When your diagnosed with Chronic Pain, your not handed a manual to tell you how to cope with your “new” life, your not given any advice on how to cope with life, your just given the diagnosis and sent on your merry way. You work it out, you have to. You make your own story and your own path.
So what happens when you have an event, be it a birthday, wedding, social event and your pain kicks in? What can you do? You either get on with it as planned or you give in. Plain and simple that’s your choices.
I never used to let pain get in the way of my personal life, no matter what the occasion, wherever I used to be going or whatever I was going to be doing that day or night, I went, and that was that. I paid for it for days and sometimes weeks afterwards, but at that time I didn’t mind so much, I was living my life like I should be.
But, as my pain is getting worse, I’m finding myself more and more unable to attend events. This is highly frustrating. Can you imagine how mortifying it feels to accept an invite to a wedding, look forward to it for weeks, then like a kick in the guts have that moment taken away from you literally in a painful instant. How must that look to the bride and groom? They went to all the effort to invite you, pay for your place/food and all because your in pain you can’t attend. Mortified doesn’t even come close.
I’m not a flake, I never give up, but there’s times when you have to say enough is enough. Even if I attended, in pain, how could I possibly enjoy myself, be myself, and be sociable, when all I want to do is scream as loud as possible and cry.
Just lately, I find myself apologising constantly, all the time, nearly every second word is “sorry”. And responses are always “Kat, don’t be sorry, I understand”. But that frustrates me even more, why should you have to understand, I shouldnt be saying sorry, i should just be attending and that’s the end of it. Then guilt. Then anger. Then tears. Then I hide myself away, mentally ticking a checklist in my head “another occasion I’ve missed”, wondering how many more ill tick off by the end of the year.
There’s always going to be birthdays, weddings, christenings, hen parties, they aren’t just going to stop for Katrina (well they might if people get fed up asking me to come and I don’t appear! – please don’t stop!!), so maybe it’s the pain I have to get used to? Maybe I just go and that’s it, ignore the pain and get on with it, after all why should I miss out, why should I be left out of everything because of this bloody back pain? Why does the pain dictate my life, why am I letting it.
That’s all MUCH easier said than done. I can’t control the pain, when it comes and goes and even the level of pain, but I can control my mind, and that’s the only part of me left that I can control. Maybe it’s mind over matter?
I’m down but Im not out.