I took this picture of my daughter because I knew it would come in handy one day and I find it hilarious for many reasons: this picture of my daughter playing makes me think of many of my readers: “Lord help me, I just cannot take the pain.” I received an email from an amazing girl from a foreign country who has chronic pain. She and I have talked many times and my heart is full of light and love for her. Chronic pain is terrible but especially in cultures where it is not recognized as a medical issue. We do not always remember how lucky we all are to live in the country we reside in. I take it for granted on a daily basis. This young lady is one of the strongest people I have yet to help. I am so lucky to have had the opportunity to help this beautiful person and the craziest part is that she was strong enough to take my advice :what many (myself included) at her age are absolutely not close to stop their search for a cure. It took me over ten years until I came to a point of acceptance.
She emailed me yesterday asking for my advice. She is managing chronic pain naturally and for the first time in five years is beginning to feel proud of herself, happy, and is in a good place or at least on her way. She is on the waiting list for Occipital Nerve Stimulation surgery that the NHS put on hold up until yesterday when she reached out to me. She is confused, scared and now unsure if she wants to go through with the surgery which would occur this coming summer. Yes, that seems like a long time away but as I write maybe too often the worry and fear of pain is sometimes worse than the pain itself. She is finally on her way to managing pain naturally, feeling good about herself, and is amazingly using the tools I have shared with all of you. She is getting to a place I wish I had been when I was her age. Her question to me: Do I get the surgery done or continue working on managing pain naturally and continue to feel happy despite pain? If you know me or have read my blog, you probably know exactly what my answer is: DO NOT GET THE SURGERY! I do not believe she wants to get the surgery but is afraid the people who love her will think she is crazy if she does not take this opportunity. Most of you know how I feel about the fear or worry regarding what others think, whether or not they are your closest loved ones. You must do what you feel is right and follow your intuition. Your family members do not know what chronic pain feels like, how could they? Never listen to the advice of people who do not have to live with the results.
With that said, I understand her predicament and empathize with her to a great deal. From my own experience, each surgery that was “the cure” not only did not work but made the pain worse, and my depression higher. I had two surgeries performed on my face where nerve endings were cut off and that was the straw that broke my camels back and the beginning of my downward spiral. This young lady is already at a point with chronic pain that most adults do not reach. I would love to be able to go back in time and have her strength and wisdom. I would not have wasted ten years getting surgeries, and searching for a cure. My advice may sound harsh but this is how strongly I feel about her question: I am one hundred percent sure that you should not get any surgery to “cure” your chronic pain. You are already getting to an amazing point and this may very well destroy all the progress you have made. Do not stop now. Pull the band aid and show yourself you can and are so much stronger than you ever thought. I know what your intuition has already given you the same answer as I have.
We are all in different phases in our journey with chronic pain and we all are going to make our own choices, you know I never judge any of you. I get chronic pain, I have chronic pain, I lost so much of my life due to chronic pain and I am now managing it naturally and I do not allow pain to control my happiness. I am very proud and honored to be a part of all of your lives and journeys. I will support any decision any of you make on how you choose to manage pain (well not everything, but I will not judge you.) I am so proud of the young girl who has inspired me more than she knows.
This post I dedicated to Sian
Listen to your inner wisdom