I think we all have that “worst moment” ingrained in our minds. That moment we will never forget when someone said something shocking and awful about our pain that we will never forget.
For me, it was a doctor. I woke up one morning with a sharp new pain that shot through my chest, up into my shoulder, and down my arm. It was concerning enough to make my way to urgent care to figure out what was going on.
The urgent care doctor assured me that it was a muscle spasm and nothing serious to be concerned about. He told me I need to stop fixating on the pain.
“Look at yourself in the mirror,” he said. “You have a body that would make other women jealous. Focus on that when you feel the pain, and you will feel better. You won’t notice the pain anymore.”
I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. How could he say something so inappropriate? How could he say something so ignorant? What in the world made him think that looking in the mirror was going to make me feel better about my pain? No. Just no.
I share this story because my guess is you have a story like this too. A time when someone said something so shocking or hurtful about your chronic pain, chronic illness, or disability that you just didn’t know how to respond. And I would love to hear about that story if you have the time.
Will you take the time to fill out the survey below to help me on a project I am working on?
Right now I am writing a manuscript that I hope will eventually help individuals with chronic pain, chronic illness, and disability better explain their experience. I want to document the unhelpful ways that people talk about our pain and come up with solutions for how we can best respond to these situations. I want to hear how you have successfully explained your pain in the past, to help others use similar strategies.
Will you take just a few minutes of your time to help me out with this? It will not just be a help for me, but to so many people who will hopefully benefit from this project when it is finished. Thank you so much for considering!
Click below to take the survey. Thank you!
Check out the first booklet in the Chronic Pain and the Christian Life series, But God Wouldn’t I Be More Useful to You If I Were Healthy, on Amazon.com.