Sunday, May 02, 2010


Another Chronic Babe Blog Carnival submission... This week's theme is Learning To Live With Pain. I'll link to the rest of the articles when they all go live this week.


I don't remember what it's like to live without pain.

I can't remember a single day of my life where I didn't wake up and feel pain in most of the joints and muscles in my body. Of course, some days are far better than others - but even on my very best days, it's always there.

People get really sad when they find out that I've lived with chronic pain since I was ten. I've thought about that, for sure. But what I've thought about even more is the fact that I might be incredibly lucky NOT to remember very much about life before I got sick. Kids don't always get knocked down in the same ways that adults do. Of course, maturity and perspective are incredibly important when it comes to dealing with something like chronic pain. But there is definitely something to be said for youthful resilience.

I was so freaking determined to be NORMAL that learning how to live with pain just kind of happened. If I was going to do things with my friends, if I was going to have a full course load and a full social life, if I was going to go to university and build my career, I needed to push through the pain. Again, thank God for the naivete of youth. When you're young, you're so much more fearless and you still believe that you can do anything. Some of the trial-and-error process really hurt, but one day - right around my twenty-fifth birthday - I stopped and looked around and realized that I was doing it. I was living my life with chronic pain. And all things considered, I think I was doing it pretty well.

Some days, I think about ten year old Lindsay. It makes me want to cry. I want to hold her and cry and mourn the loss of her childhood - because in so many ways, that little girl went from ten years old to adulthood literally during Spring Break when she was in grade five. I squeeze my eyes shut and wish with all my might that I could shield her from what's coming, stretching out my arm to brace her from the accident I can see coming right at us.

But in the next breath, I wonder what that would be stealing from her. Chronic pain isn't something I like, but it's undeniably a part of me. When your energy is limited and every movement counts, it causes you to prioritize every decision and everything in your life.

When everything costs something, you place value in the things that truly count. And that's a hefty little life lesson for a ten year old. But it's one that I would never take away from her.

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At May 03, 2010 7:56 PM, Blogger Nikki + Shane said...

beautifully written.

At May 06, 2010 7:15 AM, Blogger Annie said...

This was a lovely post.

I have also been in pain since I was 12 years old. For every blessing I've gotten from it, there has been an equal curse. But one always has to make the best of one's circumstance.

You should come visit me at my blog - It's Time To Get Over How Fragile You Are.


At May 06, 2010 9:49 PM, Blogger Dana Marton said...

I have also had pain since I was 10--that I know of. It may have been even earlier. It was wonderfully written. I rarely visit 10 yr/old Dana. Maybe I should do it more often, and just give her a big hug for such courage and strength so soon!!!


At May 07, 2010 11:02 AM, Blogger Never That Easy said...

Beautiful post - really. I do wonder what a 15 year old NTE would think if she saw where we are now, but I hope she'd be proud of how we've adapted. It's a part of me now, too, and so this post makes so much sense to me

At May 07, 2010 12:59 PM, Anonymous Judith Westerfield said...

I can not begin to imagine what it was like for you to be 10 years old and in chronic pain. You are right it indeed has formed who you are today - in that case your pain sounds like it did an excellent job.
Judith Westerfield
P.S. Why do you hate birds?


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