It’s said that the Inuit have hundreds of words for snow. It’s a myth unfortunately. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if they really could describe snow so exquisitely? Most everybody I know calls it either snow or “that white shit” (pardon the language), depending on how much snowmobiling they do. That got me thinking. I think I could come up with 100 different types of pain, but they’re all just called “pain.” Boring! People with fibromyalgia need to come up with their own pain vocabulary, and I don’t mean just adjectives to modify the word pain – I mean actual words for different types of pain.
A random, acute shooting pain could be called a “shmort.” As in: I have had a shmort in my foot every time I take a step today. The overall, flu-like achy pain that you get when you overdo it could be “bluhgrup.” The pain you get when you first stand up after sitting too long – how about flamprim? There’s a pain I’ve only been able to describe as “white-noise” pain because it’s always in the background even if you’re not completely aware of it, very low level pain that really only exhausts you. Maybe “winnip”? My winnip is really wiping me out today. Should we start a pain glossary, and see how many different ways we can name the pain?
People with “normal” pain levels probably don’t understand the different variations of pain. When I’ve had any procedure done, the nurses will sort of cluck over me and say, “I know it hurts – you’re doing really well.” At which point I say, “I have no problem with pain that I know is going away. It’s the pain I know won’t go away is what I have trouble with.” Even that subtlety can be lost on someone who has not experienced chronic pain. Maybe a glossary can help….