Okay, so as most of you know I’m having a difficult time with my Crohn’s Disease these past few weeks. So difficult in that which my body decided to plunk itself in the hospital with an obstruction. I’m back at home now with a high dose of prednisone and am trucking along with a Crohn’s flare.
Sometimes it’s a little much to deal with, especially when you’re like me and don’t voice pain as much as you really should. Sure people know when I don’t feel good, but beyond Twitter and The Boyfriend, I really don’t whine much. I try not to. I think what it comes down to is that when you’re in an immense amount of pain every day, you just kind of deal with it. You tend to think that people don’t want to hear about your pain, since you’re in it every day.
So you just begin to live with it and bottle it up inside.
A friend of mine was DXed with Fibromyalgia not too long ago, and her and I have always been able to talk about our health issues together. She was telling me about how her body hurts and when she was done, she said “you know, I don’t really talk about it with people much. I’m afraid they’ll think I’m just whining.” That really hit the nail on the head. When some one complains about something long enough, you start to get annoyed. It turns into whining. So those of us with pain, immense pain and horrible symptoms eventually just shut our mouths.
A few months ago I made it a point to start saying when I really felt sick. Like oh my god I’m dying sick. Yet it’s hard to stick with. For instance, today I was having major problems. Immediately after my break at work, Crohn’s decided that it was time for me to live in the bathroom. So I ran past my appointment and locked myself in. My stomach felt like it was being ripped out for HOURS. Yet when a coworker asked if I was okay, I just said “Oh, just my tummy hurting. No worries.” I had told her my stomach hurt bad yesterday, I didn’t want to continue on about it.
The downfall of bottling it up though can cost you someone else’s feelings. When you spend your entire day pretending that your body isn’t on fire, and being quiet about it, you start losing the ability to be sympathetic for others. I have to remind myself that even though *I* can deal with pain and being sick quite well (hey, 5 years experience, haha) other’s can’t. So while I can suffer through work with pneumonia, a cold will put others on their asses. Hell, when The Boyfriend had the stomach flu yesterday, I had to remind myself he’s not used to. That he felt like crap, that I wasn’t the only one.
Internalizing pain, stress and whatever else doesn’t help anyone. The question is though, if you have a Chronic Illness or Chronic Pain, and you are honest about it, when is enough enough? When is it whining? When do people stop believing you? Ah, the life of a patient.