Telling It Like It Is: Pain Awareness and Rheumatoid Arthritis

September's National Pain Awareness Month in the US and I got on the barricades on MyRACentral...

"'Are you in pain right now?'
'Yes. I am always in pain.'

I was talking to someone about RA and when she asked me this question, I felt a strange inner shift. It took me a while - several hours, in fact - to realize what had happened. It had been relief. The relief of being honest about my pain. And it made me think."

The rest of the post is here.


Lucia said…
I had chronic pain for many years, and until it was gone I had no idea how much of my life it had preempted. I'm lucky: my disease isn't progressive, and it doesn't threaten my life or mobility, nor does it cause other diseases. When I saw a doctor for it around three years ago I was asked how much pain I was in on the standard 1-10 scale, and I think I said 3. As soon as it was gone I realized that it had been at least 5. I had no idea how much energy I was spending just blocking it. No wonder I was tired all the time. (I used to wake up nearly always before the alarm went off; those days are gone, which is both good and bad, because if I forget to set the alarm I may be catapulted out of bed by a call from Taz's van driver, telling me I have three minutes to get him up and changed and outside.)

My pain was never bad enough to require big-time drugs, although if I had to take them for something else, how I did relish them. But it was not to be sneezed at, either. I'd like to see some of these holier-than-thou legislators and medical professionals live in constant pain for a week or so. That might give them a little sympathy.
Diana Troldahl said…
Thank you for another wonderful, thought-provoking article.
I have forwarded it to many.