Headaches and Hurting

Headaches and Hurting

The Pain Of Chronic Illness

by Aarón Blanco Tejedor on Unsplash

I was woken up at 5am, by my jaw, which decided to clench itself so badly during the night, that it gave me a migraine. I staggered downstairs, and got myself some painkillers and some water to take them with, and then went back to bed, where I tried to lay as still as I possibly could, because I didn’t want to risk making it any worse.

At about eight o clock, my miniature dachshund alarm clock demanded to be taken downstairs and let out in the garden. I then fed the dogs, while trying to stay upright, and not let the dizziness take over completely.

For the first half hour after that, I just tried to lay still in the hopes of not angering my jaw muscles any more, but it didn’t really work, and it was at that point, where I had to make the decision on whether I would try and go about my day, or whether I should just give in and rest.

In the end, I made the decision to do a bit of both. I had a pawtrait commission that I needed to work on, but at the same time, trying to do that when I couldn’t really see straight would have been pure stupidity. Instead, I decided to paint another fairy door, because I knew that there were larger areas that didn’t require such precise work.

I forced myself to take the dogs out, partly because I knew that they needed to go for a walk, and partly because I was hoping that the fresh air might help. Although it improved my mood massively, physically, I began to get shooting pains in my ears, and phantom wisdom tooth pain.

So, this afternoon, I chose to rest for a while. The dogs haven’t left me alone all day, almost as if they are playing nurse maid to me, which is very sweet, and definitely makes me feel loved.

The pain is still there, and I can only hope that a good night’s sleep will help to ease it a little. The thing is that this is not me throwing a pity party. I truly mean that. I don’t expect sympathy at all.

It is just one of those things that is a part of having a chronic illness. Many, many people have chronic pains that they deal with on a daily basis, and they are some of the bravest and strongest people I know. Especially as a number of them suffer under the curse that is an invisible illness.

In truth, I often think that invisible illnesses are some of the worst things to deal with, because (to state the obvious) there is nothing to see. People end up feeling like they must prove their conditions exist, and I know a number of people that have endured judgements, and prejudices, simply because someone could not see what was wrong with them.

It is a truly unfair situation. People with all manner of pain and disabilities are often forced to sit in silence because they simply feel too afraid or ashamed to actually say that “Yes” they do have an illness, and “Yes” they are in pain, or exhausted, or worn out, because they don’t know what response they will receive, and you know what?

That really sucks!


Li Carter is a writer, artist and crafter. She lives in South Wales, UK, with her family, and five rescue dogs. She’s on Twitter @rbcreativeli , Facebook: Rainbow Butterfly Creative, and Instagram @rainbowbutterflycreative and is the author of My Only True Friend: The Beginning. She is currently working on a new series titled The QuickSilver Chronicles. She is the original Rainbow Butterfly, and wants to fill an ever darkening world with a little bit of beauty and creativity.

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