Posts Tagged ‘Medical Specialties’

On Wednesday in Struggling Through Each Day, I talked about the emotional struggles facing me to get through each day. Today it’s about other reasons that make it difficult to get through each day, and that is physical pain.

StruggleAs many of you will know I’ve had some serious health issues over the last ten years. Despite several operations and numerous hospital visits and countless test, I’m still experiencing pain on a regular basis, and it’s often quite severe.

For me, I find my emotional state often ties quite closely to my physical well-being, as days when I’m experiencing sever pain, are more often than not the days that I struggle most emotionally too.

Please don’t think I’m sharing this with you all looking for sympathy, as that is definitely not the case. Just like days when I’m struggling emotionally when I put on my “public face” to try to hide my emotional struggles, I do exactly the same when it comes to “hiding” just how much physical pain I’m in as I’m not the kind of person who likes lots of attention.

People can have emotional struggles for many reasons, some difficult to explain, others with very obvious triggers.

Whatever the reason for your struggle, try not to be annoyed or upset by what others may think of you, as your struggles with emotional and/or physical pain is very real to you, and that is what’s important.

When you think of pain, what do you think of?

Do you think when someone is in pain it is always visible to others?invisible pain

Don’t be fooled by a common misconception that someone’s pain is always visible. In fact I would like to point out that there are many people who go through each and every day in severe pain, but because they don’t show it on their face or don’t vocalise their pain to others, it is invisible to everyone but the sufferer.

Not all scars show.
Not all wounds heal.
Sometimes, you can’t always see the pain someone feels.

 

Therefore, do not judge others or assume you know how they are feeling, just because “they look ok” – looks can often be deceptive!

Revelation 21:4 (Good News Translation)

He will wipe away all tears from their eyes. There will be no more death, no more grief or crying or pain.

Well known words from Revelation, but ones I’ve found myself drawn to several times in the last week or so. I don’t know about you, but I’ve found it quite reassuring knowing that those I love who have passed away recently are now free from the pain they suffered during their latter time here on earth.

don’t get me wrong, I’m still upset by their passing, and have shed countless tears, however knowing they are now pain-free and are at peace, somehow makes it a little easier to cope with.

The loss of a loved one is painful and upsetting, but please remember that whatever difficulties they may have had while they were with us, they have nothing to fear any more as they are at rest now.

Today I want to continue my blog posts about pain by sharing another example of coping with pain…

I recently heard of someone who had had a minor accident, but it had left them in too much pain to allow them to drive to work. Therefore, rather than take the day off work sick, they intended to work from home. However they were informed that as they couldn’t work from home as they would be “doped up on pain killers“.

You might think this is fair enough, however let me ask you this, if the person requesting to work from home had simply requested to do so for some reason other than their pain, would their manager ever have known they would be working from home while “doped up on pain killers”?

What about those who work, who are in pain, and are “doped up on pain killers’, are their managers quick to stop them working just because they’re on pain killers?

You may think anyone who is on pain killers shouldn’t be working as they can’t possibly be operating at their true level, and therefore their work must be suffering. But can we really be that sweeping with this response? I’d suggest not, as everyone is different. Speaking for myself, I know I am on prescription pain killers and therefore would probably be deemed to be “doped up on pain killers” while I’m at work, but I’d suggest that majority of the time, most people around me at work are completely unaware that I’m struggling or that I’m even in any kind of physical pain.

So basically I’m saying that just because one person can’t work while in pain or “doped up on pain killers”, it doesn’t mean everyone is this same.

We all have different pain tolerance levels.

We all cope with pain differently.

Our bodies all cope differently with pain medication.

Just another little reminder for you today not to judge someone’s ability to cope while in pain or on pain killers, because of their own experiences, as we are all different, and we call cope differently with pain medication.

Over the next few days I want to talk about pain, and in doing so share a few examples of people dealing/coping with pain.

A few days ago someone said to me:

She’s 10 years older than me, but she’s not got any problems as she’s able to walk ok, unlike me.

I was annoyed, though I made no comment as I didn’t want to upset or anger the person who said it to me. It’s all back to that “invisible pain” things again isn’t it! After all the person who said this had no idea whether the person they were talking about had any serious or significant illnesses, but simply judges their state of health based on what they could see…and it’s only ever going to be physical ailments that are visible!

I must be honest and say, as one who suffers from severe pain on an almost daily basis, I find it annoying and frustrating how many people assume you are well and healthy just because they can see no obvious physical impairment. If only all physical pain was that easily identified!

I personally don’t like a lot of fuss, and certainly don’t like being the centre of attention, so for me trying on a daily basis not to let other see my physical pain is an almost full-time task.

Today, I just want to remind you again, that just because someone seems well and healthy to look at, doesn’t mean they are, so don’t make rash comments or judgements about others based only on what you can see.

As many of you know, I’ve had to cope with severe pain on a regular basis for a few years now. It doesn’t get any easier to cope with however it has got easier to “hide” it from others.

What do I mean by this? Well, if there’s one thing that I hate, that’s folk fussing over me. Therefore whenever I’m in public, and am in pain, I try my best not to let others know just how much pain I’m in. This has its plus side as it means I don’t end up with folk fussing over me, however there is obviously a down side to this too – Because others don’t know I’m in pain, they expect me just to get on with things in my usual way without any fuss or problem.

