National Pain Week 2018

I discovered today while watching breakfast tv that it was national pain week. Not that I need an excuse to write about pain as it’s been over a decade of chronic pain for me now but while the wider discussion is happening why not put my two cents worth out there.

10 years of missed opportunities, missed wages, career development, friends, family, relationships or 10 years of opportunities, friendships, ability to help others, different paths taken. Neither negates the other they are both as real as each other yet the focus definitely dictates the future.

There is so much I’ve missed out on personally and professionally yet due to that I’ve experienced so many other things that I probably would not have otherwise. I’ve also been able to and still do to this day get the opportunity to assist others around the world through my lived experience.

I still to this day don’t know the identity of the driver who’s split second decision forever altered my life. I still wonder if they just got on with their life after getting their car repaired, or do they sometimes wonder what happened to the motorcyclist that they sent sliding across the highway through peak hour traffic.

I’m extremely thankful I’m still here to tell my tale. I’m thankful that though I have my difficulties I can do so on my own. I’m thankful that despite the pain I can take care of myself. I’ve recently read a couple of stories of people who’ve survived accidents and what they made of their lives afterwards. One thing that stood out to me from both is how much their close family and friends were there for them.

Part of the reason this was highlighted to me in both stories was how much that has been lacking in my own journey. Before you go making assumptions, part of the reason for this has been my own making. I grew up learning how to be self reliant so it’s no surprise how much I’ve suffered without others knowing just how much over the last 10 years. Without those connections there before an accident it’s very hard to establish them afterwards. Even harder then to get the best medical care you need if you aren’t in the best position to access it and you don’t have an advocate assisting you along the way. I’m thankful we have a system but it is fundamentally flawed.

The friends and family I do have in my life have been wonderful each in their own unique ways. Having friends around the world has certainly helped when friends in one time zone are working or sleeping there’s another somewhere else available to chat to. The ones closer to home that have visited have made a world of difference. Visiting others is still difficult even this past weekend after spending some time on Saturday visiting at their homes I spent that night during the wee hours of the morning in the coldest room of the house dealing with my upside down volcano as I call it. A very painful and draining in more ways than one experience. The after effects of which last into the next day as I feel even more exhausted than usual. Making dealing with the pain even harder as I don’t have the energy to process my emotions in a healthy way.

I recently gave a talk at a local rotary group and it gave me an opportunity to look at just how much I had managed to accomplish over the last 10 years. I’m surprised just how much I have achieved given what I’ve been through. The cost of pushing myself was something else that was a common thread in both the books I read, both were by driven athletes who found it hard to adjust to their new circumstances. I pushed so hard at one point ignoring my body to finish the task at hand I ended up spending a week in hospital but I’m still proud I got that translation of the book out on time.

So whatever pain you are dealing with in life be it physical, emotional, spiritual or mental know you aren’t the only one. Others have made it through before you and others will go through a similar situation to yours in the future. Our journeys are all different, but we can all help each other along the way. #nevergiveup #painweek2018

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