Dealing with chronic pain
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Chronic pain ... let it or beat it

anneccaannecca Member Posts: 1 Listener
I live my life in constant pain and have done for years. Due to an incident when I was teaching where a student let down my computer chair and trapped my leg resulting in a damaged nerve, another incident in a pub restaurant toilet where someone removed two screws from the toilet pan resulting in me falling off it and damaging my knee, and being born with a form of spina bifida, I sort of have a problem with pain.  Or it should be a problem.  There are things about which I have to say: I can't ... I can't walk more than a few steps, I can't bend very well, and I can't take pain relief.  Where I live requires me to have to drive to go to the places I want to go and the pain killers prescribed would make me fall foul of the drink and drugs law should I have an accident and have to be tested.  I don't risk it.  Plus I have bipolar disorder which can heighten the pain levels when the dark times loom.

Now I concentrate on what I want to do, and what I’m good at, and rather thinking about how the pain could stop me I think about ways of achieving what I want to do. I shall be 70 at the end of this year and officially I retired from teaching nine years ago.  After that I took a job as a taxi driver - my boss was extremely supportive - until a bad crash ended it.  Last year I founded my own company, something I've always wanted to do.  It's slow going getting it moving, but it's happening.  I bought a remote folding mobility scooter that has given me mobility freedom; it was invaluable on my trip to Canada.  I joined a couple of Guilds specialising in my particular passion, knitting and crochet.  I started weaving, something I've always been fascinated by.

There's something else I've done ... I've stopped saying 'I must' and started saying 'Perhaps'.  If the washing up needs doing it can wait until I feel like doing it.  If my house isn't pristine but an untidy mess, I've stopped worrying about it - if people don't like it they don't have to come.  I've stopped being scared of admitting that I'm hurting, I've stopped saying I'm fine when I'm not.  I've started standing up to the world and not letting it browbeat me into being the weak, vulnerable victim it wants me to be.  And I've employed a cleaner!  She is a real godsend.

Through all this there has been one resounding success that I’ve found:  Don’t be afraid to say to others “I can’t ... but is there another way you could help me so that I can?”

Don’t whinge, ask. People really are good. 

Replies

  • Pippa_ScopePippa_Scope Member Posts: 5,856 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @annecca, and a warm welcome to the community!

    Thank you so much for sharing your experiences with us- a really good post which I'm sure many of our community members will be able to relate to and empathise with!
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