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Getting Friends and Family to Understand
A few days ago, my mother called excited about a "new natural remedy" for chronic pain. All one had to do was send $2.00 to get a little booklet touting a cure. Once again, I had to explain that I take medications that work fairly well and I won't try anything else, again.

Mother was irritated, tried several angles to try to get me to see things her way, and then she finally dropped the subject.

I have had the same conversation with almost every person who has never dealt with chronic pain of their own. First they "know" a natural method triggering "healing", then they are irritated when I explain my position.

They simply refuse to understand.

How have you dealt with people who cannot accept or understand the permanency of chronic pain?
Well do you know the cause/source of your chronic pain? If you had an accident, for example, it might help to remind them of the permanent nature of the damage done. Or if there's a specific part of your body that can't be healed.

I think people just really want to help. They're not trying to be rude most times, but they have a hard time just accepting that another person can't be cured, so they're hopeful eventually they can help find a way to make you feel better.
It's always worth looking at alternatives to medication, as long as they truly are natural, and not something dreamed up by an unqualified person in order to amke a few bucks from other people's suffering. I agree with Jessi that your family are probably just worried about you and trying to help.

Why not talk to your doctor, and ask them to explain the situation to you? Then, the next time someone comes up with a 'cure' for your pain, you can close the argument with, 'The doctor said ...'
I don't think they understand the difference between chronic pain and pain that you get from an injury that goes away after a few days.

I believe that there are alternatives that work. I know that capsaicin has been a life saver for my foot pain. But, there are many products out there that really aren't helpful at all. I know I've had everything from magnets to oils foisted at me. Everyone knows someone who is taking a supplement or herb that they just know will help me too!

In some ways, I do believe people are trying to be helpful. It's difficult for people to understand the concept of chronic pain. As a caregiver or loved one, it can be frustrating to know someone who is suffering and not be able to ease their pain. Maybe it makes people feel like they are doing something to help when they make these suggestions--even if they are far fetched.
My ex boyfriend used to try talking me into "smoking a bowl" with him, telling me of how it's an herb and so much safer for you than all the drugs which I do believe it's not going to destroy your liver like the RX can, but It's just not my thing. I told him, as a teenager I got high all the time and it never done anything for pain when I had it, so i'm still having a hard time believing that it could do anything for me as an adult. I do wish I didn't have to be on so many meds though. I also wish I could get my kids to understand, they seem to think I use it as an excuse because they can't see it or because they can handle their back pain when they get it why can't I without meds? lol
I have a bigger issue with people simply expecting me to "suck it up" and "move on." This is very, very difficult for me, because, as you know, I would if I could! No one wants to live like this. Initially, I received sympathetic looks and comments that people would help me any way they could, but more, they think it's just something I should get over.
It's never easy dealing with these problems, and of course, it doesn't get better without a solid support group. It only gets harder over time, too. This is why it's so important for the health care team to not just involve the patient but the whole family / social group as well.
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