in said contract and end up back in the darkness, with only the flies to hear us scream.  We “Broken” live in the fear that the many drug tests we are required to take will come up positive for something we aren’t even taking, or negative for something we are, because that means that not only will we lose our doctor, we also will be black-balled from any further pain treatment.

The situation in the USA right now for people in pain is atrocious. Pitiful. Deadly.
How long can a person endure mind-numbing, personality-altering agony before they snap and harm themselves just to make the pain stop? How long could YOU suffer?  How many days… and nights could YOU hold out against unending agony? I pray you NEVER have to find out.  Truly.

In the past three months I found that I have a breaking point; a point where all of my hopes, dreams, plans, loves, emotions and moral coding fall away and I am left with the unalterable conclusion that the pain is indeed, “A terminal illness”.  A point beyond which I *will* lose positive control of myself and end my own pain.  A point beyond which I will do ANYTHING to stop this rending agony. Including taking my own life.

This pain WILL kill me.
I have *NO* doubt.
Just one more in a legion of the damned pain sufferers in our cities and states.
And *THAT* is abominable!

“Pain is not a terminal Illness.”
I beg to differ.


~ by daveprime on December 8, 2012.

2 Responses to ““Pain Is Not A Terminal Illness””

  1. I must comment here – not to condemn, judge, or criticize, but to educate just a bit. You are correct when you say that for most people, a kidney stone would rate a 7 on the pain scale. Kidney stone pain is most often compared to active labor pain. For most who suffer with “A” kidney stone in their lifetime, that is the case. However, in my case and many others who suffer with my disease, (Medullary Sponge Kidney or MSK), who have literally THOUSANDS of kidney stones in each kidney every second of the day and will for the rest of our lives, a 7 on the scale doesn’t begin to touch the level of pain we deal with every day.

    The most pathetic part of all of it is that we are “lumped in” with those occasional kidney stone patients and treated as such, instead of our disease being taken for what it is – an extremely painful, extremely difficult, debilitating disease to live with. Most of us struggle to even get out of bed each day. If we are able to, it’s for limited amounts of time. We too are treated like drug seekers, like our pain isn’t there; it’s all in our heads. We are told repeatedly, “The kidneys don’t have nerves in them, so it isn’t your kidneys causing you pain.” We are told that it MUST be something else, so we are subjected to a barrage of tests for everything under the sun, and when the results come back that everything else is just fine, the doctors are left shaking their heads instead of even attempting to think that we may be right about where our pain is coming from. It’s beyond maddening.

    I live every single day of my life now feeling like my ribs are shattered in a million little pieces. It hurts to move; hurts to breathe. With every movement and breath, the insides of my kidneys are being shredded, and my kidney function is starting to deteriorate because of it. A 7 on the pain scale IS a “good” day for me. And yet, I continue on each day without any pain medication at all. I honestly don’t know how, and it certainly isn’t by choice; I guess there’s something to be said for the survival mechanism. I just wanted to make your readers aware that sometimes a simple kidney stone is far from simple.

    • Mary, I didn’t mean to say that kidney stone pain is not serious and debilitating. I have had one. At the time, I thought I was Dying. (A solid 9+. It had me screaming in the ER. I understand what you are saying, and you have my sincerest apologies for any misunderstanding. I know how badly that kind of pain can be, and living with it every day must be maddening! *hugs*

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