The Invisible Handicap

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Chronic pain. It’s real. It’s debilitating. It makes you want to just curl up and die.29657_425099515940_6942706_n OK, well, not necessarily die, but just not have anything to do with the world at that point in time. We just want to be left alone. We hope it will go away. We are pretty sure it would feel so much better if we didn’t have all the responsibilities that come along with living. We wish the dog would walk itself and the children could just do without Mom for one day. We wish we didn’t have to go to work. There’s nothing like falling asleep after a night of tossing and turning and then the fucking alarm goes off. And then comes the stress of the job: the work, the co-workers, the clients, the commute.

Yet, people will look at you and think, “There’s nothing wrong with her. She’s just fat. If she would just get up off of her lazy ass and move around, she’d be alright.” Okay, to be honest, that’s partially true. I once had back pain so bad, I practically crawled into the chiropractor’s office. He looked at me and said, “You’re overweight. You need to walk two miles a day.” At the time, I was actually not overweight. I have wide hips, and at the time, people did not admit that a big butt was attractive. This was all before Jennifer Lopez and Kim Kardashian made that a ‘thing’. NOW I am overweight. But, anyway… I looked at the guy in astonishment. I couldn’t believe it! I could barely walk into his office, and here this fucking moron wants me to walk two miles??

Okay, well, out of spite, I decided to do it. It was a huge struggle at first. But, you know what? It worked! I started to feel better and after a while, I was able to stand up straight and actually walk.

I did feel good for a while, but you know what? Chronic pain never really goes away.  It eventually comes back – with a vengeance. And you just don’t want to get up anymore. You don’t care if you get fat. And you do get fat. Which doesn’t make matters better. But you don’t care. You are in pain.

You know, you see all of these success stories of people with physical handicaps who accomplish amazing feats. I am so happy for them, I really am. However, many of them, while they are physically challenged, do not have pain. Not all of them, but lots of them. Some are born that way and really don’t know any different. And it truly is an accomplishment for them, and I think they are incredible and amazing.

But you know what? I have days where I feel like I need a standing ovation just for making it out of bed. I feel like people should be gaping in awe that I made it to work. But, no. What do I get? Eye rolls. For being fat. For feeling pain.

Apply for disability and what do you get? Denied! Why? Because you can still sit. OK, you may have excruciating pain while doing it, but who cares? Or, maybe you can still wiggle your big toe. Or maybe you can still pick up a phone. No sympathy for you!!

Maybe one day there will be more recognition for it, but until then, people with chronic pain have to suffer in silence.

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