On September 18, 2016, I experienced real severe acute pain for the first time. I did not know pain on this level existed, and I found myself paralyzed, shocked, and traumatized from this experience. I ended up in the Emergency Room of our local hospital after visiting a local clinic that said what I was experiencing was beyond their capabilities. After the usual four-hour ER evaluation, I was admitted to the hospital for care and treatment. About three months later, after several ER visits and hospital admittances, I was diagnosed with Gastroparesis.
Six years later, I am still dealing with daily chronic pain on levels that are hard to describe unless a person has had an experience akin to my pain levels, such as kidney stones, gout, and giving birth. Even then, it is still hard to explain what I experience every day because acute pain is different than chronic pain, and how they affect life differs as well. Chronic pain, long-term pain, affects life on a level that makes it hard or impossible to continue normal day-to-day activities. Couple this fact with the daunting possibility of never recovering, and you might get a small hint of what my life has been like over the last few years.
Learning to cope, rearranging life, and using time like it's going out of style has helped me regain a small portion of my life. Once in a while, I can devote a little time to a project or two (like this website), but it's hit or miss most of the time. So, as I am able, I will update and add content to this site. I am hopeful that something I post or link to will help others who face a life of chronic pain as I do. Learning that I am not alone was a big step for me. Again, I hope something I post will encourage you in some way and give you a little boost, a little hope, and help you through one more day of pain.
For me, it is often an hour-by-hour thing. Every hour is different, and often I do not know if I will be functional or not until I am within an hour or so of any planned task. It's hour-by-hour, minute-by-minute, and sometimes second-by-second, but I am still here. I plan on fighting this; I'm not giving up. Let's do it together and stick around to see how things turn out.
I am hopeful that one-day chronic pain will be curable, or at least truly manageable in a way to restore functional life to those of us who are now disabled. Until then, the fight continues. May we all have the strength and fortitude to keep going, even when it seems all is lost. May we one day stand victorious and gain something from the experiences we can use to help others in similar circumstances.
Keep on keeping on. Here's to you, victorious warrior! Never stop, never surrender, and don't forget the little things.