One thing my friends and family struggle to accept is that I never experience a pain-free moment or day. Many assume that I am pain-free when my psoriatic arthritis is in remission or that my psoriasis is under control or not an issue if they don’t see a rash. I have no idea if that is even a possibility since they are not my only conditions. Within a three year period psoriasis, fibromyalgia, psoriatic arthritis, and endometriosis became a part of my everyday life. Permanent damage from surgical errors added to my pain filled existence a few years later.
Pain is constant
Every single day is filled with pain from one of or a combination of my conditions. Some days I can clearly state which disease is at its worst because of a particular symptom. For example, if I feel like my belly button is being ripped apart I know that abdominal adhesions from endometriosis are to blame and not psoriatic arthritis. Trying to differentiate the cause of some symptoms is harder because some of my conditions have overlapping symptoms. I never experience one symptom from one condition at a time.
Finding joy in a low pain day
I have lived with physical pain for so long that I truly no longer remember what it feels like to be pain-free. At first, I found this to be depressing, but over time I realized that it is actually for the best. Because I can’t remember what it is like to be without pain, I am able to find joy in a lower pain day. Prior to losing this memory, my anger and depression over a low pain day was as intense as a severe pain day. Now I cheer when fewer symptoms are presenting themselves. I don’t mind having to use my wheelchair on a day when my feet ache too much to walk if not experiencing abdominal pain will mean that I am able to sit up.
Do you remember what it was like to live without pain? If you do, how does it affect your attitude when you experience a lower than usual pain day? If you don’t, does it help or do you wish you could remember what it was like?