Letting Others In

It’s difficult to share your story with others. It’s difficult to explain your conditions. It’s especially difficult when your conditions are invisible and you look just fine. Feeling misunderstood by others hurts. Feeling judged hurts. But I’m finding it does help to let others into your world. There are people out there who are willing to listen, who care, and who want to help if they can.

It helps to share knowledge. I do my best explaining my conditions and I have found that sharing helps with isolation. It’s easy to withdraw from the world when you don’t feel like you fit into it anymore. I have been working on connecting with others who share similar conditions. It really helps me to know that I am not alone. But even people who don’t share my conditions can still be very understanding and supportive.

I have found that it helps to let others know how you are feeling. It can be difficult to find the right balance because you don’t want to share too much and you don’t want to seem like you’re complaining all the time. This takes constant practice. I find myself venting a lot. But communicating and staying close to others helps me cope.

I have a hard time asking for help or accepting help. I’m trying to get better at that. I realize that some people are very genuine when they ask if you need help with anything like a ride to a doctor appointment. I realize that asking for help is not a sign of weakness. But at the same time I don’t want to be a burden. People are sincere when they extend help and it’s up to me to accept their offer. I’m working on it.

There is always a huge uncertainty of symptoms with me and that makes it hard to plan things. I have to let others know that I may not be able to follow through on my commitments (if I even made them in the first place). Much of the time I try not to make any plans because I never know how I’ll be feeling when the day comes around. I’m constantly having to evaluate the effect activities have on my fatigue and pain. This can make it hard to let others in because it sometimes seems easier to just isolate instead of always canceling and not being able to participate. Why bother, right? This is a bad state of mind to be in and I try not to go there. I try to do what I can.

It’s important to create a support network. In order to do that you have to let people into your world. Even though not all people respond the way you may want them to, try not to take it personally. A full life can only be lived with other people living it with us. I have to remember that I need others and others need me.

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Waiting and Waiting…

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There’s a lot of waiting that goes along with chronic pain. Waiting for a diagnosis, waiting for pain to disappear, waiting for medications to work, waiting to feel better, etc. But right now I am waiting for a doctor’s appointment. I have a week and a half to go before I see the hand surgeon about my ongoing wrist pain. There may be tendinitis or excessive scar tissue that developed from my carpal tunnel surgery I had years ago and is now causing pain and swelling. The pain covers my wrist, the top of my hand, and can extend all the way up to my elbow. The simplest movements cause pain and it hurts even when I’m not moving it.

So what am I going to do until I see the doctor? How will I not let the pain beat me? For starters, I will keep praying for healing. I’ve added that to my list of things I pray for daily. I am going to try and take it easy and not use it as much. I have a splint I can wear but I feel it doesn’t really help. But it can’t hurt, so I keep trying it. I will not go crazy when it comes to drawing or painting but I don’t want to stop doing that completely as it’s taken me so long to get back into it. There’s only so much ibuprofen that can be taken. I have discovered pain relieving patches so I’m using those now.

I have had to wait for specialist appointments in the past, sometimes for months. So I should be glad I can get in this quickly. It’s still so frustrating being in pain and waiting for answers…and then relief. And it’s even more frustrating when you still have pain in all the other usual places. I will do everything I can but I will not let it beat me. This is just another bump in the road on my journey. SupEARior Susan can handle it.

Welcome!

I started this blog to have a place to share my struggles and triumphs and thoughts and reflections. I will also share some of my artwork that I’m getting back into. I plan to share any articles I find useful and informative on chronic pain and illness, specifically those I deal with (Fibromyalgia, Superior Canal Dehiscence, Chronic Migraine, Anxiety, and Depression). Check out my About page to learn more about me and some of what I’ve gone through and the origin of my name SupEARior Susan. You can follow and sign up to receive emails (on the right sidebar) that will notify you when I publish a new post. Post in the comments section if you have anything you would like to see me address or any questions you may have for me. There is also a contact page where you can contact me directly. Looking forward to seeing where this goes!