Thursday, August 8, 2013

The Vulnerability of #Chronic Pain

I feel an intense vulnerability because of how disabling my chronic migraines and fibromyalgia are. Back when I was able to work I felt a sense of control over my life. I was a hard worker and dedicated to my career and my clients. This allowed me to be confident that my career would continue to progress and that no matter what I would be fine. I felt independent and challenged.

When I stopped working I was certain it would be a temporary thing. I was going to figure out what caused my migraines to go chronic, fix it and then resume my professional life. Since then I've learned that it's not that simple AND I got an additional chronic pain diagnosis of fibromyalgia. As things stand right now, there is no fixing either condition. I do believe I can manage my symptoms better and will always strive to do so but there is no cure or even good treatment for either.

My life will likely never get back on the track it once was. I'm learning to be okay with that. I have learned to really love my role as a housewife and am embracing my domestic side. I feel so blessed to have such a wonderful husband who takes great care of our little family. That being said, I just can't escape feeling super vulnerable because I can't work.

Even though everything is okay right now, you never know when something awful is down the road. What if something happened to my husband and he couldn't work anymore? What if he got laid off? What if we lost our insurance. If I were working I wouldn't worry so much about these things because we would still have my income. Not having that earning potential is scary. There is no way around it. We need money to live. Even if I did magically get better I've been out of the work force for so long I don't know that I could resume my career. Who is going to want to hire someone with my health background. Not to mention we no longer live in the city where I have all kinds of great professional contacts and am familiar with the programs and laws. Would I be doomed to working minimum wage jobs? Would I ever have the earning potential I once had?

We're being responsible and doing what we can to ensure that I would be okay in case of a worst case scenario but I just can't shake that feeling that I'm more vulnerable than a paid worker to the vicissitudes of life. This vulnerability has given birth to all kinds of worry and fear. I try not to dwell on these things because we can't control everything in life. All we can do is take reasonable, responsible measures to safeguard ourselves. But in times like this, when big changes are happening, I have trouble not being a bit overwhelmed with those worries and fears.

Do you ever feel this way?


  1. I can only work very part time and I also have disability. You can work a bit and still get disability. I have a friend and her family who have moved in with me and that has helped a whole lot. Combining our households was a definite good thing. It is scary what you are feeling and it can get overwhelmed but remember, you and your husband would get through it together. That is the best part, no matter what, you would get through it together.