Ask the Chronic Pain Expert – Kaylynn Gebauer


Ask the Chronic Pain Expert – Kaylynn Gebauer

Why it’s Important to be Heard by Family

Chronic pain is often described as the silent suffering. Too often the quick answer “fine” echoes out when you are anything but. Trying to be stoic and pretend everything is good isn’t the best in the long run. Slowly the bad days will pile up and even good days will turn bad when you extend yourself trying to meet unrealistic expectations. Exhaustion sets in, then along with it frustration; and it all starts with that one quick word “fine”.

As the one suffering, you’re constantly reminded that you are in pain, but those around you slowly forget unless they are reminded. It’s difficult for even the most sympathetic supporters to truly understand without experiencing something similar themselves. And though you may feel like a broken record repeating yourself, polite reminders help keep those close to you in the loop.

Telling the truth about how you feel is the best way to help your family and friends to interact with you. Knowing on bad days they need to simply let you do what you need to endure, and on good days they can encourage and challenge you. You need to realize that asserting yourself doesn’t make you annoying but easier to include on a day to day basis.

No one knows your limits as well as you, and it’s your responsibility to make sure those around you follow them. Sit down and write out what your bad days are like, and what’s the most that should be expected of you. Find the limitations on your good days so you don’t burn yourself out. Find what works best for you and share it with your loved ones. Knowing is half the battle, and gentle reminders will win the war. And always if you get stuck, ask for help we are always here to support you.

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