“When you find someone who will stick by you through the symptoms, the moodiness, the fatigue…….thank them! Do it often. It is hard to find someone who will love you and not judge you for what you are going through. It is not easy to watch the one you love in pain. It is easier to walk away. So, when they stick by you appreciate them the best you can.”
I write a lot about the losses one faced when given a life with chronic pain: family, friends, jobs, hobbies etc. I think today all of us should tell the person who does stick by you and always has thank you. I am quickly thinking of some of my readers who I speak to daily or weekly and no matter what you have lost I know you have siblings, a twin, a mother, a friend that does stick by you and believes you. The person who stuck by my from my accident on was my dad. It scares me to think that during those awful ten plus years I did not thank him enough. His life was put on hold many times to take me to specialists, pay for procedures, and be with me constantly on my search for a cure. I remember one time he found a doctor in the city who practiced hypnosis, meditation, and therapy for those with invisible illness’s. I despised this woman right from the get go. This was pretty close to the point of me packing up and driving to Colorado and I had seen over one hundred different doctors, surgeons, and therapists. I had no more patience or faith left that anything would work. After the appointment, my dad and I got in a huge fight as we drove back to New Jersey. He wanted me to give this lady another shot and I was adamant that I would never go back to that “crazy woman” again. Fighting with my dad was and still is the worst. I hated the numerous times he was angry with me: I still do. My dad was and still is one of the biggest pieces of my heart and the last person I ever want to fail or argue with. Looking back now, he was as frustrated as I was. I do not think he was genuinely angry with me because I refused to go back to this doctor in the city, I think he was just damn frustrated that we still after so many years had yet to find any help or relief for my chronic pain. He loved me more than anything and who would want to see their child suffer the way I suffered? Now that I am a mother I cannot imagine what he had to be feeling as he watched me slowly un-ravel. Thinking of watching my daughter go through anything remotely close literally brings tears to my eyes. Of course, I would do anything in the world to help her and stand by her no matter what but emotionally it would be very difficult. Caregiver stress is extremely difficult. I know what being a person with chronic pain feels like. As a medical social worker I know how difficult it is to see people lose their abilities both physically and mentally and the best thing I ever did as a social worker was counseling. But, I have never been a caregiver to a person with chronic pain: so I cannot truly understand the emotions and hell those whom are caregivers go through. I know if you are going through the worst stages of your journey with chronic pain it feels impossible to thank others because you are in such pain and hell and believe that no one understands you but take a moment today to thank someone who has stood by you through the ups and downs of chronic pain. I am quite sure I did not thank my dad enough all those years because I hated the life chronic pain dealt me. So, just in case: Thank you dad. I love you so much and would absolutely not be in a good place with chronic pain had it not been for you.
Maybe today you can write a genuine thank you note to your greatest supporter if saying it out loud feels too difficult. There are many ways to thank someone and it may make you feel a tad better as well. I truly want to thank all the people who follow my blog and are actually giving what I say a chance. I am proud of all of you no matter where you are in your journey with chronic pain. I mean that. Take five minutes today and thank someone you love that loves you right back despite your diagnosis.