Living with pain

Living with chronic pain can be a literal pain in the ass. And if you are like me, you are constantly met with older individuals that claim, “You don’t know what back pain is, wait till you get to be my age.”

Listen, this is not a competition or pity party. I am in pain literally every damn day and I don’t need your damn comments. I don’t need to justify or prove to anyone what I am going through. The only time I tell anyone my back hurts is when it’s crippling and I’m on my last leg. I’ll even say “my back hurts.” To get out of things; not because I don’t want to do it, but because I physically CAN NOT.

But yes there is a stigma behind being young and in pain. We only complain because we don’t want to do something, or were bored seeking attention.

When you live with an invisible chronic pain or illness, the last thing you want is people to feel sorry for you or think that you’re untrustworthy or a slacker. I hate when my back debilitates me so much that even the act of sitting down to enter codes is unbearable. It’s my job to sit and be on a computer. I’m not throwing bales of hay on my back, and then complaining about back pain. That is understandable. But just because I’m not working a labor intensive job, doesn’t make my back pain any less real or crippling.

Even though my back pain was brought on suddenly, it was because of years of overworking it. It’s also because I may have fucked it up on a failed attempt at the long jump, and even because I have a slight case of scoliosis. So it has never been pin-pointedly confirmed WHY I have back pain. But I do. And it fucking sucks.

On extremely bad days, the only comfort I get is laying in a fetal position, praying someone will rip my spine out of my back just so I don’t have to feel the pain anymore. I cry because it is so unbearably painful, and I cry harder because there is nothing that I can do. It’s there and it will always be there. I think to myself, “I don’t even remember what it feels like to not have any kind of pain. What is that even like? To not have to squirm around to try and discreetly stretch out the knots in your back. To sit through an entire movie.”

On good days, I get a false sense of hope that maybe my back is getting better, maybe I don’t need to go to the chiropractor anymore. Maybe I don’t need to take an ungodly amount of pain killers just to function.

Chiropractors, massage therapy, exercise, acupressure, electro therapy…all of it really does help me. It helps me feel like I am making progress and reduces the amount of times I have muscle spasms and the hours in which I am paralyzed with pain. But it will always be there. I have to take each day at a time. I want everyone to be aware that ANYONE can be suffering with some kind of pain. Young, old, male, female… And only we understand how it feels. I just want people to understand that everyone is dealing with something. I want people to please be considerate.

How to Prepare for a Summer Road Trip

Road trips are fun and exciting; there’s no doubt about that! If you’re planning a summer road trip, you probably already feel the excitement. You know, that fire in your belly. Don’t let that fire make you forget about some important things.

You need to make sure that your car is in a perfect condition before you put the pedal to the metal. Here are some important things that you should consider and check before you hit the road.

Air conditioning

If you want your road trip to be pleasant, and you don’t want anyone being cranky in your car, then you have to make sure your air conditioning is working as intended. Switch it on and make it run for some time on full blast settings. If the air coming out is not freezing cold, take it to your local mechanic and let them take a good look at it.

Safety equipment

As they say ‒ safety first. You don’t want to go anywhere without having high visibility jackets, warning triangles, and first aid kits. You never know when your car will break down, or when you’ll need to help a stranger on the road.

Tires

Even though you’re planning a summer trip, all-season tires might be a better choice for you because they give a much smoother ride. Of course, don’t forget to check the tire pressure at a gas pump and make sure that the pressure is at the manufacturer’s recommended settings.

Coolant

Keeping your engine cool is always important, but especially during a summer road trip. Check the guide in your car manual and follow the instructions to check the coolant levels. Ideally, the level should be right between the minimum and maximum markers. If you don’t have a car manual, your best bet would be finding a reliable mobile mechanic. The greatest thing about them is that they come right to you, and they’re very thorough.

If you want to make sure that your car is in a perfect condition for a road trip, make an appointment with them and let them check your car in front of your home.

Windscreen wipers

Don’t laugh! Just because you’re going on a summer road trip that doesn’t mean you won’t need the windscreen wipers that are working as intended! Check that the wipers are running smoothly and thoroughly cleaning your windscreen. If they’re not working perfectly, then buy new ones at any car shop. Be sure to refill your windscreen wiper fluid reservoir, too.

Documents

Your driving license and an insurance policy should be with you at all times. Put them in a purse or a box and keep them in your car at all times. If you’re traveling abroad, be sure to check what documentation you’ll need there months before going there. Sometimes getting necessary documentation can be a long process, so you need to apply in time.

Food

What really counts is the journey, not the destination, and what’s better than eating your own road trip food while driving? Prepare some healthy road trip food with your friends before you hit the road and enjoy!

If you don’t want to bring food with you, then you need to find perfect places along the highway where you can get your belly full. Find places that appear on various TV programs and places that are highly rated on Trip Advisor if you don’t want to end up in a bar that looks like a bar from “From Dusk Till Dawn”.

Entertainment

Being entertained during a road trip is equally important as having all your documents with you. Sure, you’ll be entertained because you’re driving, but what about your passengers? Remind them to bring their laptops, iPads or books.

 

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