“Not all wounds gush blood.”
I think back to all the times I have been hurt and the wounds were visible. Obviously, going through brain surgery definitely showed scars/bruises/and a deformation of my body for about a year. I had long brown hair as I do now and half of it was shaved off. At the time, being in my young teens I thought this was the worst thing ever. Catheter ok, feeding tube…sure, broken bones…cool but MY HAIR!!!! When I fell off of my bike I landed on my right side: my right side of my head hit the stone wall as did the rest of my body. After they removed the blood from my brain on the right side, the left side of my face blew up like a huge balloon. The three vivid memories of that day are walking home from my fall (stubborn and not so bright at times) being put in an ambulance going from one hospital to a different one with a better trauma unit, and saying goodbye to my dad as they began cutting my clothes off. I was in the ICU for quite a bit and talk about flowers, gifts, and cards. Everyone came to see me and I vaguely remember their visits but I do remember a ton of balloons and flowers and an outpouring of love and affection. That lasted about six months, up until I was “fine” and my hair was slowly growing back and I was ready to start going to school again. The only persons left to see my scars were doctors and hairdressers. I had no idea then that for the next decade I would pray to get those scars visible again: at times I wished I could fall again just so people could see the blood, cuts, breaks, and bruises. My scars became invisible and slowly I did as well.
Later in life I broke my ankle twice: flowers, cards, balloons. I had my tonsils out as an adult: flowers, cards, balloons. I had a DNC: flowers, cards, balloons. I also had chronic pain throughout these injuries people could see but as the title of my blog/book (one day) says: No One Gets Flowers For Chronic Pain. I think most of us have lost someone we love in our lifetime. The most important person I lost in my thirty-four years here on Earth was my Grandmother, La La. A day does not go by that I do not think about her or talk to her. She was loved by many people especially her immediate family and sisters/brothers. My Aunt Pat moved from Florida into our home for months to take care of her. I saw a love I had never truly seen between two people: sister love. I never really knew the deep, intense love they had for one another and there is no way in hell Kayci will be an only child. My Aunt taught me a lot about love, family, and support. I have a point, promise. After La La passed, the funeral planning took place and everyone was here with tears of sadness and joy at the many amazing memories we all shared with our now angel, La La. A week or month goes by and life goes on. It is not that people forget the loss, it is just that the people still in this world must keep going. The flowers, cards, and words of sympathy stop but the pain the people who loved a person he or she lost does not. That is how it is with chronic pain. I know many of you wish so much people could see your pain (physical and/or emotional) as brain surgery, ankle surgery etc were far easier to bear than chronic pain but they cannot and although that sucks at times it is something we must come to peace with.
Not everyone is going to believe you. I’m sorry but I have to be honest. However, you will find that the people who do believe you and don’t think: “its all in your head” are the people who will be in your life forever. Chronic pain is getting noticed and I do believe we are moving in the right direction. Chronic pain was not even a term used when I was searching for a cure to my pain. I did not have the internet to find support and truly was alone as I knew not one person with an invisible illness until I went to the Mayo Clinic Pain Rehab Center.
People love you and sometimes it is very hard for your loved ones to give you the support and ‘flowers’ you need because they truly do not understand your pain and how could they? Focus on yourself and know that you do have support from people with chronic pain. You are always free to email me, I think the people who have emailed me know I write back within a day and continue to make contact. I do this because there are some things in life you just have to do and for me that is helping people with chronic pain. When I write ‘have to’ I mean that in a positive way. I want to, I believe it is my calling, and writing is my passion. As Abraham Hicks says: “People will love you, people will hate you. And none of it will have anything to do with you.”