Do you know anyone suffering from an invisible pain disorder? For those not familiar with this term it is one that refers to a category of mostly chronic pain disorders which have no obvious physical manifestations. That is to say, the inside experience (misery) may not be easy to understand as the individual “doesn’t look sick.”
Migraines are my chronic and mostly invisible pain disorder. I say mostly because by day two of a particularly bad attack it is quite apparrent that something is wrong by context clues – I typically haven’t showered and my eyes, typically clear and engaged are dull and faraway whether or not I’ve had any medication.
The worst part about migraines for me, however, is that they make me invisible when I don’t want to be. I would rather be at work or at any number of my regular haunts than wearing my cheetah jammies like they’re my uniform, logging hours on my couch as though it were my cubicle. This may sound fun but we all know sick days are best used when you aren’t really sick.
I’m hoping this migraine is with so many others – in the past – come tomorrow morning but even so it will be realism, not pessimism to expect a couple more doozies before Christmas. This is part of my life. I don’t pontificate on the “good” or “bad” nature of it, nor whether it is “fair” or “unfair.” It just is. I don’t share my experience with an invisible pain disorder for sympathy but for the sake of awareness. The next time you have a co-worker call out for a couple of days and you overhear someone say, “She looked perfectly fine to me,” think about the other possibilities too.