Miss Understood: Bad Luck

Miss Understood: Bad Luck

These past two months I found myself hospitalized three times. First, I had a flare up of my arthritis and fibromyalgia.  Then, a week later, I had a staph infection in my knee. A week after that, my PIC line catheter got infected and I was running a fever of 104.

Some would say bad luck follows me around, others think I’m a hypochondriac, and some people simply don’t care to be bothered by it all.

Arlene Grau

Arlene Grau

Whatever the case may be, I still get asked the same question by most people: How do I deal with everything that’s going on?

My response is always the same: I have no other choice! I can either allow my situation to consume me or I can put up a fight and remain strong.

There are many times when that idea is easier said than done. I’ve wanted to throw in the towel more times than I can count. On the outside, people see this well put together woman who has the strength of a lion. But inside all I want to do is crawl under a rock until it’s over.

Often times I find myself putting on an act, as if I have everything under control and nothing phases me. But I am human and I have moments of weakness, when I feel that life is unfair because I got stuck with these diseases. But no one wants to hear about that, they tend to tune you out when you’re complaining, so I hide the true me in order to please others.

The worst feeling is when I try to stay positive and I’m criticized by my own pain community, I’m either too positive and others dislike it, or I’m unrealistic and others criticize my attitude.

I think it hurts more when people who are also dealing with pain become hostile towards you simply because you’re trying to remain optimistic. If I say I have a great doctor who understands me, they say I’m the one in a million who has found a good doctor because they’ve had nothing but bad experiences and all doctors are the same. Anything I say is wrong or triggers outrage.

No two people are alike, I understand that. Someone’s situation may be worse than mine or better. However, when I speak or write, it’s about my personal experiences with pain and the medical field. I may handle my situation completely different than most people and that’s okay — there is no instruction manual on how to deal with auto immune diseases or severe pain. Most of us are learning as we go along.

No one way is right or wrong when dealing with pain or doctors. Everyone has their own technique that works for them. But if we all learn to support one another, whether it be a friend, family member, or fellow pain sufferer, I think we would become stronger individually and as a group.

Pain is something we can’t fight alone. Dealing with it could be made easier if we had the help of others.

Some days you may not feel like fighting and some days you may want to throw in the towel, but those are the days when the people around you need to help lift you up and keep you going.

Arlene and girlscropped1Arlene Grau lives in Lakewood, California. She suffers from rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, lupus, migraine, vasculitis, and Sjogren’s disease.

The information in this column is not intended to be considered as professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Only your doctor can do that!  It is for informational purposes only and represent the author’s personal experiences and opinions alone. It does not inherently or expressly reflect the views, opinions and/or positions of National Pain Report or Microcast Media.

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This is one of the most truthful articles I’ve ever read. This kind of “letting us see how you think” takes a lot of courage to admit. You are showing us your strengths and your weaknesses. We all need to face this.

I believe we all do what you do. I believe we all think this way. The truth is, the blame lies on them AND us. We are part of the problem, but no one wants to deal with that. We all need to face our strengths and, above all, our weaknesses before we can start to fight.

It was my physical therapist who helped me to face the truths and I’ll thank her for the rest of my life! You deserve a medal for bringing this up.


It’s an uphill claim but don’t stop. The view is beautiful at the top. You can do it Arlene. I know you can be free of illness. Keep on exploring and you will find the way to the top.

Ana Barris

I have walked a mile in your shoes. When I am in the most pain of my issues is when I try to look my best. If I don’t try to look my best when I am @ my worst I am afraid that I will really lose control of my life. Getting depressed really doesn’t help it makes things worse. Unfortunately I do have some of those days in my life schedule. You remind me of me! Good luck!

Manuel prieto

You are a strong woman, all these autoimmune conditions are hard to fight, not only does your own body fights you, the ignorance that exist in the community makes you a an easy target to portray you as a narcotic seeker, as someone with somatoform, maybe consider you to have psychological issues. I know your smart and have seeked alternatives. I ENCOURAGE YOU!!! to keep exploring you will find the key.