I have a disorder that affects my connective tissue, and in me it really hurts my joints.
As I was eating my oatmeal, I scooped up the next bite to eat and my wrist turned, shooting pain severe enough that I dropped my spoon. All my joints were on fire today.
Hate complaining and griping, but there is nothing that takes the pain away. I have taken all the right medications and supplements, eaten the correct food for anti inflammation, exercise daily, done the right blood tests… and then on the way to work, I made the mistake of turning left, during which my left shoulder slipped out of joint. Not a full dislocation, mind you, just slipped out, which also hurts and makes it harder to turn left.
My joints dislocate easily and slip out of joint, not always a full dislocation, but enough to get stuck. My ankles slipped out and it feels like I am walking on broken legs and I know I am ruining the cartilage.
What can you do when you are listening to me?
From an empathy standpoint, most people cannot stand hearing that there is nothing they can do. Their feelings of impotence become the topic of discussion.
Some people want to blame me for the pain, tell me to do something differently, because they cannot comprehend someone having to go through that, because they themselves, can’t relate.
When they are in pain, they do what the doctor said and get results. The only reason they are in pain is that they did something wrong and they assume all of us are alike.
I’m not really the wild and crazy type. Even typing hurts my wrist. My leg pain wakes me up. I didn’t do anything to my legs or wrist to make them hurt like this. Thank you for not implying that my pain is my fault.
Rather than trying to fix my pain, trust me, I have thought of a million ways and my house has braces, ointments, supplements, all the self care stuff, just listen to me to understand. Just hear me out. What I want from you is not a fix, because I doubt there is a fix. I just want you to understand that I am in pain. Basic human need is to be understood, without judgment or making it about you helping. I try to fake it and smile and go to work and do the things that normal people do. I try not complaining. It is exhausting. Literally exhausting.
Allow me to have this pain without the false hope of a fix, without the blame or contempt or judgment. No persuasion. Just a statement like, “That sucks.” Or “I can see how that must be very tough. Thank you for trusting me enough to tell me about it.” The pain is hard enough to bear without out that drama. Just knowing that someone understands and can listen without fixing, well, that really helps me not feel so terribly alone.
Thank you for not fixing me, but just showing empathy and compassion. You do not have to take it on, just be a witness for me. Appreciate that.
I imagine this holds true for other people and their specific pain.