Invisible Disabilities

Living with Constant Pain

Health

Some illnesses and medical conditions are easy to spot, but others can be all but invisible to the person not suffering from them. The early stage of arthritis is one, and fibromyalgia is another that has no outward signs to let people know a person is suffering. Both of these can create a great deal of suffering in the patient who is living with constant pain, but neither of them has a particular mark that shows they are active within the body. People in pain tend to be short of patience, they can be exhausted physically, yet without a noticeable reason, and many of their symptoms can be ignored by even health professionals.

Learning to cope with the situation comes in many different forms, and it begins with getting a correct diagnosis. Those with early stage arthritis are a bit easier to spot because there is evidence that can be seen on an x-ray film. The swelling of the joint is often what tips off the doctor, and they can then begin alleviating the pain with medications.

Fibromyalgia is not the same as many other diseases, and it is not completely understood. The current scientific belief is that the pain receptors in the brain are affected, and the person becomes hypersensitive to random pains. While there are medications that can help alleviate some of the symptoms, not all of them are easily controlled. Worst of all, many have been the times when loved ones believed a person was simply complaining of a condition that did not exist. Finding the right doctor, able to make a correct diagnosis, has not been easy over the last few decades.

Living with chronic pain is difficult enough, but modern medications can help lessen that burden. What may be the most difficult part is dealing with a society where normal looking people are always presumed to be healthy enough not to need medication or understanding.