How to Get Understanding of Chronic Pain Through Pictures
How to get understanding of chronic pain through pictures is something that I started thinking about a while ago. Here’s the thing. I have always known, like most of you do, that story telling has been a powerful means of sharing experiences since ancient times.
You can learn more about chronic pain here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chronic_pain
That said, we live in a time were often the picture tells the story. Images sometimes have the power to move us in a way that words can’t. Also, the stigma associated with chronic pain sometimes makes it hard for people to talk about.
However, personal stories told through images and words can shed light on the impact of chronic pain on people’s lives. The purpose of this post is to do just that. I want to show you how to get understanding of chronic pain through pictures.
Let’s jump in….
When you have no control over your body
A lot of chronic pain sufferers feel that their spine is “definitely crumbling and cursed”.
They can feel that way because out of nowhere their flare-up, dramatic increase in pain levels, can start one night and not stop.
Flare-ups are often triggered by overdoing things, but the hard part is that the effects may not be felt until later. Sometimes it can be as much as 24 hours later by which time it is too late to do anything about it. You can’t go back and you have to live with the consequences.
The consequences can be frightening. Here is one chronic pain sufferer relating her story:
“I’d walked up a hill to get to a friend’s car and it just knocked my SI and hip out and I couldn’t move and I was worried about not being able to get to the bathroom. I was worried about soiling my own bed and lying in it because I couldn’t move. That didn’t happen I am delighted to say, but the panic of something like that is just, it’s frightening….” 
What Lesson Can we Learn About Crumbling Temples
What’s the lesson that can be learned for those who don’t live with chronic pain? Our culture values what you can do and defines that as productivity. It often defines achievement as to what you are physically able to contribute.
It Gets Worse
Imagine the void you would feel if people around you suddenly viewed your as less of an achiever because of your chronic pain condition. It would more than hurt your feelings. You might start questioning your self-worth. This is what some people who keep getting flare-ups experience.
it doesn’t always take a flare-up to make a pain sufferer, especially one with a bad back, to feel that their body is rejecting them. It can be something as small as bending to pick up a pen from the floor and then you get stuck. Here is the experience of one pain sufferer:
“I was at the grocery store, and I bend to pick up my list which had fallen on the floor. I got stuck and needed help to straighten up. It was embarrassing.” Pain sufferer forum
Another one said his sciatica acted up when he sat in a chair that was too high. “ I felt like I was being mauled by a bear”. Pain sufferer forum
What Lesson Can we Learn About The Mechanics of Our Body?
Any sudden or awkward movement can result in back pain. For most of us, the pain will go away as the body adjusts back to normal. However, for people already experiencing chronic back pain any strain, twist, or unusual movement is likely to make tolerable pain feel much worse.
This refers to the problem of focusing when you are in pain. Most of us are aware of how hard it is to focus when we are experiencing stress. For example, You’re having a birthday party for your teenage daughter the same day you just found out that you lost your job. You want your daughter to be happy, but it’s going to be difficult to concentrate on the hoopla and the balloons.
Here is how a pain sufferer puts it:
The pain can become all-encompassing, making it difficult to focus on other things they may want to do, such as reading, exercising, or even having a conversation, he says. “You can’t forget it because it’s there all the time.” 
Here is How Some Pain Sufferers Found a Way to Regain Focus
Some pain sufferers have been taught how to think about or visualize their pain as something that they could reduce or put away. For example, putting the pain in a box, dimming a bright light or watching a hot sun set. One woman described visualizing putting the pain from her thumb behind a glass screen and was surprised when it worked. 
What Can we Learn From Pain Sufferers About Our Own Problems With Focusing?
We can better understand how something like deep breathing and relaxation can reduce stress and help us focus.
What Would You do if You Had no Pain?
This is a question that pain sufferers are constantly asking themselves. The surprising thing is that the answers are often uplifting and a celebration of what most of us take for granted. Far from depressing, the answers are inspiring. They are a call for the rest of us to get off our ‘pity couches’ and appreciate what we have.
Here are just some of the things they would do:
“I would sit on the floor and play with my grand babies”.
“I would light up a bonfire and roast marshmallows.”
“ I would go to the beach and dive into a wave.”
“ I would go out to dinner with an old friend I’ve lost touch with.”
What Can we Learn From The wishes of Those Who Live in Daily Pain?
We can learn to be grateful that our blessings are more than our challenges.
This is a message that pain does not define who you are. After the initial shock of how pain has forever changed many of the things they used to do and now can not, a lot of chronic pain survivors become resolute and are determined that pain will not control their lives.
What Can we Learn From Those Chronic Pain Survivors Who go on With Their Lives Despite The pain?
I think we can learn that we should never allow any difficulty or challenge define who we are.
There is a lot written about chronic pain survivors. Some of it is junk, but a lot of it, if you do the proper research, is quite good and informative.
However, even the most interesting articles can at times be weighted down with statistics and peer research that really doesn’t help the average person seeking to understand what it’s like to see the world from the perspective of a person who suffers daily pain.
I hope that I have helped you understand the experiences of chronic pain sufferers through the process of using images that allowed you to place yourself in their shoes and feel what they feel.
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I like to hear from the readers so please leave me a comment below to let me know if this post helped you or if you have any questions.