If you have a chronic pain disorder, you know how frustrating it is to hear “but it’s just [insert whatever activity here]” from somebody after you’ve asked for help, or confessed your difficulties with said task.
I try my hardest to not take it personally, but it does piss me off more often than not. Especially when that sentence is following up my explanation of why I need their help (because my chronic pain disorder makes it hard for me to do that).
We are in the process of moving, as I’ve stated previously, quite a few times before. Moving is strenuous on everybody. It’s physically and emotionally exhausting. When you add in having a chronic pain disorder, it’s even more strenuous.
There are things I know I cannot do. Like, lifting heavy things. Couches, boxes that weigh more than 20 pounds, dressers etc…I know I cannot do those things. Heck, I shouldn’t even be painting (but I am, because it needs to be done).
The living room is finished, and Matt and I wanted to stick to our original plan of moving the upstairs couches over and borrowing a steam cleaner off Matt’s friend so we could clean the carpets and couches. I asked for help, and while my friend offered up his truck and his muscles, he did make that comment to me after he told me I didn’t need to find a second person.
“Yes I do, I can’t lift couches. Bone disorder, remember?”
“They’re just couches,” he replied.
But they’re not “just couches”. It’s not just painting, or just walking my dog after painting and doing way too much solo because Matt can’t. It’s using up every single spoon I have. It’s being unable to move at the end of the day without bursting into tears. It’s about praying that Archer doesn’t wake up, because I don’t think I could carry him down the stairs because my pain is too great.
It’s no fun having tears spill from your eyes even as you try desperately to not cry from the pain. It’s no fun having little to no patience because the pain takes everything from you. It’s not enjoyable to feel like you’re repetitively giving the same responses to deaf ears. I can’t do that. It hurts. It takes too much from me. I can’t.
I hate those two words. I am a control freak. I want things done, and I want things done now. I don’t want to wait for someone to help me. I don’t want to tell someone I can’t when all I want to do is the very thing I’m asking for help with, all by myself without seriously paying for it later.
I won’t lie, sometimes I glance wistfully out the window and wonder what it would be like to have an unlimited amount of “spoons“. What does being just tired feel like? My “tired” is always accompanied with pain, and lots of it. What does sleeping all night without tossing and turning, trying to find a comfortable position but coming up empty handed because each side hurts and is uncomfortable?
I wonder how it feels to stand for longer than two minutes without excoriating pain in the heel…
Does it feel like floating on a cloud?
I wonder how it would feel to not need to count “spoons”, to be able to perform certain tasks without wanting to cry or collapse.
I realize how whiny that sounds, I do. I’m trying to paint a picture, to people like that friend that can’t grasp why it’s not just a couch to me. Why it’s so much more.
I’ve already exhausted myself beyond my capabilities. I’m taking it one day at a time, cutting my monstrous duties into more manageable bits, but they’re still extremely painful to do. They still require a lot more than I have left to give.
This weekend is the local fair, and while I really want to take the boys…I just don’t think I have enough “spoons” to do so. I also have a baby shower that I need to go to, but again…I don’t think I have enough “spoons”. I feel like I could sleep for a thousand years, but we still have so much to do. We’ve got to get this move out of the way.
And no, it can’t wait. Stuff that gets put on the back burner until “later” is just more stuff we’d have to do last minute, which is still exhausting and painful and even more stressful.