Thursday, June 23, 2011

A poem about chronic pain

 November 7, 2006

This pain is present every day
Unyielding, oppressive, still there.
Why doesn’t it take a day off,
Who said, “Life is always fair?”

Inhabited by the unwanted
I feel victimized, possessed.
I ask myself all those questions,
“What did I do? Was I too stressed?”

How much is psychological?
How much is left to chance?
Will it get worse or better?
Should I take a reflective glance?

Depression displaced by anger
I felt helpless, betrayed by fate.
Blaming myself, my parents, my genes
I faced my own Watergate.

I began to count my losses,
Labored through my grief,
My life, my body, my ego
All vandalized by this thief.

What can I expect to change?
What is always to be?
It seems all I valued before
Is now questioned, constantly.

Daily pain has rocked my world
As war, earthquake and flood,
As my own Richter scale responds
By changes deep within my blood.

I felt alienated from other
Those so vital, healthy and tanned
While I was despondent, alone
An alien in my own homeland.

For awhile I wallowed and floundered
Kicked by the foot of fate,
Then one day I passed a mirror and said,
“This is your life. It’s getting late!”

Suddenly that’s when it hit me.
I’d had enough of that pit.
My life was leading me around
Instead of me living it.

I began to look for solutions
If this pain is always to be.
I had to find some hope in my life,
Imprisoned, I longed to be free.

I took a personal inventory
Of all that I have left,
Gradually I stopped asking, “Why?”
And began feeling less bereft.

Instinctively I reached out to joy
Laughter felt so delicious inside.
As it rippled through my body,
Bringing its healing tide.

I’ve learned to love each day
Even the dark side and strife
For hidden within the heartache
Is a seed of renewal, called life.

- Sue Falkner Wood

Sue Falkner-Wood is a retired registered nurse living in Astoria, Ore., with her husband, who is also an R.N. Sue left nursing in 1990 due to chronic pain and other symptoms related to what was eventually diagnosed as relapsing polychondritis/mixed collagen disease, a progressive inflammatory condition involving the cartilage and connective tissue and leading to degeneration of the joints. Unable to practice nursing anymore, Sue turned to writing to vent her pent-up energy, and she has been very successful at it. She wrote a humor column for six years for her local paper in California, and has published articles and poems in the Fresno Bee, Nurseweek, arthritis, lupus and chronic pain newsletters, and a college literary magazine. Sue takes a glass-half-full approach to her disease and says she tries to do something useful every day.

This poem is word for word what living with chronic pain for 15 years has meant to me.  So happy to pass it on for others to gain insight and HOPE from. Your perspective does matter and its something you can control. I hope you pick to be a survivor with a positive attitude and find an attitude of gratitude for your life.

Have a meaningful week!! Love to all!!
Liz : )


  1. Beautiful poem. Thank you. Nice to find your blog (via FB). I look forward to coming back!

    Peace and well wishes,

  2. PS Hi Liz, Just thought I'd let you know I am Rosa Michelle Blue on FB. I had my blog listed on my profile page, was editing my one day and just realized nothing is there. I must have deleted it all. Anyway, just letting you know who I am. I like your blog, btw. Pretty colors and easy to read too :).


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