Sunday, 11 October 2009

Online Chicken Soup for the painful soul

I have become acutely aware that a pain patient blog can become an uncheerful place, a place to have a moan or rant, a place that might give a false outward appearance of the persons self-esteem or confidence. But its place, by its very nature, cannot avoid the dark that pain creates - but shedding light on it by blogging or joining online communities can alleviate some of the psychological and emotional burden. Most of the time I do not think about my condition or focus too hard on the constant daily waxing and waning of pain - or I'd probably not get out of bed in the morning. Ironically, I'm a pain scientist so I do actually think about pain all day in a different context, but it has allowed me to compartmentalise what I feel into physical versus emotional.

When I was told that surgery was my only option to alleviate the progressive arthritic hip pain, and at that time I could barely walk half an hour before giving up, I spent a lot of time researching all I could on the subject. I also submerged myself in the world of online support sites - HipUniverse, SurfaceHippy, HipsRUs(UK). Some of the people on these sites gave me the most tremendous support and advice - I cannot thank them enough as it made my hospital experience and recovery a much better time. When your leg swells up to double its size post-op not many people will have thought to tell you to bring some knickers a size up from your norm to accomodate it!!

I have great respect for the people in these online support communitites that have taken the time to answer questions and provide insight to what you can expect for a variety of situations. There are far too many out there that suffer alone as they can't communicate their pain with their families and friends, either through a lack of understanding or fear for the future. It does not have to be that way.

No comments:

Post a Comment