Chronic Pain is Only Half the Suffering
Outside of one’s gait or the micro-expressions on their faces, chronic pain is invisible to all but those who share the condition.
Instead, those who suffer ‘look haggard’ or ‘are lazy’.
Maybe they are just ‘introverts’ who ‘never want to go out’.
Lest we forget, most are also ‘lousy housekeepers’ or, simply, ‘slobs’.
These aren’t the only assumptions made about the chronically suffering but they are the most common and, since these people rarely go out, these observations almost exclusively come from family and friends.
I lived in a duplex unit behind the apartments so filled with Navy men. I shared my own space with another Petty Officer from my class. We weren’t especially fond of one another, but we stayed mostly out of each other’s way.
I spent a great deal of time on the porch, a 6-pack next to me and a book in my hand. If I wasn’t on base or running around town, I was on that porch and happy as could be. I would gaze up at the apartment facing me from the second floor and wonder what she was…
My life began that night as her velvet voice stole into my heart for the first time. I jolted and my head whipped around, trying to locate the source of that beguiling sound. The room was dark and crowded. I could see no faces and her voice trailed off into my memories.
“Who was that?”, I asked.
“Oh, that was just Betty,” answered Sue with a shake of her head, “she’s trouble you don’t want.”
I shrugged, pretended indifference, but I can still hear her voice, still feel the way my body jerked in reaction, 35 years later. You’d think…
Lupus has taken away much that I loved about life. I was once industrious and lived to tinker with machines. I could take what sat in my mind and build it, learning how along the way. I loved the outdoors and the satisfaction of hard work. I was tireless. Now I’m just tired. For all that it has taken, Lupus did open one precious door that I would have never dared to open on my own.
Words are my favorite toys. Nothing is so satisfying as reading beautifully written prose except, perhaps, committing the act myself. I was the guy…
Lupus is as much a daily roll of the dice, as it is an incurable disease.
Each day I wake up to a new reality. I might feel somewhat decent, or I might awaken racked with pain. I might be almost pain free, but feel desperately tired. I might not have slept at all, or I could be waking from a 15-hour-long sleep marathon.
There is no way to predict what tomorrow will bring.
This forces me to try to avoid any planning ahead, as Lupus loves nothing more than to make me a liar, and “pushing through it” is…
Dishwashers can be finicky beasts and repairs can run into the hundreds of dollars. These simple tips will help to keep the repair man away, your wallet closed, and your dishes sparkling clean.
Nobody likes a stinky dishwasher. Lucky for you, keeping it smelling clean is just a few steps away. First, make certain that the drain hose rises above the connection(video) to the garbage disposal (or drainpipe) by at least 6” and is secured firmly. This will prevent water and food waste smells from backing up into your dishwasher.
Next, follow these steps twice a year to remove detergent…
The world of Lupus and autoimmune disease is one of overwhelming fatigue, with a dash of constantly changing pain. At times, merely getting out of bed feels like a victory. Some days, the idea of accomplishing our chores is so remote we would need to borrow the Hubble Telescope just to catch a glimpse of success.
Even on our best days the clutter we have allowed to develop around us can seem impossible to defeat. Laundry piles taller than a ten-year-old, rinsed dishes neatly stacked to shoulder height, and shelves so dusty that you could use them to take notes…
Ever walk into the garage to grab a tool only to find it missing? You know precisely where you left it but… nothing. That is what Lupus feels like.
You are going through your normal day when, suddenly, you realize you are unreasonably tired. Then you realize that the pain you have been ignoring is still there, even though it’s been weeks. No rhyme, no reason, just…BOOM…things are different.
At first, you adjust. More sleep. More caffeine. Maybe you lower your expectations just a touch. No biggie, we all get older, right? Except, you’re only in your 30’s.