Until you lose your health or find yourself in chronic pain, you will never have any idea how much my disability effects my life. You stand before your fancy degrees in your white coat, all while looking young enough to be my kid. I see you give me the same look that I used to give the “pain-med-seekers” that would roll through my emergency department as a nurse. Shame on both of us.
You don’t think I notice the way you look down while I explain why I can’t remember the last time I slept through the night; how when I awaken, my toes are curled inward with the stiffness of a statue. The tears I would once shed from the pain are now dry and as common as a yawn. Crying has become a part of my morning routine; my day that starts at 1:30 am.
You don’t have to say that you don’t believe me because your eyes do all of the talking. You flash a fake smile and ask if I have any questions as you exit. Do you really care if I have any further questions or is that your way of leaving politely? I’d bet money that it’s the latter and I can assure you that it’s far from polite. Words aren’t required in the accompaniment of these actions to adequately convey that I am an utter waste of your precious time.
I get the proverbial smile from your staff as I leave your fancy office. I have no intention of ever coming back. I would rather live in constant pain than go through the emotional hoops you make myself and so many like me jump through. It is humiliating. This was decided when you stopped believing in me, when you decided not to help me. You decided this for me when your eyes called me liar.
I am still in constant pain, but I am working to find peace. I am way too young to die, but I can’t help but feel I have stopped living some time ago. You would have known this if you would have just asked. I hope that you remember me and can learn from your missteps with my case. More than anything, I pray I have never treated one of my patients as negligently as you have treated me.
I know many of you live with chronic pain. I understand. I wish I didn’t, but I do. We must hold each other up. Hope everybody had a nice holiday weekend. Let’s speak again on Monday, I will bring the coffee. -R.