Posted in Chronic Pain, Stigma Talks

An absurd reality


She left the doctor’s office and walked to her car in the hospital car park. Angela looked up at the glorious sun, the blue skies patched with puffy white clouds. Beep Beep unlocked the door and she sat in the seat for a while, contemplating on the absurd coincidence of her diagnosis. Her hands on the steering wheel, she leaned her head on her hands contemplating.  Suddenly, she burst out laughing so much, her shoulders shook.   A young girl saw her, walking to their SUV next to her old pocked Echo. The girl tugged on her mother`s sleeve, “Look, Mommy, the lady is laughing all alone and she isn’t even talking on her cell phone!” Angela heard the child and let out a soft groan, embarrassed at her public display of emotions.

She drove out of the lot. “May as well just face it, Angela! You don’t want to accept it but three rheumatologists have come up with the same results. Fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis, knees and C5 & C6,” she laughed again out loud,  “You just completed your thesis on the stigma attached to chronic illnesses that are invisible like mental illness and chronic pain.” How ironic was that? She really did hate this prognosis because of the stigma associated with it made her look weak, like a whiner. No one could see her pain; no one understood what she had to endure. There were no bruises, she did not wear a brace, walk with a walker (yet) or cane. Nope she would just have to deal with it and pace herself at work. Her insurance would never accept she work part-time…they just did not recognize this condition. What she found most difficult was hiding her condition to most people, colleagues, most friends and especially family. Only a few close friends understood.
She arrived at the bus terminal just in time to catch the bus to get to her late shift.

© Cheryl-Lynn 2014/05/18

Submitted for: Three Word Wednesday prompt, May 14, 2014 {Words: Absurd, Groan, Weak}


A little bit about moi: I am a mom, a nana, a sister, a woman, a friend, a human being…a youth counsellor, Family Life Educator. I have been working in the helping profession for over 25 years and volunteered in various capacities from youths to seniors. Tournesol is my nom de plume for haiku and other Japanese form poetry here at Tournesoldansunjardin I hope you enjoy reading through my daily waka. I also have another blog "Stop the Stigma" where I may stand on my soapbox now and then and hope it will become a place to drop in and share or comment on issues important to you. In that vein this could be a great way to learn from each other. Namaste!

5 thoughts on “An absurd reality

  1. Hello there, as you know I suffer from chronic pain and just recently got told there is nothing more they can do for me, except either take more drugs or attend a 3 week pain clinic. You know it isn’t weakness, far from it, people need to understand that, to suffer something that people can’t see makes one stronger, it has to, because really we would crumble otherwise and to survive its an instinct not to. We have to learn to grieve and live with this the way that work for us, there is a great blogger who has been fighting to get a book published that will be taken around schools on invisible illness’s to try and educate people, foggy frog and the pain gang, you might find it if you look this up. ~Ack sorry I am ranting….is this you cheryl, did you just get this prognosis? xxx


    1. This is wonderful, Justine, to have youths become more aware of these invisible conditions even if it is to just be a bit more understanding. I am sorry you suffer so much, I don’t know how you do it but you are such a positive example of “doing” when you can something wonderful like the blogs, your poetry…informing, your stories…you are truly gifited!


  2. I love this Cheryl-Lynn! Totally understand it because chronic illnesses you can’t see but you still suffer silently and sometimes alone. I hope this is not your prognosis!


    1. Thanks hon, glad you enjoyed my story:) I took today off since I only had yesterday off…thank goodness for discretionary days (wink) I will email you


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