The effects of chronic pain can be devastating to the way of life not only to the person in pain but also for family and friends. Chronic pain over time can bring the strongest person to their knees. Anyone can block pain for a short period of time say a month or two to heal a broken bone or let a painful condition heal, but when the pain continues past that it can make the pain feel like it is getting worse because it takes more energy and it slowly will just wear you down. This does not make you weak it makes you human.
We can handle the pain for short periods of time because we know the pain will go away, pain always goes away. Right?
Unfortunately the answer is no sometimes pain does not go away. Chronic pain is pain that lasts well past the time of normal healing. You may have a serious injury that at first you handle without much problem (like a broken bone) because you can block the pain by keeping your mind focused elsewhere or by just biting your tongue. But the longer the pain lasts the more energy it takes to block the pain. Explained another way imagine pain as something you can see so you try to ignore the pain by not looking at it and keep your eyes looking away. But as time goes by and the pain does not go away it will take more and more effort to not look at it. Eventually the pain will wear you out. Over time instead of looking away from the pain you get to the point where all you can see is the pain, it will completely consume you before you even realise it happened. A example I use is imagine a pro football player who breaks his wrist. They set it put it in a cast and the next week he goes out and plays with the cast on. People are amazed that he can play in so much pain. But if that level of pain is still there the next year he won't be playing because it is to painful. Even though it is the same level of pain he played with before.
It will wear you down over time.It seems that having chronic pain can actually create changes in the nervous system. What is Chronic Pain Video-ACPA So what do you do after the pain has already consumed you and you feel helpless. Get involved, the biggest mistake I think I made was not getting involved and letting the doctors take care of me. I actually thought doctors knew everything and the miracles of modern medicine could fix me. Wrong. Doctors know about anatomy but you know how your body feels better than the best doctor ever could. Get involved and get informed. Find out about your condition and talk to your doctor. Unfortunately not all doctors will listen or take your concerns as seriously as you may like. In that case you need to have a serious talk with your doctor or find a doctor who will listen which is not always easy. Also many doctors do not won't to admit that they do not have all the answers. Many seem to think they do. But I would rather have a doctor that is honest with you and tells you "I don't really know but we will find out" than have a doctor more or less guessing and contradicting other doctors "guesses". I have seen a lot of doctors over the years and have only had one doctor say "I don't know". It was unrelated to my back but I liked the honesty.
One thing that seems to be very effective at keeping your mind active and alert is debating friends family or anyone. This is something I used to do on a regular basis before my injury just because it was fun. Slowly I drifted away becoming mentally stagnant without even realizing it. After years of mental stagnation I finally woke up after a heated debate with a friend I had not seen in a while. For so long I had tried to have in depth discussions with mild success because the pain would always affect my thought process making it difficult to concentrate or hold my thoughts together. So whenever you are having a good day get comfortable and talk to someone and get your mind working. You will be glad you did.