I thought to write here today. Even though I don’t really want to.
It’s the topic everyone works hard to avoid bringing into conversation.
PAIN: Chronic and severe and endless.
With the result that there is a loneliness that seeps over the sufferer. She knows no one wants to hear the same old, same old. So she lies, or covers up or uses a selection of old tropes.
Q How are you?
(1)Oh, you know.
(2)Much better than yesterday. (Lie)
Q What does the doctor say?
(1)We don’t say: Well (s)he too is sick of my calls.
(2)We mumble a selection of vagaries.
(3)Waiting for a call.
(4)Will call them today.
Along with the loneliness there’s the exhaustion of just plain dealing with life. Or not dealing.
There’s lack of sleep for one. There’s the ongoing decision of:
(1) suffering and being alert or
(2) ingesting painkillers and becoming a zombie.
Friends and relatives get impatient. I understand that.
But it really makes things far, far worse when they ask for details of the pain and it’s offered, only to be met with deadly silence or the clicks of an escape hatch being opened ("gotta run, talk soon!") and the listener vanishing.
So chronic pain is isolating for multiple reasons. We are not looking for solutions. We know all the solutions, we’ve explored many avenues, some involving more pain we can’t endure.
Out tears are in isolation along with frustration and a sense of hopelessness. And loneliness.
We are the brave.
We learn to let very few in to what is really going on. We forego, with longing, the things we used to do in our health that we would simply take for granted. For example, I see someone walking on the street or in a movie and I go "look at that! they're walking with a smile!"
My big job today was sorting my weekly pills. A job I detest with all the fires of hell. It takes 30 minutes. If I don’t drop pills on the floor.
My helper comes tomorrow so I don’t have to do dishes which is excruciating, standing at the sink.
It’s over two weeks since I slept in a bed as the recliner is the only place I can do a series of catnaps through the night with some small semblance of comfort.
I can see why some go insane from this kind of existence.
And so very few that understand it.
I know I never did.
And I realize one of the greatest gifts in life we can offer each other is to listen.