Let’s divulge into some spooky stuff…
Recently I was asked by a person I greatly admire, “if there were one thing to educate the public on regarding how those in pain live, what would it be?”
Ordinarily it’s not my style to answer a question with a question but my first thought was,
“Where should I start??”
*Chronic pain: Pain (an unpleasant sense of discomfort) that persists or progresses over a long period of time. …Chronic pain may be related to a number of different medical conditions and previous trauma or injury.
– Or in other words –
Some of us live in this state, constantly– on a scale that most can begin relating to, how about the last bad stomach flu? Hangover? Stubbed toe or smashing of the not so funny bone you’ve endured-
Reflect upon the possibility of that never-ending annoyance…
Countless therapies have been attempted, medications tried/failed, changes in lifestyle can help yet are far from a cure-all and odds are many of the suggestions offered to us [whether we asked for them or not] are also things that haven’t proven viable.
My instance is a once in a lifetime situation, to the point I’m fortunate to be alive even though a traumatic brain injury has been a daily companion for just about two decades straight, not much a person can do to medically relieve this circumstance but it took years for us to even put these pieces together and many more years experimenting with treatments that had detrimental effects.
* 20% or 50 million adults live in pain – 19 million of which are *chronic
* It impacts every aspect of quality of life- includes risk of anxiety/depression
* Veterinary students get (5x) more pain focused schooling hours than medical students
* Despite being a number one reason for accessing health care & leading cause of long-term disability, 2% of NIH’s funding goes to pain research
Ignorantly enough, a person could have read up until now and are still asking themselves why they should care…
It’s more than plausible that we all know of someone(s) enduring this sort of difficulty even if we’re not personally impacted ourselves.
No one would have chosen for this to be the way we lead their lives, often from personal experience I can state that it’s the ailments that can feel as though they are leading ME!
As if enduring all of this isn’t enough, there are too many experiencing extra ridiculousness throughout our health “care” system — let it be known that the fentanyl / heroin epidemics are entirely separate from the prescription opioid crisis —
Let’s go back to the thought of a sprained ankle, toothache, seasonal cold or mild burn – imagine coming across something that helped aide that hardship, but having it taken from away suddenly and then being refused as not only a patient but PERSON altogether.
When people have to wait in a line or restaurant messes up an order, they run out of their favorite coffee flavor at Starbucks or get worked up about being cut off in traffic — they don’t stop to reflect upon the fact others are out there that pray for the minuscule problems – we’re talking about inability to properly navigate mobility or complete daily activities of living, spoiled relationships because those we care about just cannot understand or the very real grief as a result of a life once lived and lost…
Obviously, there’s discrepancy regarding proper education among the masses which is indeed frustrating to say the least, however, it’s equally disheartening when we won’t lift a finger for our own Causes.
There does come a point where it’s our responsibility to raise the awareness we all desperately want and need hence requiring some form of effort on our end.
Recently I was discussing important legislation among other Pain Warriors who’d all expressed having been personally impacted by the issue — proceeding to explain next steps regarding policy, I’d witnessed their eyes glaze over- one even whipped out their phone in disinterest while everyone there began essentially groaning in discontent.
Stunned by this reaction, I felt the need to reiterate that this specific Bill would immediately impact a high percentage of Americans with capabilities to lead Nationwide on a Federal level.
This is a Call to Action:
Even within our own Community, we at times do not show up for the sake of ourselves or each other so how could we go about expecting anyone else to if that’s the case?
It goes without saying that not everyone is interested in or even up for traveling to D.C. for a Congressional meeting, attending rallies, facilitating support groups, sharing their story on a public forum or anything else that may considered to be ‘extravagant’ but the facts of the matter are that someone has to and there are other things we can do on a regular basis that will help inch closer toward change and relief for these millions of human beings…
Our individual experiences are valuable and whether you live in state of hurt or not, we must begin to care about one another on a fundamental level as creatures living collectively on this Planet. Our rights as a People are being threatened which is ultimately something that’ll impact everyone at some point or another, why wait for it to happen to you -or- why accept the fact that it already has?
One of the biggest myths is that there’re only ‘certain ways’ to advocate for oneself or each other when, there’s only one unacceptable thing to do and that, is nothing!