No one can truly feel someone else's feelings or pain. One of the hardest parts of being in physical (and I am sure other types of pain too) is that you feel very alone sometimes. There are times when I just look at the people around me bustling about, always busy, getting so much done ... and I just feel like none of them know what pain I am struggling to control every single day. I know that I am probably wrong. MANY people carry around alot of pain every day and EVERY person has something weather physical pain, or emotional pain, or stress, or memories from a bad past ... everyone on the planet has something in their life that can cripple them if they let it. But, when physical pain stops me from sleeping or from being able to work outside of my home, or even eat many times ... I begin to feel like I am alone and no one understands how it feels. Many of you who ready this blog do suffer from daily physical pain and illness - and it is comforting to have friends who understand when I say that I had to cancel another appointment, that I couldn't sleep because I had to breath through the pain .. it feels good to know that I am not just crazy - but that there are others who know how I feel to some degree.
For those of you without chronic physically pain, sometimes the sweetest thing you can do for your loved one who is in pain is to try hard to understand how we feel. My husband is great at this - he often asks me specific questions about what my pain feels like (often I can't describe it!) and he does his best to understand. Last October we both got the swine flu and were super sick with temps at 104. Thankfully he was sicker first and then when he started to be able to get around I got sicker - so we took care of each other. One of the main symptoms of the swine flu was a super sore chest and the pain was almost identical to the pain I get with paricarditis. Also, the flu brought aches and fatigue - exactly what I feel on bad days. My sweet husband who always wants to eat had a day when he didn't want to eat or drink much of anything - and that is how I spend probably 75% of my days nausea being a almost constant feeling for me. I hated seeing him sick, BUT- that experience was really good and I feel like in a way it was a small gift from God to us. It helped him have some reference for when I am laying around with chest pain and when everything hurts and I am super tired. It gave him a look at how I feel much of the time and it gave me a look at how sad it makes him to see me sick so many times. Both those of us with pain and those without need to do our best to put ourselves in the other's shoes whenever possible.