One of the most annoying things about chronic pain is that it’s incredibly difficult to find joy in the changing of the weather. It doesn’t matter what kind of front is moving in because they all cause pain. When that barometer moves, oh baby, I feel it.
Recently I was sitting around a table with some women from church as we worked on some assembly line packaging for an upcoming event. We soon realized we were the chronic pain table. Apparently we gravitate toward each other! There was a woman who has already survived cancer, (only to have it again), a woman who had to have a crazy/intense jaw reconstruction, a woman who had back surgery to fuse part of her spine and REMOVE her coccyx, and me. Before you have pity on us, it was actually refreshing to be around a group of ladies who “get it.” They live it in my world (and so do their families).
After we joked about all of our medications, someone said, “have you been in pain since Saturday?” Without a break in discussion, everyone pipped in about how awful their Saturday had been, myself included. Another lady said, “my husband thinks I am crazy because I can tell when the weather is about to change. He even looks at the weather online and tries to argue with me about the impending doom.”
So it isn’t just me.
We are all human barometers!
Even the local news did a piece on if people can truly feel the weather changes that are coming – and the “experts” agreed that yes, people with all sorts of medical issues or old injuries can literally feel something before a front moves through.
I don’t know if this helps you understand someone in your life who struggles with chronic pain, but I do hope it helps you realize that Aunt Margaret isn’t crazy – and she hasn’t been all these years. She really does feel the weather change in her knees!
We don’t mean to be irritating meteorologists, I promise. And we don’t mean to talk about our “flair” all the time either. When we constantly have physical aches and pains it’s like sitting down in a chair at a Metallica concert and trying to talk about the rose bushes you planted yesterday. Some days our pain is just too loud to focus on other things and we would LOVE your help to remind us that just because we are human barometers, we don’t have to talk about it all day long.
Please have patience with us. Remember that our head-banging pain concert is stuck on repeat and sometimes the best distraction is quiet conversation, a funny movie, or even a nice drive together in the country. When the pain concert is loud, it’s not the time to recommend they put their big girl panties on and go for a walk.
We know you mean well.
We know you want to help.
We know that exercise is good for us.
But please have patience with us.
Is there someone in your life who is a human barometer? What frustrates you the most?