This is not my own information. This article was copied from MenWithFibro.com. The author is unknown, but it it a pretty good article for helping to understand someone who has a chronic pain issue.
People with chronic pain seem unreliable (we can’t count on ourselves).
When feeling better we promise things (and mean it); when in serious
pain, we may not even show up.
2. An action or situation
may result in pain several hours later, or even the next day. Delayed
pain is confusing to people who have never experienced it.
Pain can inhibit listening and other communication skills. It’s like
having someone shouting at you, or trying to talk with a fire alarm
going off in the room. The effect of pain on the mind can seem like
attention deficit disorder. So you may have to repeat a request, or
write things down for a person with chronic pain. Don’t take it
personally, or think that they are stupid.
4. The senses can overload while in pain. For example, noises that wouldn’t normally bother you, seem too much.
5. Patience may seem short. We can’t wait in a long line; can’t wait for a long drawn out conversation.
6. Don’t always ask “how are you” unless you are genuinely prepared to listen it just points attention inward.
Pain can sometimes trigger psychological disabilities (usually very
temporary). When in pain, a small task, like hanging out the laundry,
can seem like a huge wall, too high to climb over. An hour later the
same job may be quite OK. It is sane to be depressed occasionally when
8. Pain can come on fairly quickly and
unexpectedly. Pain sometimes abates after a short rest. Chronic pain
people appear to arrive and fade unpredictably to others.
Knowing where a refuge is, such as a couch, a bed, or comfortable
chair, is as important as knowing where a bathroom is. A visit is much
more enjoyable if the chronic pain person knows there is a refuge if
needed. A person with chronic pain may not want to go anywhere that has
no refuge (e.g.no place to sit or lie down).
acts of kindness can seem like huge acts of mercy to a person in pain.
Your offer of a pillow or a cup of tea can be a really big thing to a
person who is feeling temporarily helpless in the face of encroaching
11. Not all pain is easy to locate or describe.
Sometimes there is a body-wide feeling of discomfort, with hard to
describe pains in the entire back, or in both legs, but not in one
particular spot you can point to. Our vocabulary for pain is very
limited, compared to the body’s ability to feel varieties of discomfort.
We may not have a good “reason” for the pain. Medical science is still
limited in its understanding of pain. Many people have pain that is
not yet classified by doctors as an officially recognized “disease”.
That does not reduce the pain, – it only reduces our ability to give it
a label, and to have you believe us.