What Hurts The Most: Life with Chronic Pain

There are a lot of topics I don’t discuss on my blog. Politics. Relationships. Chronic pain. Blogging is my happy place, so the messy parts of life tend to stay hidden. I’m not sure that’s always a good thing. Online it’s easy to make one’s life look, if not perfect, at least better than what it is in reality.

Four years ago I fell and broke my back. Technically, I fractured and displaced my sacrum. And, while the fracture has healed my body has not recovered. So, it’s pain all day every day for me.

This isn’t something I would normally bring up, but when SheKnows sent out a call for essays on health issues, I felt that it was time to tell my story, at least in part.

This is an essay for those who deal with chronic pain. This is a story for those who are friends with those in pain. This is a story about empathy.

What hurts the most... An essay on living life with <a style=

The hardest part of my back injury isn’t the pain, it’s the judgement

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22 comments

  1. Chronic pain is, well, painful, but it is also so frustrating to have a lack of understanding and empathy about. Thank you for sharing this essay (also, I mean, I like yoga, but what is it with everyone thinking it is the answer to all of lives medical issues?!) It is good to hear others’ stories.

  2. Oh, no… I’m so sorry to hear this. Chronic pain is so bad because it’s constant and unrelenting. I know some people with it and they have told me had it affects them. You have my deep sympathy.

  3. I’m off to read your story. I think it’s great when bloggers can talk about tough issues. It’s not for everyone, and I get that. You make your blog whatever you want it to be. I have scoliosis, and while it’s not AWFUL, I tend to have back pain everyday of my life and it’s not fun.
    ShootingStarsMag recently posted..Sunday Post: Scheduling is KeyMy Profile

  4. As we grow older I think we slowly become okay with not having to explain ourselves when we’re in pain and not up to a previously scheduled arrangement. I can totally relate to your experience at the VA while I’m in the waiting room talking to some poor guy with a TBI and a missing limb who has been waiting for two years for the same treatment I’ve been getting. Hope you’re doing well!

  5. I had no idea you lived with chronic pain, I am sure this is so hard to live with everyday especially when no-one can tell since you look fine on the outside. I hope someday it will magically disappear or get better, or you’ll find some sort of new treatment. Hugs and prayers for you! That is tough!

    Carrie
    curlycraftymom.com

  6. I am sorry to hear this, but thank you for opening up and sharing your story. As bloggers our own lives and words can be very powerful.

  7. I’m so sorry to hear this, I had no idea 🙁 And you’re right–there are many who suffer but their pain isn’t always “obvious” and they’ve learned to mask/live with it (after a car accident and repeated back surgeries, my bf falls under this category too). It’s heartbreaking to see someone in so much pain.

    Thank you for opening up and sharing this story… I wrote about something on my blog I don’t like to talk about for the very reasons you mentioned in the opening paragraph, but at the end of the day–this is our home and our place to do what we like. <3

  8. I am going to read the story, but before I am leaving a comment to say that yes, chronic pain must be awful, I am sorry for what you have been through 🙁 I don’t have chronic pain, but I have anaemia and so, I lack energy for many things. It’s up to me to eat in a better way, so I am the one to blame. In your case, it’s not a choice, so I hope you can overcome the pain as soon as possible! Sending good vibes for you!
    DenisesPlanet.com

  9. ASHLEY!!
    I didn’t know this about you. I learned a lot today. I read your post and I’m so thankful you shared your story. I think it’s important to share our stories for not only ourselves but others. Someone out there feels alone, but they won’t now that you’re sharing your story.
    Also, they can see that even though chronic pain is an issue for you, it doesn’t completely define you. One look at your blog will show that although this is an issue you deal with, you handle it with grace and such a lovely smile. Your positivity is contagious, my friend.
    You should never feel guilty about getting help either, I’ve told my husband the same thing when he has visited the VA. That’s what they are there for, help. Hopefully, they’ll take care of you.
    All the best always!!!
    XOXO
    Mrs. AOK recently posted..Mommy Monday Blog Hop {221}My Profile

  10. I’m sorry to hear about your chronic pain issues, Ashley. However I’m glad you were brave enough to share your story. I really hope you’re able to find a treatment that works for you, or at least something a bit more useful than yoga and motrin! Sometimes I think doctors are quite stupid for clever people.
    I too suffer from chronic pain, stemming from a spinal fusion I had over 10 years ago. I get general fatigue pains as well as random extra pains that appear and disappear for no reason. If it’s any consolation I’ve also been given the yoga and motrin line 😉
    Anyway, thank you for raising awareness for those of us with injuries that aren’t visible.
    Rachel ¦¦ A Nesting Nomad recently posted..Gluten free Chicago, USAMy Profile

  11. I get it – I don’t talk about less than happy topics on my blog often. And never the election!
    Chronic pain is one of the toughest things. I wish you much relief, and I’m glad you’re sharing.

  12. Just read your story – I can only imagine how difficult it must be to be in chronic pain. I have back issues, but just flare ups for now. I hope you are able to find something that will help alleviate your pain, at least temporarily.

    1. Oh girl, I just read your post and that is so rough. I’m so sorry you have been in so much pain for so many years without relief. Empathy is definitely the best thing we can offer in times like these!
      Rach recently posted..Athens, GreeceMy Profile

  13. Such a deeply poignant, moving and beautiful piece, sweet dear. As a fellow (longtime) chronic pain fighter, I was reading your words through tears of complete and total understanding and a strong sense of relating. With all my heart, I’m truly sorry that you’ve had to endure so much and that you live with severe chronic pain every second of every day. It is a hard, taxing, unrelenting road for anyone to find themselves on and I have the greatest respect for all of us in this boat who still manage to keep on going, even when life (and our bodies) tries to knock us down. You’re an inspiration, a determined CP fighter, and a brave soul.

    Endless gentle hugs,
    ♥ Jessica
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