The Long Term Effects of Chronic Pain
For many endometriosis patients, living with chronic pain is something life-changing. It defines a new normal, it dictates routines, and can have a huge long-lasting effects. I spent years having all sorts of medical tests, from CT scans to x-rays, to determine the origin of my pain. I saw doctors all over Europe, who were blindly chasing the source of my problem. All they did was prescribe medication and wait for it to go away.
But, it never did. It turned out to be endometriosis, but none of the doctors that were looking for the source of my troubles actually managed this diagnosis.
In my case, chronic pain comes and goes, and changes locations accordingly. One week, it can be shooting leg pains, everyone’s favorite! Other times, is my left ovary reminding me of its useless existence, other time, not wanting to be left out, it’s the right. On most occasions, it’s the area around my tailbone that takes all of my attention by forcing me to lie down.
Pain comes in all sorts of shapes and sizes, but its long term can be some or all of the following:
It will impact your working life
I had to give up my dream job in fashion because of the pain the adhesions were putting me through. I turned to a boring, less physically demanding office job, but it didn’t make much difference. After a while, I was forced to quit that position too.
It will affect your social life
I decide all of my social interactions based on the likelihood of a flare-up. During my period, I barely make plans and will avoid doing any sort of outdoor activity. The downside to this is that, very often, I can become quite isolated.
It causes fatigue
Bleeding for more than a week will deplete your energy levels. Being in pain for that amount of time will leave you drained. It keeps you up all night, preventing you from falling asleep and getting a full night’s rest.
It will have a deep effect on your emotional health
Because of the sleeping difficulties chronic pain brings, it’s easy to become irritable and prone to low moods. The limiting nature of chronic pain can make anyone feel like a failure.
Sometimes, I am so fed up by it all, I just want to hide under my duvet. Chronic pain brings up the most defeatist yet angriest side of my personality. It makes me curse and cry at the same time: a fun, emotional roller-coaster.
Yet, surprisingly, it will become that thing you’re OK with
Living with chronic pain means figuring out how to manage it. What keeps it at bay, what type of physical activity you can do painless, what makes you feel normal. It will become that thing that proves to the most important person in your life - yourself - that you are as tough as nails.
Chronic pain may be just one side of having endometriosis, but it can strongly define a patient’s life. However, it’s important to remember that “chronic” doesn’t necessarily mean “forever”. There will be pain-free moments, times in which our bodies cooperate fully. The pain will go away, and we will be perfectly OK again.
Weird Endo Symptom: Have you ever experienced what felt like a vibration in your pelvic region?