You often hear of lifestyle changes these days. You have the new Keto lifestyle. The paleo lifestyle. The clean lifestyle. Yet if you’re a chronic pain sufferer you know there is much more to this non-chosen lifestyle. Also known as the “CRAP” lifestyle (Constant Really Awful Pain).
Chronic pain suffers must always look at their entire week to plan anything. Say you’re planning a simple doctor’s appointment. To start off with, we all know that that they’re but a few brave souls left in chronic pain management. You know the few Doctors that the government hasn’t scared to death to do their jobs? Well, they’re all extremely overbooked with chronic pain patients. We must make sure we have no other plans on the day before, nor the day after, because if you live a normal chronic pain person’s life, or let’s say “our normal” and you make any plans for anything the day before or the day after, you will be too worn out to function on Doctor day to do the necessary office visit exams, tests and reasonable understandable explanation of the pain you’ve dealt with that month. Then we have the “day after”, there’s simply no functioning, none at all, just rest and “recovery” from yesterday’s doctor appointment. You check-in, do the 20 minutes of paperwork the same info each and every time unless you’ve had some personal pain change- then it’s 30 minutes of paperwork. We wait 2 hours in the waiting area and in the back waiting to be seen. It’s an hour actually seeing the PA and the doctor discussing the hell you live with daily. Then when your finished with the doc, you spend another 30 or so minutes standing at the front desk, scheduling procedures you need to do and scheduling your next appointment at the pain management center. I know this doesn’t make much sense to the working, go-getter and amazing soccer moms, that seem to be a miraculous and get it all done in one day, but this is a very typical lifestyle for a chronic pain patient.
The cats ran out of cat food today. This is not a normal thing, I do my best to try to keep up with things, but today I was going to have to make a stop at the supermarket. I went in the doors, grabbed a cart to make it easier to walk, because I usually use cane or walker. I went to the right side of the store to grab a baked chicken. I walked straight-four lanes over to grab a box of cat food, all the while knowing I really should be getting two, but I just can’t carry both. This would have to do.
After I set the heavy carton of cat food into the cart, I realized the dogs needed treats. I was already dying in pain in that short amount of time. I was also having a horrible RA flare-up.
Due to my unexpected flight out of my SUV with an exceptionally rough landing on the highway. I have scar tissue in all the pelvis breaks, hips bones and 3 bulging discs in my back, not to mention constant nerve pain. It never stops.. There’s more, but honestly, I will save you the boredom, but you see that I’m in constant pain day and night.
I grabbed the dog treats quickly and headed for the checkout. The entire time I was scanning those few items, I was thinking that this is really sad. I can’t even go to the store and grab a few things anymore! Thank God we got Instacart and Shipt that usually delivers our groceries. It just makes me sad, because it’s right in my face, no denying it. I mean seriously, I’m in so much pain I can’t even walk four lanes in the grocery store. Chronic pain patient’s lives are very different than the norm. I know this is only a small sample of a much larger issue.
There’s a stigma these days that goes along with being a chronic pain patient. Who goes to pick up their prescriptions and are made to feel like a common junkie?? “ We don’t carry narcotics period”, with an upturned nose. Or,” We can’t fill this narcotic. We’re going to have to call your doctor”.
“But then I’ll have to go without medication all week long!” Meanwhile, I’m thinking I’m going to be in a lot of pain and probably very sick as well. But we could ask for a few of any other medication to get by through the weekend but not narcotics. All part of the CRAP lifestyle. Share with us your crap lifestyle.
The gov’t must listen if we come together. And we’ll always have one another to lean on.