This was brought home to me again last week at work – A couple of weeks ago there were a number of us on a training course, which included an exam on the final day. On that day, one of the other people on the course was in obvious pain due to a sore neck, so folk were sympathising with them not only having to be at work, but also having to sit an exam when in so much pain. Then after getting our exam results (which we all passed!) last week, I was with some others who were commenting on how well they felt the person who was in a lot of pain during our exam, had done to pass the exam because of the pain they were in that day. Some of the comments made included, “it must have been so tough for them that day”.

Yes, it must have been very tough for them that day. However consider this, was everyone else feeling fine and in no pain on the day of the exam? There is only one person that day we can all comment on truthfully, and that is ourselves! Before I go any further I want to say that I am not, or have I ever been, looking for sympathy (particularly as I don’t like people fussing over me), but my pain was particularly bad on several days of that course, including the exam day. All I’m trying to say (probably very badly), is just because someone doen’t look in pain, doesn’t mean they are pain-free.

Why am I saying this? Well I just want to remind you all that just because someone looks ok and doesn’t look in physical pain, doesn’t mean they are pain-free.

Sometimes people think they know us, know what we’re thinking, or what’s going on in our personal life, but the honest truth is that unless we have actually told them these things ourselves, they really don’t know.

We can’t tell by looking at someone what’s on their mind, or going on in their personal life, so why do we think we know how someone is feeling, just by looking at them?

So please don’t just and comment on others situations because of what you see, because what you see may just be what that person want you to see. i.e. A front they put on so no-one sees the pain they are having to cope with on a daily basis.

God didn’t promise days without pain, laughter without sorrow, sun without rain, but He did promise strength for the day, comfort for the tears, and light for the way.

Isn’t that wonderful! Every time I hear that statement it brings tears to my eyes – Not because it upsets me, but simply because I find it overwhelming that no matter what difficulties I may be facing, I can be sure that God is with me every step of the way!

The Promise by The Martins reinforces what I’ve said, I hope you enjoy the music and find blessing in the words:

Yesterday in Invisible Pain I spoke about how many people suffer silently from physical pain, every day. Today I want to consider those suffering other pain, emotional pain.

How many times have you heard someone say:

Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting  some kind of battle.

Many times I’ve been felt totally drained emotionally because of all of life’s situations I’ve having to cope with, but when I’m with others I always do my best to hide how I’m really feeling, because the thought of others truly knowing how I feel would mean I’d fall apart publicly and that is one of my worst nightmares!

There are many things that we all try to “hide” from others: our grief over the death of a loved one, health concerns for ourselves or a loved one, depression, financial worries, job security, concern about our children etc

All these are things which often others will know nothing about. i.e. there are no physical signs, however that most certainly doesn’t mean these concerns/issues are any less painful to those experiencing them.

Just as the quote I listed above says, just because someone looks ok from the outside, does not mean they are ok on the inside. Some of us have many battles that we face on a daily basis, but they are ones which those around us know nothing about. So do just as the above quote says:

Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting  some kind of battle.

Today’s been a bit of a rollercoaster for me from good news this morning to the frustrating in the afternoon.

Having been off work sick since the start of this year, I’ve been seeing my GP regularly to get a line to allow me to stay of work. I’ve also attended a number of hospital appointments for a number of tests to try to establish whether my illness needed further hospital treatment. So this morning I was back at my GP to see whether test results were back from the hospital and secondly whether she was happy for me to return to work.

To cut a long story short, no results were back from the hospital however as I was feeling better, my GP was happy for me to return to work on a phased return basis from a week on Monday (14th March). Getting no feedback from the hospital from cardiology is nothing new for us, as my GP has had to “chase things up” with them on countless occasions over the last few years. My GP told me she’d contact the Golden Jubilee Hospital and “chase thing up” again, and would let me know any news.

After my GP appointment I returned home after picking up a few messages, and I was glad I did as about a half hour after I got home my GP phoned me to say she’d been in touch with cardiology and that they were happy that my problems in the last couple of months are nothing sinister or related to my previous problems.

Yay! Not only was I fit enough to return to work soon, but the recent health problems are nothing to worry about. 🙂

So this morning was the high of my rollercoaster, now onto the low of this afternoon…

I’d a follow-up appointment at the hospital where I’d had a number of tests to try to establish the cause of my ongoing pain. But what a waste of time this turned out to be. Last time I saw the doctor there, they told me unless the next test they did showed any problems they wouldn’t see me again…but then after the test my GP was informed they wanted to see me again for further test, so we’d all thought they’d found the potential causes of my ongoing problems…how wrong that was!

I waited, and waited and then half an hour after my alloted appointment time, I was finally called by the doctor. We basically just went over all my history again, he then told me the previous tests hadn’t shown any major issues and that if some of the medication I’m already taking had made no difference, my ongoing pain was not being caused by anything their section could identify! Basically they still thing my ongoing issues are being caused by something relating to my previous cardiological problems…Cardiology say they’re happy all is OK! Meanwhile I’m stuck in the middle with ongoing pain issues.

I hadn’t realised how devastated I was by this news until I left the hospital to drive home and my tears started. I couldn’t even speak to hubby on the phone to let him know how I’d got on I was so upset.

My ongoing pain issues have been going on for a few years now with no-one yet able to identify the cause or find anything that relieves my pain, so I think understandably I feel that another door has been closed. It looks like cardiology is still my only hope to finally get to the bottom of why I’m still getting pain…I feel this could go on for some time yet!

Just to finish off my emotional drive home in the car, a song that has meant a lot to me over the last few years during some of my lowest times, came on my CD in the car…

Casting Crowns singing I’ll Praise You In This Storm