Living with chronic pain can be a literal pain in the ass. And if you are like me, you are constantly met with older individuals that claim, “You don’t know what back pain is, wait till you get to be my age.”
Listen, this is not a competition or pity party. I am in pain literally every damn day and I don’t need your damn comments. I don’t need to justify or prove to anyone what I am going through. The only time I tell anyone my back hurts is when it’s crippling and I’m on my last leg. I’ll even say “my back hurts.” To get out of things; not because I don’t want to do it, but because I physically CAN NOT.
But yes there is a stigma behind being young and in pain. We only complain because we don’t want to do something, or were bored seeking attention.
When you live with an invisible chronic pain or illness, the last thing you want is people to feel sorry for you or think that you’re untrustworthy or a slacker. I hate when my back debilitates me so much that even the act of sitting down to enter codes is unbearable. It’s my job to sit and be on a computer. I’m not throwing bales of hay on my back, and then complaining about back pain. That is understandable. But just because I’m not working a labor intensive job, doesn’t make my back pain any less real or crippling.
Even though my back pain was brought on suddenly, it was because of years of overworking it. It’s also because I may have fucked it up on a failed attempt at the long jump, and even because I have a slight case of scoliosis. So it has never been pin-pointedly confirmed WHY I have back pain. But I do. And it fucking sucks.
On extremely bad days, the only comfort I get is laying in a fetal position, praying someone will rip my spine out of my back just so I don’t have to feel the pain anymore. I cry because it is so unbearably painful, and I cry harder because there is nothing that I can do. It’s there and it will always be there. I think to myself, “I don’t even remember what it feels like to not have any kind of pain. What is that even like? To not have to squirm around to try and discreetly stretch out the knots in your back. To sit through an entire movie.”
On good days, I get a false sense of hope that maybe my back is getting better, maybe I don’t need to go to the chiropractor anymore. Maybe I don’t need to take an ungodly amount of pain killers just to function.
Chiropractors, massage therapy, exercise, acupressure, electro therapy…all of it really does help me. It helps me feel like I am making progress and reduces the amount of times I have muscle spasms and the hours in which I am paralyzed with pain. But it will always be there. I have to take each day at a time. I want everyone to be aware that ANYONE can be suffering with some kind of pain. Young, old, male, female… And only we understand how it feels. I just want people to understand that everyone is dealing with something. I want people to please be considerate.