I’ve been thinking about a catch-all phrase for those of us in chronic pain. I don’t like “chronic pain patients,” because I personally don’t define myself as a patient; I know that people with chronic pain can lose their identities in that of “the patient;” in the context of our heirarchial medical model, the term “patient” is loaded with all kinds of powerless energy; and on that note, I think our healthcare system needs to move from a model of doctor/patient to one of healthcare provider/healthcare consumer.
Chronic painsters? No. Chronic pain peeps? No. How about this: Chronic Painsies, a play on the word for the “pansy” flower. Here’s why I like it:
Pansies are soft, beautiful, and vibrantly-colored flowers, coming in every imaginable shade. Similarly, those of us in pain include scores of loving, beautiful people coming in every race, sex, class, religion, nationality, and political affiliation. Pansies are “hardy plants surviving freezing, even during their blooming period.” (Wikipedia) Similarly, those of us in pain are among the most resilient, determined individuals , with spirits shining even under harsh circumstances that would break most people.
So that’s it. I’m officially calling us Chronic Painsies. Hear that, Webster?