Not so much a question or statement, more of an open invite to comment.
Ive suffered from chronic pain for years and in that time I have been through many doctors and many different pain medications. I often feel that I am being judged, that I am not being listened to and I also feel guilty for asking for more/different pain medications. The reason I feel guilty is that I have often asked myself the question..do I NEED painkillers? Am I masking the pain or am I overmedicating? Should I be taking less in order to feel the pain more? A comment that I often receive from medical professionals is that I dont 'look' like I am in pain. This is a really heartbreaking thing to hear, as a patient it totally removes all my control and power. I have effectively 2 options, I can take painkillers to a level which enables me to live a reasonably normal life, OR, I could take less, in which case I would suffer more and people would see that suffering. This is what makes me ask the question- when should I stop screaming? At what point is it 'enough' pain relief? Why should I feel guilty because I dont want to live my life being pitied by those around me, and because I have made that choice, I feel guilty when I discuss pain relief. In some ways I am lucky, I have a physical problem which can be seen on the outside ( under the bandages ) and if a doctor was to take the time, they could see the history of the problem and tell it wasnt imagined or exaggerated. However, none of this makes me feel any better about it. I feel guilty for making those around me feel sorry for me, for making them pity me and so I hide my problem as much as I can, but on the inside I want to scream, I want to cry, I want to break down and show everyone how it really feels. But then, I feel like I really would be exaggerating the problem. Because I have the ability to take painkillers and to mask some of the pain, I have that ability to conceal the problem. This is the problem, it is wrong to live in pain and yet if I mask the pain, I am judged as having no pain. Simply, people expect someone who is in chronic pain to be crying, screaming, begging for it to stop, but when do you stop screaming? You cant live life screaming and you also cant live life trying to hide a major physical problem, so what is the right thing to do? And why do I feel guilty for asking for better painkillers? I dont think there is an answer, but I just wanted to get it off my chest since maybe I am not the only one to think that way.