The difference between chronic and acute is just a matter of ‘time’ really. An acute attack of pain is something new that arrived and (hopefully) went. A chronic attack of pain is something that has been there for a long time, constant, like a toothache gnawing away at you come rain or shine.
If someone falls over and breaks a leg they are in immediate acute pain, and by the time they have been looked after in hospital, they usually leave with their pain in control. If someone is in chronic pain due to a toothache or back pain, there is usually nothing that you can actually ‘see’ that is causing it. Treatment for this type of pain can be a combination of things with the help of your GP and Pain clinic.
The average person will cope with some type of acute pain in their lifetime but most won’t have to suffer from chronic pain, so unless they have been in this sort of pain they have no idea what it is like.
Time and time again I get told how ‘well’ I look as if I must be making up how I am actually feeling. Many a day I’ve felt despair, rage and profound disappointment that I could not do certain jobs. My life has changed so much over the years that I can hardly believe it.
But staying positive, which I think I do, helps you through the dark days when the only people who know how much you are suffering are your loved ones. At this time of year everyone, in particular, women (sorry fellas) just don’t seem to stop so there will be many of us suffering in silence.
Soooooo, if you know someone who is in pain just remember to give them a helping hand at this busy time of year.