Welcome and I hope that together we can share our stories, helpful hints, trials and errors so we might help each other deal with and control our debilitating pain. Sometimes this is not just physical as it affects us mentally, emotionally as well as physically. There are so many of us who have pain everyday and we do not realize that our pain affects us in so many different ways plus all the people around us.
I have this little story to share with you all.
After my first back surgery and many tries to return to work which were unsuccessful. I decided to apply for CCP disability pension. After visiting my specialist and completing the many medical tortures. I received copy a letter from the pension board that my specialist sent them concerning my disability – who I might add was the doctor who told me I could never work again (hairdressing was my profession). He wrote the pension board that in the foreseeable future I might be able to go back to work a couple of hours a week and that I showed no facial signs of pain. What the heck was that statement all about? So with that information my application was denied. I called my attorney and asked him what to do? He suggested that I go to my next specialist appointment looking like I felt. Instead of making sure I got all dolled up, hair perfectly done, makeup professional applied etc. This was foreign to me as I was not only a former model I was also trained as a hairdresser and makeup artist .I decided that I would follow his suggestion though. So reluctantly for the next appointment I did just that and went like I felt. I wore low slip on shoes, a house dress that has a zipper front, no makeup and just combed my hair instead of styling it. I walked guardedly and slowly with the pain. I was embarrassed that I might run into someone I knew.
Wow! What happened next floored me. The doctor came out of his office to get his next patient and looking at me asked if anyone would mind if he helped me first as it was clear I was in need of his help desperately.
When I went to get up to go into his office he helped me into his office and put a small pillow behind my back. His comment was, “You must be in a great deal of pain to-day.”
My answer back was, ” No more to-day than any other day.”
He was somewhat taken aback by my comment. I said to him, ” It is very important to me how I look I don’t want people to feel sorry for me. I was once a model and looking like this, walking like this and others seeing me like this is not what I want.”
His reply was ” I am sorry, I have never dealt with someone who said this before. Most patients I know want sympathy.
” I asked him, ” Would you want to sit beside someone who looked like me? I would be afraid to ask them how they felt”. I left his office knowing he had a new understanding about some of the patients he was dealing with. I wondered how many others he judged in this manner and how many other doctors did the same. I left his office with the paper work to get my pension, but how sad is that. The doctor only judged me by the way I looked not by the way I told him I felt.
I hope we can help others by sharing our stories. We need to show our strengths, our weakness, be here for each other and take control of our pain. Maybe then we can educate our doctors, especially those who have never suffered a pain in their lives. Textbooks do not feel.