Coping with Chronic Pain



Such an ugly word.

Doctors say pain is necessary — it is our body’s way of telling us when something is wrong. And I can accept pain with a reason. If I tried to act like a kid again by riding my son’s skateboard and fell and broke my arm. The pain is there to tell me I’m hurt and that I should probably think things through a little better before acting on silly ideas next time. I get it. Falling hard = pain.

But then there’s the pain that plagues some of us for no reason. Doctors call it chronic pain. I call it hell {and sometimes other words when I’m alone with it}. There are a myriad of labels that our physicians may put on this pain when they finally determine that they can’t determine any reason for it — bad back, arthritis, migraine headaches or, in my case, Fibromyalgia.

Sometimes there’s medication that helps some people with some of these conditions. Sometimes there’s not. That leaves sufferers of chronic pain to learn how to cope. We must learn to accept the pain as part of our existence and implement strategies to minimize its affects on our life.

While I searched for three years for a label for my myriad of worsening symptoms, my chronic and life-altering pain just began four months ago under the stress of a work-related traumatic hand injury my husband endured. Stress and fear ratcheted and my body became inflamed and foreign to me within 12 hours of his accident. The new pain actually brought clarity to my puzzling health concerns and helped my doc and I discover my Fibromyalgia.

So I’m fairly new to chronic pain. It can make you feel anything but new though.

I take medication for my condition, which is supposed to help with the pain. It does… some. I am starting to go on short walks around my neighborhood consistently, whether I feel like it or not, to keep from getting too stiff. Sometimes I take an extra hot or extra long shower. And I use tools like a heating pad or a weighted blanket when my legs feel like they just might crawl right off my body.

I am learning to say, “No,” sometimes too. I do only as much as I should when I can, and don’t do anything when I can’t. Okay, okay. That’s a lie. But I’m working toward that goal! It’s tough. I don’t want to let my condition win. Yet, not knowing and/or heeding my {new} limitations is exactly when my condition inhibits me the most.

I don’t have any real words of wisdom about chronic pain. It’s a little about having the right tools and a lot about changing your lifestyle to only allow your condition to take as little from you as possible.


Penny Williams is a freelance writer, real estate broker, social media consultant, wife, and mom living in Asheville, N.C. She is the original creator of {a mom’s view of ADHD} and has just started a new blogging project at She has published several pieces in ADDitude Magazine, as well as personal essays in the books Easy to Love but Hard to Raise and Sensational Journeys.  When not writing, she can usually be found behind a camera.

One Response to Coping with Chronic Pain

  1. Nanci Kyhn says:

    Thank you for posting this.