Invisible Pain | Documentary Idea
by Mary Miller
(Eugene, OR, Lane)
There are so many people walking around in the US living a double life of pain and suffering of chronic illness and diseases, that they end up being referred to mostly, as "women's conditions." We have issues getting doctors assuming that we are drug seekers, chronic complainers, hypochondriacs, or malingerers.
As a person who's often seen as 'fine', having: cerebral palsy, fibromyalgia, CFIDS, diverticulitis, constant tendonitis of both elbows and complex regional pain syndrome, there is an 'underworld' of those of us, who find each other, trying to find solace.
One gentleman contacted me about his wife wanting to die because of the severity of her pain, having no answers or anywhere to go, posted on my wall his compassion, his anger and her wish.
I am in contact with various groups on Facebook who talk, yell, laugh and yes, cry about their inability to sleep, their family's demands that they feel pulled to do, even when they themselves are in levels of pain that they want to literally hit a wall.
Our stories are important, books have been written about our experiences, but I've yet to see a documentary about US, (not about doctor's opinions on how to deal with chronic pain), the journey we face once diagnosed, the family's interaction with us/or with outside society and us (showing the protection some family members begin to fight our battles), our life changes.
If we appear just 'fine', this appearance ends up further isolating us from answers, from needed medication, needed investigation into 'quack treatments' waiting to suck us up, and the lack of continued investigation into what causes our condition and how we are expected to 'just simply live with it, because after all, we look just fine!'
This could be inclusive of folks with: Lupus, IBS, Fibromyalgia, Crohn's Disease, Chronic fatigue syndrome, complex regional pain syndrome, psoriatic arthritis, folks that have had long term HIV without wasting disease, early stage cancers, etc.
It would be an emotional informational documentary about the lack of support, issues of isolation, what long term pain does emotionally to those living with it, change of life styles, etc.