Hiding My Pain - Don't worry, I'm Okay...

Ever had a bad cold or flu and you just hurt all over?  Ever had stabbing pain shoot up from your feet to your hips?  Ever wanted to stay in bed all day because the pain was just too much to handle?  If so, welcome to my world.
I am often accused of not being totally honest about how I am doing when asked.  I usually say something like, "I'm okay" or "Can't complain" because, like a good Minnesotan, I do not want to burden people with my problems.  Plus, I do complain about other things, I guess I figure that my health issues are my problems, not someone else's.  Instead, I don't bother anyone with my pain because there really isn't anything anyone can do about it. 
Still, there are times when I want to be perfectly honest when I am asked, "How are you?".  I want to answer that I am not feeling great.  I hurt all over, I have shooting pain in my legs and I am totally exhausted all the time from fighting the pain.  That plus all the other health issues I face can, at times, make my life a living hell. 
But ever since I was a small child I have been an optimist.  I am a "glass half full" kind of guy.  So, rather than dwell on my pain and the health issues that living with AIDS provides, I try to be positive and not let my true feelings show.  However, that can also be exhausting. 
But to treat the pain there are always medications, pain killers of all strengths and doses.  And acupuncture.  And meditation.  And hot showers. And humor.  And getting together with friends.  And travel.  And.......  But the best treatment of all is the love I feel from my wonderful husband Jim.  When he smiles at me, when we share a joke or when he just lets me know that he is there, by my side, when he offers a helping hand or he just lets me rest.  Without him, I really would not make it.  He gives me the strength to carry on and to say, "I'm okay".
Of course, our cat, Rudi. helps as well.  When he sits on my lap and purrs or cuddles when I nap, he makes me forget the pain for just a while.  Unless his claws need clipping! 
But really, don't worry about me.  I am okay and plan to be okay for a good long time!!!!!


  1. It's a balancing act, isn't it? I don't think most people aren't prepared for the truth, and saying,"I'm fine" gets them off the hook, in my mind. My version of that is "I'm workin' it." It lets them know the illness is RIGHT HERE, but the part of me that IS fine is, too.


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