Adapted from a F***book post on March 25, 2014
This. pisses. me. off.
I do not mean in any way to diminish the achievements of this woman who has lived in the nightmare of chronic pain nearly all her life.
But. This runs the risk of deluding people into thinking that all chronic pain sufferers should be exercising as a way to handle their pain. As though we are slackers and whiners, and gosh, that girl is swimming the English Channel, is it really that hard for you take your trash can to the curb?
It completely dismisses the great majority of chronic pain sufferers whose pain is due to an actual injury, and that exercising it makes it worse, not better.
Swimming, in fact, is the reason I’m in this situation. While it took a while to nail down an official cause, gradual development of posture misalignment combined with an intense swimming regimen has been determined as the culprit. I do what I can at the gym, but that’s for my sanity. It’s got nothing to do with my pain, except for the fact that my injury has prevented me from engaging in nearly all of the types of exercise I used to do to stay in shape. And I’m one of the lucky few who can still exercise at all. Many, if not most, chronic pain and fibromyalgia sufferers can’t even do that much.
You know what helps my pain? Rest. Not moving. Lying on my back with a towel rolled up under my neck, preferably. That is the only thing, other than nerve manipulations (stick a needle in the nerve branch causing the pain and chemically or mechanically disable it), that makes my pain better (for a short while). However, since I am a part-time student with a part-time job (although I’ve had to cut back the hours on both), I can’t rest most days. I have to go about my business, appearing totally normal to the casual observer, all the while trying to ignore the stabbing, burning pain in my neck and shoulder that accompanies me wherever I go and whatever I do.
Wish somebody would write a news story about that.