Imagine living every day of your life in excruciating pain, but with people that belittle and judge you. People with chronic pain are tired of hearing statements that make them feel like everyone is against them! The weight of the world is already so much on just the average person, but a person living in chronic pain has to carry painful heavy weight along with the negative weight that society brings us. Whether you are a friend, loved one, or coworker of someone with chronic pain these are just a few of the very many things that no one living in chronic pain should have to hear.
7. Try This “XYZ” Product
Most people with chronic pain have tried alternatives when it comes to their pain. Some of the alternatives include herbals, CBD oils, creams, acupuncture and so much more. Although some alternatives may work and some may provide temporary relief, not all alternatives are a permanent solution. Assuming that product XYZ will cure their disease and put someone in remission is a false statement.
6. It can’t be That Bad! Yes, chronic pain is THAT BAD!
Chronic pain is consistent and harsh! It can last for days, months, and in some cases even years! Yes, chronic pain is THAT BAD! To downplay someone else’s pain because you simply can’t see the physical damage this disease does not mean their pain is exaggerated. When the pain becomes too much it is not only a physical torment it then becomes a mental torment.
5. If Only You Lose Some Weight…
Now this is definitely a major thing people with chronic pain are tired of hearing. As a chronic pain sufferer this is my least favorite statement to hear!
Before I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, I was a healthy 160 pounds. Two years after my diagnosis and plenty of steroid medications later I gained a whopping 60 pounds. We did not wake up one day and say we want to live like this! Many trips to the gym usually result in overworked muscles which result in more pain and possibly damaging something else to the human body. Instead of making a statement like the one above, try understanding that person’s illness. We probable already went through desperate measures just to lose 20 pounds.
4. You’re Just Lazy!
If you only knew how much we wish this was the case! We all at some point had that friend or loved one that refuses to understand that we are sick and can’t do the things we once were able to do. Household chores, parenting for young children, and working a full-time job are some of the struggles we have a hard time accomplishing. Instead of assuming that we are lazy, help! Offering your help when you see the laundry is piling up is much more fulfilling than just calling us names. We will appreciate it more in the end!
3. My Grandma Has That disease too….
This phrase alone can be irritating to a person living with chronic pain, especially if it’s a young person. When someone makes a statement like this, they are implying that you are to young to be going through this illness/pain. Most people associate illnesses like rheumatoid arthritis and other similar diseases to elderly people, but that is not the case. Many diseases that result in chronic pain can start as early as childhood.
2. We can’t be friends.
During my 10 years of living in chronic pain I have lost so many friends because they simply don’t understand that I can’t make all occasions. Planned invites are better but can be just as difficult as unplanned invites. Just because we say we will try to make it doesn’t necessarily mean our bodies are up to it. There have been numerous times where I will plan to make an event, but the day of I feel so terrible that I just can’t go. Instead of losing friendships with that person you care about, try to understand their pain and offer help. Bring the party to them if you can!
1. At Least it’s Not Cancer!
This is an ignorant statement to make to someone battling chronic pain. Even though most cancers can be terminal, chronic pain can last a lifetime. Many people don’t realize that some of the medications that people take for auto-immune diseases can even cause cancer. Some cancers have cures, but most auto-immune diseases that cause chronic pain do not. We are all in this fight together!
If you know someone or live with someone in chronic pain, I hope that you can find it in your heart to understand their pain. Put yourself in their shoes for once and imagine almost everyday of your life being disrupted by pain. Not only are people living with chronic pain tired of hearing judgmental statements, but they are also very fatigued period! Showing them that you care and emphasizing with them will go a much longer way then assuming and downplaying their condition.