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A Small Window into Living with Chronic Pain

I recently hurt my back. I’ve always had a somewhat weak back and can strain it easily, but years of core strengthening and stretching mostly nullified these issues, and I was fine.

But then I went traveling, and my workout routine went out the window. I was working every day from beds, sofas, and less-than-optimal desk setups.

Back pain started to creep back in, and then a few weeks ago, I pulled it badly.

The mental and physical strain of chronic pain

But why am I telling you all this? Being immobile and in significant pain for an extended period has given me a window into how my partner and many endo warriors live their lives.

My back was constantly inflamed, and I was in significant pain. I’m never sure how to use a pain scale because I don’t know how bad a ‘10’ can be, but it was unbearable.

At first, it made me grumpy. I would snap at my partner over little things and feel frustrated over tiny inconveniences that would put more strain on my back, like having to pick something up. But then I noticed other symptoms.

I was feeling exhausted by the end of each day. I was struggling to focus on my work, and I was even struggling to remember words for certain things. My frustration was turning to misery.

I wasn’t depressed by any means, as this was happening for a couple of weeks, but I could see how chronic pain would lead to feeling depressed and overwhelmed.

And that’s the point I’m getting at; I experienced severe chronic pain for a couple of weeks, and my work and mental state started to fall apart. I can only imagine the mental and physical strain that a life of chronic pain puts on people and the kind of strain endometriosis and its associated conditions can put on people.

A window into living with painful conditions

I always knew that chronic pain sucked. That part is pretty obvious. But I didn’t really have a window into the other symptoms, like fatigue and brain fog, until recently. This tiny exposure to a world many people live in every day has changed my understanding of living with a painful condition.

So to those like me, who are partners of those with endo or similar conditions and don’t have much experience with chronic pain: please understand that there is more to chronic pain than just feeling the pain. I have always known this in theory, experiencing it secondhand through my partner.

But having experienced it practically, even just 0.1% of it, I understand it more clearly now than ever.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Endometriosis.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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