You Don’t Even Look Like You’re in Pain!
by Rebekah Dull
I grew up with a condition that no one could see, but that affected me on a daily basis. I dealt with constant bone crushing pain, aches of the spine, weakness in the legs and arms, soreness in the ribs, and burning of the brain.
From the outside, I looked fine. I had two legs, and two arms that I could use with no noticeable issues. I had 20/20 vision so I could see well. I could use my brain to solve problems and make decisions, so there were no mental disabilities that affected me. Often we think that someone has to have an issue with what I listed above for them to be in pain or sick.
I was diagnosed with scoliosis at the age of twelve. Scoliosis is “a lateral (toward the side) curvature in the normally straight vertical line of the spine” (WebMD.com). While it does not sound life changing, it can be hard for an individual to deal with. Scoliosis is hard because no one else can see the effects or the disability that can come with the diagnosis so people have a hard time sympathizing or empathizing.
In middle and high school I would get the stares that said “you don’t even look like you’re in pain.” I felt like an outcast because I struggled to do activities that the other youth were in. Not to mention when I was gone for a month at a time, I would struggle to get back into the social aspect of school. I looked as if I had the same abilities as an ordinary 15 year old, but when participating in psychical tasks the disability would begin to seep through the cracks of my persona. The persona of “I’m strong and can handle this,” when really I was in a lot of pain.
Please be mindful of the fact that someone does not need to have a noticeable disability for them to be struggling. Pain, sickness, disabilities and struggles come in all forms and most people do not seek the attention for them. Just because someone does not verbally discuss their pain does not mean it’s not there.
Rebekah A. Dull, Scoliosis Surgery Survivor, CEO of My Life, and COO of My Dreams
February 26, 2017
December 15, 2016
November 22, 2016