Living with Chronic Pain
Helping Loved Ones with Chronic Pain
Those facing chronic pain may have difficulty remembering what it was like without the pain. Chronic pain is non-stop and is always lurking around every turn. Understandably, things are going to become like a roller-coaster ride. This means that loved ones may not always be able to hold on to that cheery, go-lucky personality.
If caring for someone who has chronic pain, there are several things to keep in mind to ensure the best care possible without burning 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. Taking a breathe and calming down before responding is recommended.
Understand What the Other Person is Going Through
While the caregiver may not be suffering from chronic pain, it’s going to be difficult to relate on the same level as the loved one who is experiencing it. Though all people have dealt with pain in some form, those living with chronic pain don’t see an end to that pain.
To better understand chronic pain, people might remember a headache or stinging pain..
Now think about what life would be like if that pain never stopped.
- Could a person just smile and continue on with the day like normal?
- Would a person think that their patience wouldn’t be tested?
- Is it believed that a person wouldn’t say or do something that was later regretted, especially if it hurt a loved one?
This is what a loved one may be 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 certain moments. New skills and strengths will be developed, but there will be frustration and stress at times. A loved one may quickly become a person's entire world. In order to avoid burnout and to maintain sanity, be sure to have balance in your life. Caregivers should take time and do things for themselves to help them relax and reset.