This article will be the first part of a series based on an understanding of chronic pain, reasons for chronic pain that are commonly overlooked, remedies, tips, mental and emotional support, and more.

Hopefully, this will give those who do not suffer from chronic pain an idea of what it is like, and with even more hope, I hope this will provide those who suffer from chronic pain a wealth of knowledge or at least the firm understanding they are not suffering alone.

For all simplistic reasons, chronic pain is defined as any pain that lasts more than three months. Now, if you’re looking for more stats like that, this is pretty much where that ends. I am not talking about the fact that I smashed my big toe, and the nail fell off, and three and a half months later, it is still healing. I am talking about long-term chronic pain. Life interrupting chronic pain. The kind of chronic pain that keeps you up at night, praying for relief so that you can fall asleep for a few moments.

Around 30% of adults live with long-term chronic pain of some sort; this statistic alone is only part of the reason I have started this series. Another part revolves around the misunderstanding of chronic pain, even in the health care practice. Keep in mind, I am not generalizing all doctors in my story, just as I am not generalizing all chronic pain sufferers. Instead, I am stating my perception and my experience.

A More Personal Introduction To My Chronic Pain

I have Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, also referred to as EDS, a rare disorder that affects the body’s connective tissue. While it affects things like skin, blood vessels, and joints, I will primarily be referring to the joint, tendon, and ligament pain.

As you can imagine, there are varying degrees of EDS, just as there are many other health conditions. However, a little bit of my medical background may help you understand my position, so I will keep it short and sweet to try not to bore the daylights out of you.

Before I was 24 years old, I had already had four different abdominal hernias repaired and countless joint dislocations, tears, and sprains. My first hip surgery was at 29. I say first because it was only three years ago, and evidently, I am due for another. This list does not include my knees, right ankle, neck, and shoulder that are damaged, but I decided not to go further with surgery because even though they hurt, they work. Turning the ripe old age of 32 years old next month, I have never been a fan of going under the knife anyway. I have also heard more horror stories of surgeries than success stories, and I would like to be able to play just a little longer with my children before I play the odds, even if that means dealing with slightly more pain while I do.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not against surgery, and if they told me tomorrow, I could have surgery, and it may make the pain go away completely; I would be at the doctor’s office waiting right now. However, the sad but true fact about my disorder is that while I can play Raggedy Ann and affix myself together as I fall apart, no one surgery will change the fact; I will inevitably need more. So, for now, I just appreciate the parts of me that do work when I ask them to and hold myself together with wraps and braces until I feel the need to go further.

An Insider Look

If you are here because you suffer from chronic pain, Part 1 will probably not provide you anything you do not know, except for hopefully a deep understanding that you are not alone. If you are here because a loved one suffers from chronic pain, please know, that while everyone is different, it is far more than just an everyday ache or pain. Whether widespread or isolated to a specific part of the body, chronic pain is an assault on every aspect of your being, mentally, physically, and even spiritually.

Some days you wake up and have a good day, and some days you couldn’t sleep because the pain was too bad, and you have to figure out how you will survive the day, just to lay there and do it all over again. Some have flares, and some are in a constant state of pain. I am lucky enough that between pain control practices and whether I am kind to myself, I have good and bad days. Good days are not pain-free by any means but much more manageable. On the good days, I usually take advantage and produce a bad day from the fruits of my labor, but if I choose to take my kids to the park, I am willing to take that hit.

Chronic Pain Runs Deep

It is cruel, in a very real sense. It is the worst kind of betrayal you can imagine. It is not a best friend lying to you or even a lover saying they don’t love you anymore. It’s the only body you will ever have betraying you. The one thing you have that will be with you from the first breath to the last, turning into something you wish every day you could live without.

Whether it eases in or hits all at once, there is always a moment you remember that made you realize things would never be the same. Perhaps an injury or accident for some, while just the realization it would never get better for others.

Mine was my diagnosis. For as long as I could remember, I had chronic pain and even going to doctors since 15 with back pain and joint aches, which inevitably led to X-rays, a brace, and a pat on the back. Everything from scoliosis to fibromyalgia was thrown on the table, but it wasn’t until after my hip surgery that a doctor took the time to look at my history. Miscarriages, child loss, early labors, hernias, countless sprains, ligament tears, hypermobility, hyperactive reflexes, and so much more, all riddled a chart of a woman who hadn’t even made it to middle age yet. EDS checked off all the boxes, and after some test, I was no longer a medical mystery, but I also no longer had hope of a miracle cure or a pill that would fix me.

It took a total of 2 minutes for the doctor to explain that not only would I not get better, but I would also continue to get worse. But, unbelievably, that wasn’t even the worst part. The words “hereditary” wrang through my mind like an emergency siren. Not only did my body betray me, but it may also betray my kids, possibly even their kids after that.

If asked, I could never say I would not have brought my children into this world knowing what I know now. However, I can say the thought of a little girl is more like a dream now. I watch my kids, and with every growing pain or flexible joint, the idea rings through the back of my mind that they may have to suffer like I have, not only that, but if they do, it is my fault.

Life As We Know It

Eventually, your outlook changes, perhaps it also has to do with age, but I went from a big house on a large farm to a small house with some land. Just enough land to ensure I have fresh eggs in the morning and enough land to start a rescue for the old or special needs animals that need a forever foster to spoil them for the rest of their days.

Yes, even your dreams change. I went from helping my cows give birth to resting on a porch swing surrounded by old dogs sunbathing to ease our aching joints. An enormous farmhouse and many barns turned into a house big enough to comfortably provide a room for each of my children to always call home, but small enough, the maid will only have to come once a week.

Spiritually, I even changed. I have always believed in a higher power. I felt at times someone was watching over me. I look at my children and know something much more powerful than myself made such tremendous and unique little beings. I also wonder how an all-knowing and loving God who “made me in his image” could give me a life I would have to suffer through. Without going down a crazy rabbit hole filled with judgment and taking the chance I will offend someone, I will simply leave it at this… “He” has already given me more than I can handle. My footprints are the only ones in the sand, and several times you couldn’t even see them because I was on my knees.

Summary of Part 1

I do not want pity, nor am I writing for attention; in fact, I usually hide these parts of me as much as possible, even to those I love most. But for those suffering, I want you to know you are not alone, and for those who have a loved one suffering, I just want to do them justice. Show you some of the things they hide about themself, mainly so you will see how strong they are for hiding it.

Different parts of “The Chronicles of Chronic Pain” will be based around different areas. I plan to produce an article weekly or bi-weekly that will cover different areas like; Speaking to your doctor, dealing with the depression and anxiety that comes along with chronic pain, tips, and tricks, even things like natural sleep remedies and self-care tips that will hopefully help.

I welcome you to be a part of my journey and would love to be a part of yours! Please always feel free to comment or message me about anything! Things I forget, something you didn’t like, things you would like to see covered, and anything you would like me to know. This is for all of us to hopefully help each other, but also to reach out to those who are afraid to reach out and let everyone know it may feel like it, but you are never alone!

The Un-Traditional Mother


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