When you live with chronic pain, you do still have good days. Of course "good" is relative, but the general cycle is one of ups and downs. (At least this has been the case with my experience over the years.) Sometimes the pain is worse, and sometimes it fades into the background enough that you can actually think about other things for a while.
Those are the good days. When the pain "isn't so bad" and you get to enjoy your life, even for just a little while. Those are the days that I take advantage of, and treasure immensely. But the cruelest twist of fate is that those good days are so often immediately followed by one or more unbearably bad days.
This was the case yesterday. As I mentioned, Friday was a fantastic day. But after spending just two hours at my son's school helping with his class party, I came home completely exhausted. I had hoped that it was just a normal exhaustion from keeping up with five-year-olds and all of their energy. But I had my suspicions that it might be more than that, and unfortunately I was proven right.
By Saturday morning I could tell that it was going to be one of those days. The "not so good" days. The days that remind me, oh so brutally, that I live with chronic pain. Fortunately my husband already had plans to take the kids out for the day... unfortunately I had to scrap my plans to go with them. But at least I got to stay home and rest (as much as you can when you're in pain.)
So I vegged out all day, my only activity basically being what was minimally required to sustain life. It might have been nice to have such a lazy day, if I had been doing it because I wanted to. But doing nothing all day because the pain has drained all of your energy ends up just being kind of sad. By the end of the day I found that I was tempted to have myself a little pity party.
Fortunately, though, I've been doing this long enough to know that these days eventually pass, and I can get on with life. (So yes, suffering from chronic pain for nearly two decades does have a silver lining. I told you I could find a bright side to anything, didn't I?)
So I skipped the pity party, and just got myself through the day, knowing that pain cycle will eventually turn back to another "good" day. And today was better. Still not ready to go out for a night on the town or anything, but I managed to do a little more than the nothing that I did yesterday, so I'm going to call it a win.
And when you live with chronic pain, you have to cherish those little victories. It's a great way to keep yourself going.