“Pain Awareness Month speaks to medical professionals, family, and friends of the chronic pain suffer, and the suffers themselves. Due to the wide variety of pain and its causes, chronic pain can be difficult to treat. Therapies and treatments vary depending on the cause of the pain – and not all treatments work for all people. It’s frustrating for anyone with chronic pain, especially when those around them don’t understand.”


This observance speaks to me on so many levels. Many experiences in my life, both personal and profession, have educated me about chronic pain and illness. However, there is one particular moment I’d like to share with you.

My husband nearly died in a work-related accident where his back was broken. They thought he’d never walk again, but God is good and Dusty is stubborn. Well, fast-forward to when we stopped at a wayside and parked in a handicap spot (Yes, we had the proper tags as Dusty even had hand controls in the car at that time).
An elderly couple saw us returning to our vehicle and yelled at us, only seeing a young couple who apparently parked illegally.
We ignored them, got in our car, and moved on with life, which bothered me.
I asked Dusty, “why didn’t you explain the situation to the man? Lift your shirt and show him your scars.”
Dusty had the best answer I’ve ever heard. He said, “the man will only see what he wants. Nothing I say or do will change his opinion, and I owe him no explanation.”

People who live in chronic pain come in all shapes and forms. They are good at masking what they feel even when you CAN see their ailments. Why? Because they don’t want to be a victim nor do they want pity. They just want to live as normal as possible. Maybe people could help by being a little kinder if not a little less ignorant.

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