Picture The Pain

For the last year-and-a-half I’ve been experiencing chronic pain in my back and hips which often keeps me awake at night. Despite having written about it a lot, I still haven’t worked out how to describe it effectively to other people.

A few days ago I decided that rather than trying to find words to convey what I was feeling I’d try drawing it instead. This is what I came up with:

I showed these drawings to my doctor at the pain clinic today and he said they were really useful – I’d been nervous about the appointment and about showing him what I’d drawn but he looked at them for ages and seemed to be getting a lot of information from them.

He said that the drawings showed a pattern of pain that’s pretty typical for mechanical back pain – he explained that ‘mechanical’ meant pain caused by the muscles, bones, joints and ligaments.

The appointment felt useful and he suggested some new medications that should help manage my pain better at night. Fingers crossed this will mean more sleeping and less drawing in the early hours.

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