Yeah, that's right. I went to see my GP for my physical and he went on a half hour long tirade about how pain isn't real. It's just signals your brain gets. You just feel it. But it's not real.
That man has some gall!
I have Fibromyalgia, chronic tension, sinus, TMJ and cluster headaches, as well as migraines. I have degenerative knee caps (bending my knees hurts), flat feet, and bursitis (painful inflammation) on my hips.
It's safe to say I know a thing or two about pain. I've spent most of my life in pain. Even when I was a child, my bones grew faster than my tendons and I would sit rubbing my legs and crying because I was in so much pain. As a teen and in my early twenties I was plagues by sinus headaches and migraines. And I'm here, disabled, not working, not even able to care for myself, trying to survive with chronic pain.
Until I moved to Toronto and met the group of friends I have now, I honestly didn't know it wasn't normal to be in pain all the time. I couldn't remember a reality that didn't have me always in pain. And whenever I mentioned I was in pain to my parents or others they would say things like 'that's too bad' or, 'I wish I could do something for you', but never, not once did anyone tell me it wasn't normal!! How the hell was I supposed to know that's not how everyone else lived, and I was just a big wimp complaining all the time?! I didn't know! Not until one of my friends said it isn't normal to live with that much pain.
But it's not real. None of it is real. Pain and fear aren't real, my doctor said. They are just signals your brain gets. Sometimes they are helpful, sometimes not. But they are just information; they aren't real.
Sure, I know my FMS means my brain is screwing up, sending pain signals when there is no actual cause. But that doesn't make the pain any less real!!
My pain is just as real me to as him standing in front of me telling me my problem in all in my head, and I just have to learn to ignore the signals my brain is sending me.
EXCUSE ME!?!?!?! I'm in so much pain I'm fucking suicidal because I'd rather be dead than live in this hell and he has the audacity to tell me my pain ISN'T REAL!?!?!?!
It's not real. Just ignore it. That's his answer.
WHAT THE FUCK?!
My pain is real. Thank you very much.
Way to undermine a patient's sanity. Because if my pain isn't real, then neither is he and neither is anything else.
What makes something real?? I can feel it. I can manipulate it. I can make it worse, or better. Just because I can't see it doesn't make it not real. I can't see germs either, but they exist all the same!
If pain isn't real, then neither is joy, or love, or the air we breathe! I can't see the air. I can feel the it. I can smell it. But I can't touch the air - I can't hold it in my hand. So what makes it real?
And I will argue until I'm old and grey that LOVE is REAL. I can feel it. I can see it - by proxy in the actions of the ones around me that love me. I hold it in my hand every time my husband brings me a drink because my feet or joints are too damn sore to get up for myself. I wrap it around me every night - it's my husband cuddling me so hard I have to fight to get up to pee. I hear it in the joy in my parents voices when I make a surprise visit. I smell it when my husband cooks me dinner. I taste it in the batter when I bake him his favourite - banana bread. I can see it, hear it, touch it, smell it, taste it. That's all five senses. What more proof could you possible needl?!
But love started out as a feeling, and I can argue just as well for pain. They are real damnit!
My pain isn't real. I cannot seriously believe he said that to me. My pain isn't real?! I would so love for him to live in my body for a month, and then tell me my pain isn't real. It's fucking real all right, and actually experiencing it would knock him on his cocky ass, is what.
My pain isn't real. Ha. Sure. And I suppose fairies sprinkle fairy dust on the flowers to make them grow too.
My pain is real. I live with it every moment of every day. It's fucking real all right.
Perhaps I should break both of his legs, in multiple places, then when he's all healed up and his bones start to ache in the dampness I can tell him his pain isn't real, see how he likes it. It's only a bad signal. Stop your limping and just ignore it, you big baby. Yeah. That'd go over real well, I'm sure.