Pain Map

Be gentle. You have no idea about the weight of other people's burdens.

Be gentle. You have no idea about the weight of other people’s burdens.

I’ve never applied for any type of disability, but The Man has 3 pins in his knee, which resulted in a medical discharge from the Air Force, and he did have a hang tag for many years. We only used it when we were absolutely out of spoons, but even so some vigilante once left a note on the windshield accusing us of not being handicapped enough. It’s not a contest, people. You don’t want what we have. Also, the picture on the sign is just a symbol: there are disabilities other than being a paraplegic confined to a wheelchair.

This was the hardest comic I’ve ever scripted. Fibromyalgia is a subject I don’t care to discuss much (see panel 2). Adolescence taught me to never expose any weakness. Whenever the subject came up, doctors dismissed it and no one sympathized, or cared, or, I suspect, believed me. Most people don’t know that I have a chronic pain disorder; I try not to let it dictate my life, and when it does, I try to make sure that it doesn’t dictate other people’s lives. But the reality of my life is that I do have a chronic pain disorder. Invisible diseases exist, and you can’t judge someone’s level of disability. Clearly, I’m better off than many, because I’m still generally able to hide the problem, but that doesn’t give anyone a right to question its existence.

If I bring it up in person, you better believe there’s a reason that information is being shared: I have limits. I only mention it here because of consumer demand for a continuing series of comics cataloging all the excruciating reasons I’ve failed to summit the heights of my potential. It’s all about telling the most horrible parts with brutal honesty. I’m not complaining and I’m not looking for sympathy. I just need you to understand that this is the truth.

8 thoughts on “Pain Map

  1. Mark James

    Best yet. Articulation of fibro pain with pics like and IR photo. Pure genius. Makes it real. I know several people w fibro, they would love a maps like that to tell their story to loved ones. We trust pictures more than written words. We trust written words more than spoken ones. Which is weird maybe, I don’t know. You are amazing. I am a fan of your whole way of rolling. I love you Monica.

  2. Mahdy

    So….did a D.O do some OMM to help with the fibromyalgia? :0 being a d.o student this is like omgosh a comic mentioning D.Os

    1. littledragonblue Post author

      The DO wasn’t treating me; I know him in a non-medical capacity, and, for whatever reason, that was his response to me mentioning that I had recently received the diagnosis. The only practitioner who’s ever really helped me is an LMT.

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