Helping Loved Ones with Chronic Pain
Those suffering from chronic pain may have difficulty remembering what it was like without the pain. Chronic pain is non-stop and always lurking around every turn. Understandably, things are going to become like a rollercoaster ride. This means that the one you love may not always be able to hold on to that cheery, go-lucky personality.
If you’re caring for someone who has chronic pain, there are several things to keep in mind to ensure you can provide them with the best care possible without burning yourself out.
Don’t Take It Personally
Above all, it’s important to remember not to take anything personal. Those living with chronic pain will not always be able to just ignore the pain and keep smiling. They may say hurtful things that they don’t really mean. Be sure to take it in stride. Breathe and calm yourself down before responding.
Understand What the Other Person is Going Through
While you aren’t suffering from chronic pain, it’s going to be difficult to relate on the same level as the one you love who is experiencing it. We’ve all dealt with pain, but those living with chronic pain don’t see an end to that pain.
Try to imagine that headache or stinging pain that you had in the past.
Now think about what life would be like if that pain never stopped.
- Do you think you could smile and continue on with the day like normal?
- Do you think your patience wouldn’t be tested?
- Do you believe that you wouldn’t say or do something that you later regretted, especially if it hurt a loved one?
This is what your loved one is going through. Don’t question their pain as if it was optional; rather, acknowledge that it exists and support them.
Strive for Balance
Caring for a loved one who deals with chronic pain is going to be trying at times. You’ll develop new skills and strengths that you didn’t know existed, but you’ll definitely become frustrated and stressed at times. Your loved one may quickly become your world. In order to avoid burnout and maintain your sanity, be sure to have a balance in your life. Take time to do things for yourself, in whatever form helps you relax and reset.