Gaylyn’s Story – No Filter on Pain
By: Gaylyn Henderson
Doctor: “I’m sorry, I can’t help you.”
After seeing doctor after doctor, trying to get help for my new diagnosis, after coming to the realization that I will have to have another major surgery,…again, one doctor told me that he couldn’t help me. I wasn’t upset, I wasn’t mad; I wasn’t even frustrated because you see the thing was I respected his candor. Because most doctors don’t want to address the issue or can’t even figure it out. And instead of dismissing or trying to downplay my pain because of my appearance or the lack of their understanding, like most do, he was open and honest and trust me I appreciated his candor.
Filtering my emotions is a coping mechanism for me. That can be both good and bad. Good only because it helps me get through life living with IBD, bad because at times my true feelings are repressed and remain that way for a very long time. I’ve seen 4 different orthopedics, 1 rheumatologist, had about 10 appointments, 1 bone density scan, about 10 x-rays, 1 MRI and all within about a 2-week span. And oh yeah, I have a full-time job. I’m exhausted. So trust me when I say I appreciated his truthfulness because it helped me accept mine. For about five years I’ve lived in pain with no answer. Here I am thinking maybe I am imagining this pain. Maybe the pain isn’t real because nobody seems to be able to know how to treat it. But that’s just it, it’s not me, I am not imagining my pain. It is in fact very real. And for once, this physician was being very real with me. And now, I can finally admit to myself, I’m exhausted. And it’s okay to feel that way. I’m exhausted from trying to be stronger than I feel.
In this picture I am lying on the couch afraid to move and afraid to be in pain. Like in this picture, I am typically balled up or construe my body in a way to prevent or stop pain. I am constantly in pain and constantly trying to soothe and aid the pain. I’m hurting always, but I’m fighting always. In this picture and in most of my pictures I am holding up the peace sign. I’m always holding the peace sign. I’m not sure when I started doing that. But I’d like to think it’s a reminder, a reminder to try to concentrate on peace, peace of mind. When I find peace I am able to see that everything is exactly as it should be no matter how painful it may be. I find that when at peace I don’t concentrate on the pain and I start to realize that although it may not seem like it at the time I am going to get through it.
The very numbing thing about pain is that you don’t think you will get through it, but when at peace I am able to look back at my life and realize I always have and peace of mind reassures me.
This is my life with IBD right now, unfiltered.