One of the most difficult parts of living with chronic pain is that it is often times invisible. Following my bike accident that resulted in brain surgery and scars basically everywhere I got flowers each day if not every hour. The pain was clearly visible. I had half a shaved head, my face had blown up into a balloon and I was very lucky to be alive. Once my hair grew back and the scars slowly went away the flowers stopped coming: hence the title of my blog. I never thought in a million years once I learned I had chronic pain that I would want that shaved head back and every scar visible. I hated looking healthy on the outside when I was in so much physical pain. As anyone with chronic pain knows that physical pain slowly but surely turns into emotional pain. I still am not sure what is worse. I still have both but just know how to cope and manage better.
I am receiving emails from new readers that do not know the entire story of my journey with chronic pain. Yes, chronic pain probably started when I fell off my bike at the age of thirteen but for years I was so happy to have survived that I did not really think much of the pain. Over the years the pain got worse and worse until it took over my entire life. I rarely, if ever write where my pain is located but it is in my head, face and upper back and yes it can suck! However, I have learned to never talk about pain (one of my most helpful strategies in managing pain without treatment or medication.) However, just because I do not talk about pain does not mean it is not there. The more we talk about things the more we focus on them and the last thing I want to do is focus on my pain! I have had chronic pain since my late teens and I am now thirty two years of age: married with one baby girl and working on number two or three (twins 🙂 ) You never know, I am taking the fertility route! Is being a mother with chronic pain easy? Nope but being a mother has always been my dream and love being a mother more than anything! Being a social worker with chronic pain was not easy either but both are amazing distractions from the pain. Motherhood is just a lot more rewarding and mostly a much healthier, happier distraction.
Yes, I have had tried everything in the book to “cure” my chronic pain. Multiple surgeries, tons of medications, chiropractors, acupuncture, electo acupuncture, hypnotism, and so many more things that I could truly write for a solid day and would not be able to include everything I have tried. I tried enough to have to declare medical bancrupcy at one point. As I have written before, the day I stopped searching for a cure is the day I truly began to live. If you know anyone with chronic pain or any invisible illness for that matter please share my blog. I never want anyone to feel as alone as I felt for most of my life due to chronic pain. This picture was taken last weekend at my two year olds first play! Do you think anyone in the seats around us thought I had chronic pain: of course not. I look fine! I was never okay with that until I accepted chronic pain and learned how to manage it. Now, I would rather people not know because then I would be asked questions and all I would do is focus on my pain all day. I want to look and act the way I want to feel. Spread hope and awareness regarding chronic pain. Just because you cannot see something does not mean it is not there.