Thursday, 29 December 2016

Pain is Not Always Visible

This post is courtesy of my good friend Annie, who deals with pain every single day.


Truth time.  I am going to share a secret.
I have a multi-system autonomic nervous disorder called fibromyalgia.  I was diagnosed when I was 23.
It is a long-term condition which can cause pain, fatigue, headaches, tingling, stiffness, and mood and memory issues.  It also affects temperature control, digestion, restorative sleep, and more.  Symptoms vary.  Sometimes the simplest touch is agony.
I am not ill; my brain processes pain/stimuli differently.  No, I didn’t "do" anything to cause it.  Yes, it is why I need more rest and sometimes have motility issues.  No, there is no cure.  This is my normal.

Sometimes I can do something relatively minor like fixing dinner for my family and feel awful afterward. Other times, I can participate in something major and feel fine.  If I can’t predict my own reactions – I certainly don’t expect you to.  Additionally, I don’t expect you to know what to do, what to say, or even how to help me, so please do not feel that it is up to you to "make me better".

There is a difference between feeling "healthy" and feeling "happy".  If you see me and think I sound happy, it means I am happy.  I might be tired.  I might be in pain.  I might be feeling sicker than ever.  Please don't say "You sound better".  I do not sound better, I sound happy.


  1. Thank you for sharing how you feel. It will help me to better understand my friends who suffer from this.

  2. Wonderful insights, and I agree wholeheartedly, There is a big difference between feeling Healthy and feeling Happy! May you remain Happy in the New Year.

  3. I whole heartily agree. I have R.A., GERD, IBS, Type 2 diabetis, pains from being in a car accident and from being shot in the leg. All which affect in pain in one way or another. I am always in pain in some ways. Some days are better than others. Which allow me to be happy even if I am in pain. I really do understand. I am not trying compare saying my pain is worse than yours or yours is worse than mine because I am not. I do wish more people would understand what you wrote. There is a difference between the two.