I love planning ahead - making lists and crossing off the things that I have accomplished, planning when to get together with friends .. go on vacations ... etc. One thing that I am learning is that with chronic pain the most well laid plans cannot hold up to a pain episode. Pain has a way of trumping all plans. I think this is an area that is really hard to understand for those who are not in chronic pain. When I have to back out of a certain activity I feel very bad about it, but there is often nothing I can do. Sometimes I resort to just not making plans that involve others because I am afraid of disappointing them. Thse who are not in chronic illness or pain, need to understand that when those of us in pain have to cancel something we had wanted to do it is often very hard for us and we feel so guilty about it. We hate being "run" by our bodies and anger comes naturally when plans have to change. You (without pain) can help by being understanding and not making us feel more guilty by rubbing it in. You can also help us by giving us an out when the plans are made "I would love to get together with you on Wednesday if you are feeling good that day!". Then we don't have to feel quite as bad if we can't make it.
This is a touchy subject and those of us in pain need to also be careful of abusing our health by making excuses when we really COULD have done something but just didn't want to!