Reader Comments

Erase My Back Pain

by Alisa lisa Sophia (2019-05-18)

Angela contacted me regarding an on-going issue: "People are constantly Erase My Back Pain saying you don't look like you are in pain. I ask them, how does someone in pain look?" It's always amazing that people without pain feel they have the right to judge those with conditions they obviously don't understand. It can be a stranger, co-worker, family, friends and even our health care professionals, the doctors, nurses, therapists and pharmacists we seek out for help. Pain fluctuates and there are multiple factors that can contribute to a flare-up. Sometimes we know what they are and sometimes we aren't sure. I have found that trying to explain the dynamics of pain, from either a personal story or an objective literature review just doesn't work. The attempt becomes too wordy and the skeptics don't want to listen anyway. Over the years I have learned a couple of approaches. If it's a long term relationship that you care about, ask a respectable advocate to speak with whomever you are having the problem. I have consulted with many family and other professionals as an objective on-looker giving suggestions and insight. It often helps, leaving the person with pain to ask me, "Why didn't they believe me when I said that?" For the people who remain skeptical whether or not you have an advocate and for those who aren't worth your effort, simply respond, "This is common. You just don't understand." Say it as nicely as you can, showing compassion for their ignorance. If that's too much to ask of yourself, just do the best that you can. It's okay to walk away or insist they fill the prescription or whatever else is appropriate for the situation. Provide more information if the person appears teachable. If they are not open to becoming more educated, it is not worth your precious energy to try to convert them. Reassure yourself that it's rarely about you. Those people walk around with lots of unresolved baggage and perhaps you caught them at a bad time. It's possible that they are experiencing some personal crisis themselves and taking it out on you. Or they may simply have abusive personalities.