Saturday, August 21, 2010


What would it feel like if you could,
walk a mile in my shoes.
Not the pretty high heels,
but the really muddy icky shoes?

"I know how you feel."

How many times have we heard that statement? How many times have we said that very same thing? You won't know what I feel like until you walk a mile in my shoes. Well, after having walked that mile just this morning, I can tell you that a part of that statement is very true. How do we make someone understand something that is impossible for them to understand unless they feel it? 

The most widely used definition is from the International Association for the Study of Pain. "Pain is an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience arising from actual or potential tissue damage or described in terms of such damage."  Therefore, pain is both a physical and emotional experience. So, how do we make others understand how we feel? How can they really know what this is like?

How would they feel if they could walk a mile in my shoes. Well, first of all, they'd never be able to walk that mile during a flare. Well, maybe with pain medication. A lot of pain medication. How can you convey what it's like to get out of bed in the morning after a night of interrupted sleep and cry because the bottom of your feet hurt so bad?  How do you make someone understand that the tears are not only of pain but of frustration and anger because you really want to get out of bed and do something, anything, with the day?

How do you make someone understand how drastically your life has changed? At first, no one understood or believed what Fibromyalgia was and now it's on every commercial; commercials that tell you with one little pill life will be what it used to be. That same commercial where a woman is smiling and acting like nothing is wrong. That same commercial that pisses me off every single time I see it. It makes it seem that Fibromyalgia is this annoying little fly you have to swat and then it's gone. How do you tell someone that I used to be lively and energetic and loved to go out and have fun? How do you make someone realize that this isn't something that moving around will help? How do you make someone realize that everything hurts and nothing, absolutely nothing, is the same anymore?

How do you convey the sadness when you walk into your closet and look at the clothes and shoes that just don't work for you anymore? You can't bear to see them and you can't bear to give them away. Giving them away brings home the thought that there is no cure and this is a life sentence. How do you tell someone that the pain you bear on a daily basis makes it impossible to do the work that you used to do? How do you let them know that sometimes just lifting a glass is too much and that being scared you'll drop it depresses you even more? How do you let someone know that being forgetful is as frustrating for you as it is for them?

How do you let someone know that you feel like a worn out pair of shoes? That sometimes just like those shoes you feel so useless like you've been thrown out of society. How do you let someone know what you'd give for the time when you didn't feel worn out just by waking up in the morning? How do you tell them that you watch from afar with jealousy every time you see someone running and laughing looking like they didn't have a care in the world? How do you explain that the devastation this disease is not one that you anticipated or wanted or can do anything about?

How do you tell someone that even though you are in pain and there are tears in your eyes you are still thankful? How do you tell someone that even though you look happy behind those eyes is a person that deals with chronic pain? Can you tell them that you can still be at peace with the little things in this world? How do you tell them that even though they can't see this illness it is still there? 

Can you tell them to have compassion, strength and patience with you and for you because that is the greatest need that you have? 

Can I?
I don't know.

(this is for you jimmy choo, don't be a naughty monkey, I live at 9 west with my manolo, my friend is Cole Haan, we love to go to Brighton and I love Stuart Weitzman.............................huge sigh)


  1. Hey Rosemary, love this post today. I don't know if anyone without our condition will ever "see" how we feel. I know how you feel. I have fibro RA, lupus and the other diseases that come with what I have. I follow your blog. You are not alone. I sit here because I can't walk without falling down. Wish we didn't live so far away from each other. Soft hugs to you!

    Sylvia Weitzel

  2. Thank you so much for your comment and thanks for following me! I think if you look at my profile my email address is listed. You're welcome to email at any time! I think I've also said I live in Las Vegas. Where are you? I'll put your email in my address book so it doesn't go to the spam folder if you email me! I love forwarding things so if you prefer not to get things from me, just let me know.
    Thanks again! Rosemary

  3. Loved your post today! The pictures of the various shoes was a great touch too!
    I do not think anyone will EVER understand our frustrations.
    I get tired of explaining to people things like why I can't go and sit in a theatre for 2 hours or why I have to wait for the pills to take effect before I can start my day. They just don't "get" it.
    Gentle hugs,

  4. I know Christine.......I can't go to the movies without taking a pain pill or even go walk at the gym. They don't get it!

  5. Thank you- I just found this today... I feel so alone. Nobody understands, nor does my family. I do good - I try to suck it up. Can someone please, please, please tell me how to still be a wonderful single mother. My heart breaks....

  6. Please follow and stay in touch. You are definitely not alone! You can still be a wonderful mother because this illness does not define you. It affects your lifestyle greatly but inside you are the same person. Get to a rhuematologist or to a doctor that believes in this illness. Just do what you can do. We are here for you!!


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