The Reality of Chronic Pain – Guest Post by Georgina

“The Reality Of…” is a series with the aim to raise awareness of disabilities, illnesses, impairments, etc. Also, educating others about the barriers that disabled people and carers face. I hope this series helps to break down misconceptions and stigma.

Life doesn’t have to stop when you have a disability.

Meet Georgina!

Hello! I’m Georgina and I’m 26 from Sheffield. I’ve lived in Sheffield since I was 2 so it’s all I’ve ever known.

Photo of Georgina, smiling at the camera, and holding a single sunflower

Chronic Pain

I was a perfectly healthy plus size teenager when we got into a car accident. It wasn’t that bad or dramatic at all, but I ended up with really bad whiplash. Chronic whiplash turned into chronic spinal pain, and later I was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ME as well. I’ve not had a single day where I haven’t been in pain since the car accident and it has progressively become worse over time. Living in constant pain has led me to need to sometimes use a wheelchair.

Common Symptoms

I’m in constant pain. Constant. My pain is all over now, I get pains up and down my arms and some days I wake up with a heavy unusable arm. I can have back spasms if I bend over, pick something up, or try to put my own clothes on. I get shooting pains up my arms when I try to put a bra on. I can’t stand and cook in the kitchen without back spasm pains. I can’t even lay in bed with the softest bedding possible and all the comfy padding, without being in pain.

The only time I’m not in pain is when I sleep. With my Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, I can sleep quite a lot and do need a lot of sleep to function. I often need daytime naps and if I’m really bad and flaring, I won’t be awake for more than a few hours a day. 

How It Affects Me

It affects every aspect of my life, it’s stopped me from being able to do a lot. From being able to do more work, from going out and having a social life. It’s really frustrating.

Photo of Georgina sitting, cuddling Bella, her adorable big fluffy grey cat.

Learning To Adapt

Honestly, it’s been posting online that has helped me the most. Even when I post about having a bad day, I’ll get a message saying that I’ve helped an able person understand more, or helped a fellow disabled person to feel like they’re not alone. It’s helped me immensely and rather than feeling hopeless, it actually helps me to feel positive and like I can help others.

My wheelchair helps so much when I need to go out now. Beforehand, I would avoid going out because I couldn’t manage to walk for long periods of time without intense pain. I would need to come home after an hour or two but with my wheelchair, I can stay out longer and enjoy things again. It took awhile for me to accept that I needed one, but now I’ve transitioned from a transit chair to a power wheelchair and I absolutely love it.

I’ve named her Goldie because she’s Gold and now that I’m shielding and not going anywhere, I’m actually really missing her!

Photo of Georgina standing next to her powerchair.

Have I Changed As A Person?

Definitely, and in a really positive way. I wouldn’t say that I was a purposely ignorant person before, but I definitely didn’t understand the world as much as I do now. I didn’t see beyond myself and now I’m constantly thinking about other people and how things will affect them. I’m a lot more mindful, I’m a lot stronger mentally, and I’m a lot more empathic. 

My Favourite Superhero

I’m a huge marvel fan and it has to be Iron Man, I love a dry and, sometimes, dark sense of humour, and a lot of sarcasm to get through things, and he does it all so well! 

Thank you so much Georgina for raising awareness! If you would like to stay up-to-date with Georgina, then you can find her on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and her blog, She Might Be Loved.

5 thoughts on “The Reality of Chronic Pain – Guest Post by Georgina

  1. What a dreadful shock to one so young. I appreciated her sharing the reality of the aftermath of the accident without trying to sugar coat it. Are you starting this series again?

    Liked by 2 people

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