Chronic pain is a horrific problem to struggle through, even the best of times, so when it comes to being a parent, it is a whole new ball game.
One of the most difficult partsof being a parent with chronic pain is the task of explaining to your children why you might not be able to participate in certain activities, or that you have to rest when they want to play, or that sometimes you are angry because you are in pain—not because they have done anything wrong.
Aside from having to navigate these feelings, disappointments, and conversations, the sheer impact that it has on a parent’s day-to-day life can be extremely difficult.
This piece will discuss how to manage chronic pain as a parent.
What is Chronic Pain?
First and foremost, it is important to understand that chronic pain is not the same as acute pain.
Acute pain usually goes away after around six months and has an underlying cause such as surgery, injury, or childbirth. Chronic pain can occur long after an injury has healed, and can often have no discernible cause at all.
The main characteristics of chronic pain can include lasting for much longer after an initial injury and also for an unpredictable amount of time. It can also be in connection with diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis; however, the disease activity may not actually be connected to pain levels.These are just some of the reason’s why chronic pain can be tricky to manage.
For those who have questions about chronic pain, head over to veldarosemed.com for more information on finding a patient care specialist.
Understand Your Limitations, and Forgive Them
One of the most important points to remember when dealing with chronic pain as a parent is to understand that there will be limitations to what you can or cannot do, either with your children or for your children. Secondary to this is forgiving yourself for these limitations. Those who suffer from chronic pain are at no fault of their own, and it can be hard to deal with guilt.
Talk to Your Children About Pain
Depending on the age of your children, this conversation can be tricky, but nevertheless, it is still extremely important. Seeing a parent in pain can be a confusing time for children, as it is often the parents who are the carers. There are a few issues that children may have concerns with, but the bottom line is that they need information and reassurance. Reassurance is important for two main reasons: so that children know their parent is okay and will be okay in the future; and also that their situation is not their fault. When pain goes unexplained, children will often come to their own conclusions, and they will quite probably be wrong. For example, “My mommy does not want to play with me,” instead of “My mommy cannot play with me because she hurts.”
Accept Help and Look into Available Resources
There is absolutely nothing wrong with accepting help from a trusted source, so you are able to get the rest you need. There are also professional resources that could help you cope with life as a parent with chronic pain, such as a psychologist that specializes in chronic pain. Talk to health professionals about anything that is bothering you—there may be a solution you are unaware of!