Chronic Pain Confessions

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Heart-on-sleeve post here, guys. And I will warn you, I don’t normally put my heart on my sleeve. But it’s been really hard lately, after I realized it’s been over a year now trying everything we can and going to so many doctors, and finding nothing, and five years living like this, in constant chronic pain. (Not a fun realization.) Inspired by this post, and a couple of very hard weeks. . . a few of my own chronic pain confessions, after living with chronic daily headaches for 5+ years:

I can’t remember what it’s like to not have a headache. And that scares me.

I’m tired of hoping, because for the last year we’ve been finding one thing after another that just ‘fits’–things that would help–things that sounded just like me– and one after another, they failed. I’m tired of hoping; it hurts too much.

I just want to know what’s wrong with me. For the last half a year I’ve been praying that God would just tell me–I honestly don’t care what it is anymore, I just want to know. If it’s something simple or something hard, all I know is it won’t be as hard just knowing for a fact what is causing this.

Speaking of which, doctor’s visits are incredibly frustrating. Blood test after blood test, diet after diet, the answer I get is ‘nothing seems to be wrong-you should be healthy’?

I am so worn out at the end of the day from the ceaseless pain that I sleep like I’m dead. As soon the book closes and the light’s turned off, I’m dead until my alarm turns on in the morning. This, at least, is a saving grace. I don’t know if I could cope if my headache woke me up at night.

And speaking of sleep, I love sleep. Sleep is my friend. When I sleep I’m not in pain. In fact, sleeping is the only time I’m not in pain.

I am sick and tired of crying. I hate crying, but there are days I can’t seem to do anything else. Anything can make me cry–these typically are after a hard week of bad headaches, or when I realize the newest diet or exercise or pill or blood test or what-have-you is doing nothing. Then I collapse, and there is nothing that makes me feel so weak.

Lewis Quote 2

I hate having to think about every little thing every day–will staying out late make my head hurt more tomorrow? Have I been drinking enough water, or is that why I have a headache? Can I work out today, or will it make me too dizzy?–I just want to live a normal life, without having to wonder if I have a dietary problem, or an underlying disease we don’t know about.

I’m ready to be done, but I’m afraid I may never be done. I just want this to be over, but will it ever be over? I don’t know whether to hope for the next treatment, or the one after that, or the one after that, or if I should just resign myself to the fact that I need to accept and learn to live with these headaches for. . . well, the foreseeable future.

Sometimes I turn into this confused mess where I just want to cry and talk about it with someone, but I feel bad about making my burden theirs, so I just try to keep it to myself–and I’m tired of ‘faking it’; pretending to be okay, and happy, when all I want to do is go to my room and cry.

I’m tired of feeling guilty. Because I cancel plans last-minute, because I don’t help out enough, because I sleep instead of doing school, because I don’t get enough writing or cello or gardening or life or anything done; because I don’t have a normal life, and because I don’t like that.

There’s a line in one of my favorite songs that says ‘The time will come when we will leave this world, and then the injustice and the pain and the sin will fall away from us, and only the spark of the spirit will remain — returning to God, who created it. You must never lose faith, you must never lose heart, God will restore your trust. And I know you’re afraid, I’m as scared as you are, but willing to be brave. . . brave enough for love.’ And those are my favorite verses.

Jewish Proverb






7 comments on “Chronic Pain Confessions

  1. Oh, sweet girl. I know what it feels like to wonder why your body is rebelling and never get an answer. I’m sorry you have to experience this, and pray daily that you will find healing. <3

  2. I appreciate your vulnerability in sharing this. I can’t begin to imagine how frustrating it would be to have to go through that every day. I appreciate when people share about their struggles because it helps me understand and have more grace. I think chronic illness can be hard to understand from the outside. I think your perspective is healthy, but I will be praying that a doctor finds an answer, or at least something that can bring relief. Also, I love the new blog design!

  3. Since I’ve been following your mom’s blog, I’ve come to ‘know’ you a little. I wish you could know how sad I am for you. If the power of prayer will help, you’ve certainly gone about getting that to happen. I will pray for you. I also hope you’ve tried a chiropractor. Not just anyone, one that’s been recommended. Doctors and dietitians have had their turn. It could be one leg longer than the other. Have your mom look and see if your hips and shoulders are level. A pinched nerve could explain all of it. I took a fall off a horse when I was 16, got up, and walked away, shaken but unbroken. About 10 days later, I bent down to get something and all feeling left my legs. It came back but luckily my father was seeing a chiropractor for a stomach ailment, one that doctors had failed to cure. He mentioned my problem. One of my legs is longer and the fall accentuated the growing compensation my spine was making. Spinal problems present in a wide variety of ways. And pretty much everyone could use a neck crunch.

  4. Being so young and to suffer as you do is just not right and my heart bleeds for you. For 10+ years I too have suffered with [debilitating] chronic migraines with a variety of presentations. If you haven’t already, please consider visiting a neurologist who specializes in treating headaches/migraines (e.g., University teaching hospitals often have a Headache Center). You might want to ask about Triptans (medication designed specifically for treating migraines, and for most people, very effective when taken at the onset of a migraine) and/or medication designed to prevent chronic headaches/migraines. I sincerely hope you find answers and relief soon.

  5. I love this post– thanks for being honest about this. I feel this tension with you— the days where you just don’t know if you can carry the burden anymore. So many women struggle with chronic illness–including myself— and need to hear that they’re not alone— thanks for doing that, friend! Keep writing.

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