Navigating The World Of Change After A Chronic Pain Diagnosis

8967369 - smiling black woman using computer in modern kitchen interiorReceiving a chronic pain diagnosis is a life-changing experience. Suddenly, you’re reconsidering all of your life plans. You’re wondering what this means for your future, your family and your lifestyle. You don’t know what’s next. Everything you thought you knew about your body and your health is changing completely. It can be a scary time. Everything will start to change once you get those results.

Chronic pain will change everything about your current situation. Your schedule will change because you’ll be spending so much time at the doctor, trying to get healthier. Your family dynamics will change because you won’t have the ability to cook dinner every night and pick your kids up from school every day. Your marriage will change as you work on living every single day with pain & fatigue. So much will be changing now that you have chronic pain. So what can you do to even make sense of all this change?

While we can’t offer a complete guide to accepting all the change, we can give you some helpful tools to navigate through all the change you’re experiencing as you come to terms with having chronic pain.

Communicate. Communicate. Communicate.

It’s cheesy. But communication is really the key to dealing with your chronic pain. You need to communicate with your doctor about your questions, hopes and fears. You need to communicate with your children about your illness and why you’re not feeling up to everything you used to do. You need to communicate with your loved ones that the change is real and it’s happening to you. It’s okay to let everyone know when something has changed with you. If you don’t communicate your changes, the people around you won’t know to expect the change. Communication can save you from a world of confusion.

Learn everything you can about your own strengths and weaknesses.

So you know there are going to be changes. But you’ll still need to figure out what has specifically changed for your life. Every person dealing with chronic pain will have a unique experience. Take some time to evaluate what is changing for you. Will you need to rest more than you ever have before? Will you need to change your diet in order to feel better on a daily basis? It can take some time to figure this out, but it’s important to take note of the parts of your life that are changing for you.

Understand that change is out of your control.

You may feel like blaming yourself for being unable to change some aspects of your chronic pain. You may feel frustrated that things are changing. You may even think it’s your fault that they’re changing. An important thing to understand is that all of this change is out of your control. There are simply things you just won’t be able to change, no matter how hard you want to. You don’t need to feel completely useless to these changes, but you also don’t need to put any blame on yourself. The key is to accept that the change is happening, and then discover a way to move on from this change.

Change isn’t always fun. It’s especially uncomfortable when the change includes a life-altering illness, such as chronic pain. There is a real chance you’ll be able to navigate through all of the change, pain & fatigue you’re dealing with. You’ll still be able to live a full, happy life filled with all the things you love to do, want to do, and haven’t even dreamed of yet. Change doesn’t have to be the end of the road. Instead, it can simply be a detour.



About the Author
Katie Cleary is founder of  She lives with her autoimmune conditions and her family in Austin, Texas.

This post contains opinions of the author. is not a medical practice and does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.  It is your responsibility to seek diagnosis, treatment, and advice from qualified providers based on your condition and particular circumstances.  Camino Real Ventures, Inc., the company that makes available to you, does not endorse nor recommend any products, practices, treatment methods, tests, physicians, service providers, procedures, clinical trials, opinions or information available on this website.  Your use of the website is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy


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