Living with pain is difficult. The pain can be so unpredictable – a good day (which wasn’t really a good day in the first place) can quickly turn into a bad day. Sometimes there’s a reason for it getting worse. Perhaps I’ve somehow not avoided a trigger, or I’ve not paced myself well enough or simply pushed my limits and overdone it. But sometimes my pain worsens for no reason whatsoever and that is extremely frustrating.
My pain is constant. I try to manage it as well as possible by listening to my body and doing what it needs me to do. When I need to, I try to rest and I’m pretty good at pacing myself (most of the time). I know what I can and can’t do. I know if I push my limits, I’ll suffer more so I try to be careful. And I guess, after 10 years of living with pain, I know most of its likes and dislikes. So I try, when I can, to avoid anything that will make it worse. It’s not always possible to avoid triggers but I do my best.
However, it still catches me out because there are times when my pain just worsens for absolutely no reason. Those days are even more difficult and frustrating than the normal everyday pain that I live with. My normal days are painful and debilitating but at a level of pain that I’ve grown to accept and live with.
Although my pain is always there, it can suddenly flare up and become much worse for no reason at all. Just out of the blue, I might get stabbing pain in my back or a knitting needle in my knee kind of sensation. I know that I haven’t been out in the cold, eaten something chewy, or drunk too cold to trigger it. It just happens.
The same can happen with my hands, ribs, or joints. And sometimes, everything just flares up at the same time when I’ve done nothing out of the ordinary. On those days, I’m convinced that someone somewhere is sticking pins into a doll with my name on it. Either that or my own body simply doesn’t like me.
My Back and Knee Pain Worsened a Lot Recently For No Reason
A few weeks ago, my back pain worsened for no reason and it didn’t really ease off. Then one night, while lying in bed, that pain became even more intense. Again, there was no reason for the pain to worsen. I had done nothing. I hadn’t moved the wrong way and hadn’t lifted anything heavy. The following morning, the pain was still pretty bad, but I could cope with it. However, later in the day, I tried to do some house cleaning and my back and knee pain went to levels I haven’t felt for a while.
All I had done was wash a few dishes, vacuum the house – that was definitely not a good enough reason for my pain to worsen to that extent. Normally, my pain worsens when doing chores like that, but once I sit down for a rest, it eases off a bit. But this time, the pain was much worse and it didn’t ease off.
I had to go to bed and take strong pain medication which I hate taking because they make me feel really quite ill. However, when my pain is so bad, I have no option other than to take the meds and try to cope with the side effects.
The pain medication and bed rest made the pain a little bit more bearable. However, a few days later, I was still suffering much more than normal. My knee pain did eventually return to its normal level but my back pain didn’t.
Whenever my pain flares up like this, I always ask myself if I’ve perhaps done something without realizing it. I try to look back at the previous days almost in the hope that I can find a reason. Have I cooked, have I shopped or done some housework? Perhaps I pushed myself too far? Or have I twisted around badly? On this occasion, as often is the case, the answer is no. My pain had just worsened for no reason at all.
Pain is never easy to cope with. However, when you know what’s caused it, it feels easier to deal with it. Having an explanation means that you know why you have pain. If something has triggered it, you can try to avoid that trigger in the future. Knowing what caused it also teaches you that you have to listen more closely to your body and do what it is asking you to do. You can then try to prevent the pain from worsening for the same reason.
When pain worsens for no reason, you don’t know how to stop it from happening again. As well as frustration, there comes fear and worry. Your mind starts asking, “Why is this happening? Is there something else going on in my body to cause it? Is my condition becoming worse?” Those questions are often unanswerable especially just now, while we’re in the midst of the pandemic. At the moment, people don’t have easy access to GPs and if a GP does see you, they’re reluctant to send you for tests or x-rays. If they refer you to a specialist, referrals are taking such a long time. Besides that, doctors really don’t want to see chronic pain patients just because their pain has flared up more than normal. I have a CT scan scheduled for July, WTF?? I have to wait so long while in pain!
So for now, I will put up with the pain and hope it eases off with more rest and pain medication. Hopefully, it will be back to normal levels soon. I’m frustrated.